MacMost Now 315: Telling Good Apple Rumors From Bad

Learn how to spot whether an Apple rumor is valid. Many Apple rumors have no source and don't fit with the company's past. Find out what to look for so you can decide for yourself which rumors make the most sense.

Video Transcript
Hi, this is Gary with MacMost Now. In this episode, lets learn to be a little more skeptical of Apple rumors.
Way back in episode 222 I took a look at where Apple rumors come from. In this episode; let's look again at Apple rumors- but this time lets find out why a lot of them are wrong, and how you can get better at figuring out which are the good rumors and which are the bad ones.
So I look at three(3) main factors when trying to determine the validity of a rumor:
The first is likeliness. Does a rumor really make sense? Considering Apple is actually a pretty conservative company; and also it is a publicly traded company- so is it going to add shareholder value? A lot of outrageous rumors really don't seem to add any value to the company at all; why would Apple do them? And we're looking at a lot of the rumors have to do with updates; say new I-Macs, new Mac-Books. I say look at the history and you can see a regular cycle of when they update the different product lines, and you can see it is really too early for them to do so. I can't believe how many rumors there are that there is going to be new I-Macs or Mac-Books; just a month or two after the last line has been released.
The second factor is sources: In other news areas sources are very important but Apple rumors don't seem to care. Make sure there are multiple sources and they seem like credible sources. Sometimes if you trace a story back, you find there is no source at all- just somebody speculating.
The third factor is technology. Does the rumor mean that Apple's gonna have to make more than one than one leap in technology? If so, then it's probably not true. And also does the technology already exist out there? Apple very rarely comes out with a completely new piece of technology that's never been seen before. Usually you can find the piece of technology somewhere else by another company; perhaps unsuccessfully.
So looking at sources; there are several bad sources of information out there that people keep using to base rumors on. For instance: Apple store employees. They're not told anything more than you are and they usually don't even know about new products until they arrive on the loading dock that morning. Another place are analysts. Analysts don't have any inside information- they simply speculate and if you read the reports, they say they're speculating. But people will take their information literally and base rumors on it. A third is book publishers, who will often schedule books that are on new products or new revisions of operating systems or computers. But they're actually just trying to figure out when Apple's gonna come out with new stuff like you are. Another source are inside sources in Apple. But think about it- if somebody gets caught leaking information from Apple, they lose their job and probably will lose their career. So, why would somebody risk that just for the fun of leaking some information? It's not very likely. Also patent applications are a common root of rumors; but Apple patents all sorts of things. They have a huge research and development department and often patent things that they're working on simply so they can have that patent and then can't later be sued by somebody else who patents it later. And also there's a lot of pictures and videos out there that are simply just fakes-beware of them. 90%+ maybe close to 100% of these leaked images are simply fakes that somebody created just to get attention.
But there are some sources that have proven to be pretty good over the years. For instance: Leaks from either factories or stores. For instance a factory making an order for a new screen or a new processor that may point to a device that Apple's rumored to be working on. Also, in store sometimes the get inventory items showing up in their computers a couple days before Apple actually releases them.
Another good source at least for verifying rumors is Apple itself in its quarterly reports. Sometimes they'll report that next quarter is going to be pretty good because they're coming out with something new or they're working on new products in a certain sector; and these of course are always true because Apple is stating them definitively. Another place is leaks between companies. Apple may be working with another company on something and an insider there may leak information; not being under the threat of losing his or her job as they would if they worked for Apple. And lastly, their software hooks. A lot of bits of software have hooks in it for new products that aren't out there yet, and when people find these usually it's a pretty good indicator that a rumor may be true- or at least it's very likely.
So if you look at the three main factors I named: likeliness, sources, and technology; they must always tell you if the rumor is valid or not. Every once in awhile they fall short; like the initial release of the I Phone. It was a pretty radical departure from things Apple had done in the past, so it really didn't fit under that criteria- so every once in a while Apple throws a curve ball.
Looking at the tablet rumors; it does seem that this makes sense. After all, most of the technology most of the technology in the software was already there in Snow Leopard, Apple already has a similar device in the I-Pod touch, and there's been tablets out for both Windows and on devices like the Kindle for a while now. So it's not a radical departure and it can be seen how this could add shareholder value.
So, I'd like to hear from you. Comment on this post at MacMost.com and let me know what other factors you look for in telling if a rumor is valid or not. Till next time, this is Gary Rosenzweig with MacMost Now.

Comments: 3 Responses to “MacMost Now 315: Telling Good Apple Rumors From Bad”

    Randallg
    11/6/09 @ 8:13 pm

    Yeah I agree with your thoughts on this one. The issue is that there are now so many Apple rumor sites now that they need content to keep visitors clicking through to generate ad revenue…so there is an incentive to keep up with the content no matter how baseless it is.

    There is also need by dedicated “Mac Fans” for a continual flow of ‘news’ and rumor to satisfy their thirst for all things Apple so they lap up this content (just about any content) at all.

    David Beck
    11/6/09 @ 11:06 pm

    I also ask if Apple has something to add that others don’t.

    When it comes to the tablet, I don’t think Apple will release one. I am sure that they are testing the idea and making prototypes, but tablets haven’t been very successful.

    I used to have a Lenovo tablet that was really fun to play with and really cool, but once the wow factor wore off, I ended up using just like any other laptop.

    What really makes me laugh is the rumors that the tablet will be $600.

    feha
    11/8/09 @ 6:11 pm

    Hi
    I really like your podcasts.

    Found it here:

    http://feedpixel.com/?ch=145

    thanks

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