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A Spewing Source of Dubious iOS Rumors

By Rob Walch MacNewsWorld ECT News Network
Dec 30, 2010 5:00 AM PT

Any journalist that covers the iOS space knows that rumors are par for the course. This is something that Apple helps foster thanks to its mostly tight-fisted control of info regarding new products.

A Spewing Source of Dubious iOS Rumors

However, over the past couple of years, it seems that if you track back most iOS rumors, especially those that never pan out, they lead you to one source: Digitimes. Their track record is so bad I've often wondered if Apple is actually feeding them the stories as disinformation. It seems like blind monkeys throwing darts could predict better than Digitimes when it comes to their iOS rumors.

But what's really amazing is that the crap Digitimes throws out there actually sticks with so many different blogs and news sites. Here's a quick summary of some of the Digitimes rumors over the past nine months.

Digitimes iPad Rumors

  • April 2010: 5- to 7-inch iPad expected in early 2011, with a sub-US$400 price.
  • July 2010: Next-gen iPad will add 5.6- and 7-inch OLED displays for Q4 2010 shipments.
  • August 2010: Apple will ship two versions of iPad in Q1 2011 -- an updated 9.7-inch and a new 7-inch version.
  • September 2010: iPad 2 will launch in Q1 2011 -- will have thinner glass.
  • November 2010: iPad 2 will have USB port, front and back camera, lighter design, new display technology.
  • December 2010: iPad 2 will have LCD display, not OLED.
  • December 2010: iPad 2 will ship in February to Apple for an April launch.
  • December 2010: iPad 2 will have three versions -- WiFi, UMTS, CDMA -- and will start shipping to Apple in late January 2011. Apple will start selling in late Q1 2011. Will also have new smudge-free coating.

Digitimes iPhone Rumors

  • May 2010: CDMA iPhone will launch on Verizon in September.
  • June 2010: CDMA iPhone will ship in Q4 2010.
  • August 2010: Apple is expected to start mass production on a CDMA iPhone in December, supplying Verizon and China Telecom with a handset that features an integrated antenna and a metal back.
  • September 2010: Production volumes of CDMA iPhone 4 to start in November.
  • October 2010: Production volumes of CDMA iPhone 4 to start in December.
  • December 2010: Apple raises Q1 2011 shipment orders to 21 to 22 million units up from 19 million units, of which 5 to 6 million units will be a CDMA version of the iPhone.

'No Credibility Whatsoever'

In regard to the iPad Mini rumor above from April 2010, Gizmodo had the following to say:

"Moved off the front page because, aside from the fact that Digitimes is repeatedly wrong and has no credibility whatsoever, this iPad mini doesn't make sense at all. -- JD"

Given the plethora or rumors originating from Digitimes and the fact they are wrong so often it is amazing anyone re-reports what they say. If calling out Digitimes like Gizmodo did is not working, let's look at some of the sites that re-reported the latest Digitimes rumor from Dec. 27 on the iPhone. They are:

Mac Rumors, The Next Web, Electronista, Venturebeat, NPR, Forbes, CNET, Los Angeles Times, CIO-Today, Afterdawn.com.

As you can see it is not just smaller sites that are guilty of the shoddy "journalism," it's also mainstream outlets like Forbes, NPR and the LA Times. What is really sad is none of those listed above even hinted at Digitimes' less-than-accurate past and they all re-reported this rumor as "news" -- rather than as a rumor from a site with "no credibility whatsoever". I have a recommendation for these sites, and that is if the Digitimes story lists unnamed sources, it is BS and should not be re-reported.

And for those who read a story originating from Digitimes, make sure to call out the sites re-reporting the story in the comments. Let them know they need to go back to journalism class 101 and do some fact checking.

I am not saying we should not report on rumors -- we just need to stop the insanity when it comes to rumors from Digitimes. Their track record is horrible and anyone that re-reports their rumors is just stooping to Digitimes' level.

Rob Walch is host of the Today in iOS podcast.

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