business‎ > ‎

Deciphering the Apple rumour mill

posted 11 Sept 2012, 04:25 by Mpelembe   [ updated 11 Sept 2012, 04:26 ]
Prior to the launch of Apple's highly anticipated iPhone 5, we look at how rumours about the iconic product have proliferated on the Web.
APPLE-RUMOURS - Here is it is... Apple's new iPhone 5.

Or wait, sorry, this is the one. or maybe it's this one. or that guy, or even this last little fella. Alright, so maybe I'm clueless.

It's easy to get confused though. There's a legion of Apple-obsessed rumour websites out there, with equally obsessed fans who spend hours browsing and commenting on the latest leaks and whispers.

This chatter usually comes to a frenzy right before a major product release, like the imminent iPhone 5 launch.

Tech blogger Josh Ong.


"The hype is increasing as Apple's products become much more mainstream. So, whereas, there was a small, loyal fan base of Mac users originally, now I think with the iPhone iPad, you have millions of people that are being reached that want to know when they can get the next new thing. At the same time, Apple continues to be extremely secretive, and I think that creates a forbidden fruit."

No site has a perfect track record when it comes to rumours, but get it right, and suddenly you are gold, like after predicting the aluminum iMac.

Popular hardware site Anandtech takes a more analytical approach to its iPhone 5 predictions, using the history of the iPhone's evolution to forecast a modest processor upgrade instead of a generational overhaul.

But fresh leaks suggest that may not be the case, with a new A6 processor built in to help power the new handset.

With Apple now the world's biggest company ever, Reuters has its own crack team of reporters, sniffing out leads in the tech industry.


"Inside each new generation of Apple product is a myriad of highly specialised components, many built right here in Asia. Our job as reporters is to find anonymous sources within the hundreds of companies that make up that supply chain and get that secret information before it goes public"

In Korea or Japan, we might get advance info on the LCD panels.

In China, the maker of the metallic chassis, could give us final phone dimensions.

And in Taiwan, it might be an optical camera part maker who gives us the megapixel count. But even then sometimes everybody gets it wrong.


"Things move pretty quickly in the rumour world, and sites certainly develop a reputation. So people are going to get stuff wrong from time to time, but your reputation is based on how consistently you're right, as opposed to how consistently you're wrong, and how well you are vetting the rumors, and things like that, so you definitely want to be careful what you're writing about."

Take Digitimes, one of Taiwan's leading rumour sites... not exactly known for getting it right.

The best example of a rumour that everybody got wrong was the widely expected iPhone launch one year ago.

Instead we of course got the iPhone 4S, a disappointment to many fans at the time.

This time around, the iPhone 5 release is a sure bet... and for the rumour sites, the mistakes of old are long forgotten. Readers are flocking back to the forums hungry for more news about their next Apple purchase.

Jon Gordon for Reuters.