The Rumour Mill

Macworld Australia Staff
10 January, 2014
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Ah, a new year, 12 whole months of new and tediously recycled deliciously fresh rumours and tittle tattle to get our teeth into.

And, happily, the holiday season has given scuttlebutt mongers enough time to dream up carefully consider what could be in store for Apple and its myriad products and services this year.

In honour of the King’s birthday (Elvis would have been 79 this week – what an unfathomable thought), this week’s Rumour Mill is brought to you by some of the great man’s movies. No, not hit songs. That would be too easy.

So let’s jump right in, shall we, and take a trip around the bend. Figuratively, of course…

Viva Las Vegas (of course)

Nevada’s capital of all things glittery, gambling and greedy is this week the venue of CES 2014. And the consumer electrics and technology tradeshow has naturally been the source of multiple ideas and rumours surrounding every aspect of the tech industry. MacDailyNews, though, is enjoying musing on developments over at Corning. The glass maker is the company behind Gorilla Glass, which has been making waves at the aforementioned tradeshow.

Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

But it’s not all about repelling germs for Corning. The company has just announced that the scratch- and crack-resistant Gorilla is now also available in a curved version. As The Wall Street Journal‘s Daisuke Wakabayashi notes, “An iWatch and a curved iPhone with a bigger display are among the most mentioned possible products for Apple’s pipeline this year. Both are expected to require a curved display, a feature currently missing from Apple’s existing line-up.”

Which is where Corning’s new product comes in.

The product manager for 3D-Shaped Gorilla Glass, Scott Forester, told Wakabayashi that the company’s new production techniques mean the glass can be produced much more efficiently and, importantly, cheaply.

Of course, Forester was close-lipped when it came to confirming that Apple would be lining up in the buyers’ queue, but MacDailyNews clearly seems to think it will.

 

It Happened at the World’s Fair

And talking of the long-fabled wearable device known affectionately, but utterly unofficially, as the iWatch, MacDailyNews was also intrigued by what other companies are currently up to in that sphere. The conclusion? It doesn’t really matter, because the results will be, er, stupid. I say, isn’t that a bit harsh, MDN?

Especially when you consider that the actual article comes to no such conclusions. It quotes Patrick Seitz from Investors Business Daily (who, in turn, references a report on the Taiwan tech news site, DigiTimes). “Some analysts say Apple will come out with a smartwatch in March to compete in the nascent market alongside Sony, Samsung, Qualcomm and start-ups like Pebble,” says Seitz. “Wearable technology will gain respect as a new product category this year, but Apple will make it ‘cool’.”

Seitz’s reasoning comes from a report by Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Brian White (are you still with us? MacDailyNews via Patrick Seitz via Brian White. All clear? Good, moving on…), in which he claimed, ”It will take a company such as Apple to launch a smartwatch that is actually ‘cool’ to wear in order to drive mass consumer adoption. In our view, Apple’s expansive digital matrix that seamlessly connects devices, strong balance sheet with unwavering R&D commitment, loyal user base, proven ability to deliver aesthetically pleasing products, well-respected brand and strong track record of serving up a unique user experience bodes well for the company’s ability to capitalise on this new market opportunity.”

Which is all well and good, but where in all that is the assumption that all the other makers of wearable technology (and here we’re talking specifically about Qualcomm, Burg, Dennco Brands, Kronoz, MetaWatch, Neptune Computer and Cookoo-watch maker ConnecteDevice – all exhibiting in the CES zone, WristRevolution), will only be offering up all kinds of stupid? We say again, bit harsh MDN.

 

Spinout

Sorry, what was that you said? You are yet to have supped your fill of iWatch rumours? Really? You surprise us, but here’s another one just to keep you going. Despite the likes of Investors Business Daily predicting a March 2014 debut for the mythical beast that will be Apple’s entry into the world of wearable technology, there are many whisperers out there spreading tales of quality control problems and hold-ups in the manufacturing department.

MacRumors cites The Information (via Business Insider), when telling of “multiple development issues with [Apple's] iWatch”. The issues centre on screen technology, battery life, and manufacturing, apparently.

“Multiple iWatch rumours have suggested that Apple is planning to incorporate an OLED display into its smartwatch, but The Information notes that the company is actually having difficulties deciding on a screen technology for the device, primarily due to battery issues. For that reason, Apple considered new screen technologies to improve battery life late last year,” says MacRumors.

The site doesn’t believe the issues are serious enough to actually delay the device’s release date, which it is still expecting will take place alongside the next iPhone in late 2014. Wait, late 2014? Not really March then?

Investors Business Daily and MacRumors, would you both mind just popping over there and having a chat among yourselves?

Is this the future for some dodgy Turkish politicians?

Harum Scarum

Enough with the watches already. Got any actual juicy old-fashioned scandals to toss our way? You know, something political perhaps, with a Mandy Rice Davis or a –gate attached, if you can manage it. No, not this one. Mind-boggling though it may be, it has absolutely nothing to do with Apple. Please keep to the point.

All right, all right. How about this one then? Apple’s own Retail Store information website this week shared a tale of dirty dealings in Turkey, that may threaten the Cupertino California company’s plans for an Apple store in the country. “A growing political scandal in Turkey threatens to involve the country’s prime minister, a key player in a program to purchase US$4 billion worth of iPads for thousands of schools… Three ministers resigned Christmas night in the face of corruption allegations unrelated to Apple, and they called on prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to also resign.”

Juicy enough for you? No?

OK, you’re right, the Jennifer McCarthy story beats it into a cocked hat…

 

iPhone 6 concept

Concept image via iPhonesoft.fr

Change of Habit

To finish up this week, we’d like to pass on this little rumour about the next iteration of Apple’s iPhone. And it’s one we reckon can be safely filed in the ‘d’oh, should have seen that coming’ drawer.

Several tattle merchants are spreading the idea, but we’ll start with Veteran Geek, just because a/ we haven’t included anything from the site before and b/ the title seems to demand a touch of respect. You know ‘age before beauty’ and all that… So what did you want to impart VG? “The Cupertino company will give a new name to the next Apple smartphone. ET News has reported that the next iPhone will be named iPhone Air. They have also reported that it will be thinner than any other Apple smartphones.”

Oh? Nice one. Is that all?

“If the report turns real, then you will be able to get your hands on the thinnest Apple smartphone this year. This is a pretty good news for the people who are waiting for it,” says Veteran Geek. ‘Pretty good news for the people who are waiting for it?’ Hmm, yes, quite a safe assumption to make, we suppose.

Anyone else have anything to add?

Ah, Technology Tell! No, you can put your hand down now. What did you want to say? “The purported iPhone 6 (they call it iPhone Air) will measure a mere 6mm thick; thinner than its predecessors… Apple will follow its normal schedule, and will release the alleged iPhone Air in September later this year.” Anything else? “The [ET News] report also… says iPhone 5s price will be slashed by US$100 in May.”

 

And to conclude, a picture of Elvis with Mary Tyler-Moore in a nun's habit. Don't think they could quite believe it either...

 

And that’s the Rumour Mill for the week ending 10 January 2014.

You know what’s coming next, don’t you? Yes, Elvis has left the building…

2 Comments

2 people were compelled to have their say. We encourage you to do the same..

  1. Lenoxus says:

    That concept art for iPhone 6 isn’t meant to depict a sliding model, but one phone stacked on another, right?

  2. Macworld Australia Staff says:

    We’re pretty sure that’s the case. Stacking not sliding!

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