This Week’s Apple Rumors, Ranked From Dumbest to Most Plausible
Each week, there are dozens of rumors, reports, and patent filings that hint at what’s coming out of Cupertino next. Some are legit, but many are totally bogus. As always, we’ve parsed the rumors, ranking them in order from “utterly ridiculous” to “duh, of course.” First up…
DON’T COUNT ON IT: Another iPhone 6 Mockup Gets Videoed Next to Competitors
With the proliferation and improved quality of 3-D printing and prototyping tools, I’m thoroughly unconvinced that many (or any) of these leaked iPhone 6 images or mockups are legit. But we keep seeing them crop up. This week, someone videoed a supposed 5.5-inch iPhone 6 next to a couple of Android phablets like the LG G3. One thing’s for sure: A 5.5-inch iPhone is going to be HUGE—compared to other phablets. Mac Otakara also posted a video of what it claims is the back of the actual iPhone 6. It does, at least, feature the detailed insides of what could be the real thing or a functioning prototype, rather than just a design mockup.
DON’T COUNT ON IT: Video Compares ‘iPad 6′ to iPad Air
A video by TLDToday compares a sixth generation iPad mockup with the current iPad Air. According to this video, there are very few changes between the two tablets, perhaps the biggest being the addition of Touch ID to the new iPad (which is something many of us expect from this year’s iPads). Other changes include less prominent buttons, no mute/orientation lock switch at all, and slightly modified speaker grilles. There’s no evidence that we’ll see any of these changes other than Touch ID in this year’s iPad.
ASK AGAIN LATER: 5.5-Inch iPhone 6 to Include Image Stabilization, But Not 4.7-Inch Model
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who’s been pretty spot on with Apple predictions in the past, writes that he expects only Apple’s larger iPhone 6 model will include optical image stabilization. The smaller 4.7-inch model will use essentially the same method as the iPhone 5s (a middle-mount open-loop voice coil motor), but updated so that it’s more power efficient and has faster focusing speed. An optical image stabilization system is more expensive and potentially heavier than a VCM system. It mechanically controls light’s path from the lens to the camera’s sensor.
ASK AGAIN LATER: iPhone to Get September 19 Launch, Limited 128 GB Model
We know that Apple will announce, and launch, its new iPhone this fall, but the exact date is still unclear. The latest rumors point to a September 19 launch date. The date is a Friday, and Apple usually puts the iPhone on sale two Fridays following the device’s announcement. Last year, the iPhone 5s and 5c went on sale September 20, and in 2012, the iPhone 5 launched on September 21. In a separate report from a Chinese blog, Apple may only release the 128 GB storage option for the larger 5.5-inch iPhone 6. This could differentiate the larger phablet from Apple’s smaller iPhone offerings, and perhaps make it more appealing for business users or creative types who want a larger screen and greater onboard storage.
SIGNS POINT TO YES: Apple Working on HomeKit Integrated Products
Reports from The Information and 9to5Mac suggest that Apple is developing its own smart home devices to work with its HealthKit APIs. Beyond that, details are pretty scant. It’s not known what type of home products Apple is exploring, except that they will be “mainstream” and won’t directly compete with Google’s Nest (thermostats and smoke detectors). Apple’s Beats acquisition could somehow factor into this equation.
WITHOUT A DOUBT: Cheaper iPod Touch Rumored, Emerges
In one of the shortest lived rumors ever, MacRumors reported a cheaper, $200 16 GB iPod was expected to debut next week, and then it actually launched on Thursday, just a day later. The original rumor expected the iPod to land on Tuesday. It sports a rear camera and comes in six colors.