ADAM BANKS… go­ing deeper than a force click with mus­ings ON the wor ld of ap­ple

By the time you read this, we’ll know the real specs of the new iPhone. But it was much more fun try­ing to work out what Ap­ple was re­ally up to.

Mac Format - - APPLE CORE -

The Ap­ple ru­mour mill is a won­drous thing. No prod­uct tweak is too small, no spec­u­la­tion too wild to be fine-tooth­combed to death by the blog­gerati. The com­pany does not com­ment, as we know, on unan­nounced prod­ucts. It al­most never com­ments on an­nounced prod­ucts ei­ther. Nor on things that aren’t prod­ucts. And it cer­tainly doesn’t com­ment on its own pol­icy of not com­ment­ing.

But that doesn’t stop the ru­mour mill churn­ing. On the con­trary, it cre­ates the per­fect en­vi­ron­ment for peo­ple who like to make stuff up on the in­ter­net. For some, this is a full-time job: they’re called an­a­lysts. One of them, Gene Mun­ster, spent years telling ev­ery­one that Ap­ple was def­i­nitely about to un­veil a tele­vi­sion set. Ev­ery­one told him right back that it prob­a­bly wasn’t. We were right. He was wrong. In 2015 he fi­nally ad­mit­ted: “It’s a hard re­al­ity to ac­cept, [but] the TV is on hold”.

Wait, what? Yes, one of the ru­mour mill’s favourite tropes is the prod­uct that may never have ex­isted, yet is now de­layed. This amor­phous fate has re­cently be­fallen the Ap­ple car, de­scribed by Tesla boss Elon Musk as Sil­i­con Val­ley’s “worst kept se­cret”. For a badly kept se­cret, it seems pretty well kept to me, given we know pre­cisely noth­ing about it – not even if the car will be self­driv­ing, or whether Ap­ple or a mar­que will man­u­fac­ture it, or whether it’ll be a car or a mini­van or, as US mag­a­zine Mo­tor Trend hi­lar­i­ously il­lus­trated, a golden Judge Dredd hel­met on cas­tors.

Ac­cord­ing to tech in­sider site The In­for­ma­tion, how­ever, ‘a per­son’ claimed it had been pushed back from 2020 to 2021. That per­son’s sure go­ing to have egg on their face if the Ap­ple car doesn’t come out in ex­actly five years’ time! If any of us re­mem­ber any of this, or knew who the per­son was any­way. This is how the ru­mour mill works: you can be wrong as many times as you want, as long as… no, ac­tu­ally you can just carry on be­ing wrong.

In the run-up to this Septem­ber’s iPhone launch, we were told it’d be a ma­jor re­design, con­tin­u­ing Ap­ple’s two-year de­vel­op­ment cy­cle; that it wouldn’t, herald­ing a new three­year cy­cle; that it would ditch the head­phone jack; that it wouldn’t; that it would af­ter all; that one model would and the other wouldn’t; that there’d be a third model; that one or two or three of the two or three mod­els would have two cam­eras; and so on, and so on.

What did we learn from all this? Noth­ing. We might as well have waited for the we­b­cast of the press con­fer­ence. Or just opened the Ap­ple Store app the next day to check out the of­fi­cially con­firmed line-up. But where would be the fun in that?

Silly as it is, the ru­mour mill gets us all think­ing about what we’d like in the next iThing, and what we wouldn’t. And I bet our fel­low Ap­ple fans in­side In­fi­nite Loop pay some at­ten­tion to the on­line de­bate, too.

Of course, I have ab­so­lutely noth­ing in the way of ev­i­dence for that…

Gene Mun­ster spent years telling us all there’d def­i­nitely be an Ap­ple TV set

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