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.
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