WWDC Rumor Roundup

WWDC WWDC is a week-long event with over a 100 sessions of which the Keynote is just one of them. It is for both iOs and OsX developers There will be sessions on everything from developing graphical applications including game, media rich books, video and audio application to sessions for Web kit developers and how to make money by using StoreKit.

We already know that both Mountain Lion and iOS 6 will be front and center in both the keynote and the various sessions. If you read the Apple about WWDC page it is also clear that they will be emphasizing the retina display and how to take advantage of it. Another point of emphasis will be the integration of social media including Twitter. It is rumored that Facebook integration will be introduced, however that has not been confirmed. Even Tim Cook has admitted that Ping, which was Apple latest attempt to make iTunes social has been less than successful. It appears that Apple has given up creating its own social network and instead is concentrating on integrating already existing social networks into its ecosystem. I think this makes sense, social networks have never been Apple’s strength. Apple will probably also announce its own mapping solution under iOs 6 removing its dependence on Google maps.

These are things we know are going to be introduced at WWDC unless something unforeseen happens, but what about the unconfirmed rumors. The first is Siri for iPad. This is most likely just for the current iPad and iPad 2, but not for the original iPad. I have to admit being an owner of an iPad, but not an iPhone I am looking forward to trying Siri out, although I am not sure what I will use it for. Also under iOs 6,  A Do not Disturb, mode for reminders appears be coming. I would love it if they would add a clear all box to reminders, so I didn’t have to click on each section.  Some people expect iCloud to be upgraded to include new web apps including notes and reminders. Since Mobile Me is shutting down at the end of June it would not be surprising to see an enhanced photo sharing option under iCloud to replace it.

Most people also expect new hardware to be released during the week of WWDC including new Macbook Airs, Mac Pros and MacBook Pros. Some of the upgrades that are rumored are the introduction of USB 3.0, the employment of Intel’s Ivy Bridge CPUs, retina display in a notebook, and the 17-inch Macbook being discontinue. All these rumors have their plus and minuses, which Techcrunch does a good job at articulating in the post Which Apple WWDC Rumors Are Most Likely to Come True. Most people don’t expect the new iPhone to be introduced at WWDC, although out of focus pictures of iPhone 5 parts keep showing up on the Web. The Boy Genus site says that Apple will release an SDK for the current Apple TV to third-party developers.  This would open it up to third-party applications. If this happens, some people see it as a step toward the release of the mythical stand alone Apple TV. There are even a few who expect the mythical stand alone Apple TV to be introduced at WWDC. I do hope the SDK rumor is true, the current Apple TV has so much potential if only Apple would open it up to developers.

How many of these rumors will come true, only Apple knows, however there are a couple of things I can guarantee.  The first is that there will probably be at least one surprise. The second is there will also be at least one rumor that will not come true because of a last-minute hiccup. Third the various tech sites will spend at least a week after WWDC talking about where Apple failed and why. Finally there will be an in-depth analysis clearly showing that Apple is falling apart because Tim Cook’s hair was out-of-place or his shirt was untucked or a slide didn’t work perfectly during the keynote.  All I know is at 1 pm EST on Monday I will probably have one of the many tech sites who will be live blogging the keynote open and TWiT.tv  playing in the background. How about you?  If you are a Mac user have you been following the rumors and will you be following the keynote live.

A Facebook Mobile Phone?

New rumors have been coming out in the last couple of days that Facebook is going to build their own mobile phone. That they have been headhunting Apple engineers who worked on the iPhone. During the initial interviews they are being asked specific questions that only would be asked by someone who was building a mobile phone. Like a lot of people I was confused about why Facebook a social media company would want to build a mobile phone, then I thought about the one thing that Facebook is known for and that is control. Currently, Facebook apps are limited by the platform they are on whether Android, iPhone, Rim or Windows Mobile. There are things they may want to do but they can’t because of the limitations the iOs puts on them.

Facebook on the web is built to be a walled garden, where a person could spend their whole time on line there. As an app on a mobile phone that they don’t control the walled garden has a gaping hole in it. If they build their own mobile phone, then they control the platform, the message and therefore the consumer. This would give them a captured audience they can market mobile ads too, something those who have invested in Facebook have been looking for.

The problem with this idea, is there is no indication that the consumer is calling for a Facebook phone. Facebook will have to persuade both the consumer to buy a Facebook phone and developers to develop on the Facebook platform. Developers who are already spread thin working on the iPhone, Android and the Window Mobile platform. Also do the carriers want another platform to deal with. I think most Facebook users would rather Facebook concentrate on improving the apps that already exist.

I Hate Rumors, Yet I Hate Thieves Even More

*NOTE* Upon publishing this piece, another rumor had sprung up that Gizmodo paid $10,000 to gain access to the next generation iPhone.


There is one thing that really gets my goat when I read the news section – The inundation of  “Rumors”. One person says the right words on the right blog and everyone jumps on; Next thing you know, multiple articles on something that no-one has confirmation on.

With this weekend’s speculation took a new level as physical evidence of a certain Apple item was found. Instead of taking a couple pictures and reporting the item found, the device was dismantled and reviewed, then returned. We look at this as if it should be considered a criminal act, that is unless Apple takes full advantage of the rumors that happen…

Let’s review this weekend’s news – Someone was in a bar in California and all of a sudden looks down. They see someone else’s phone in a iPhone 3G phone case. Instead of taking that phone over to the bartender or police officer, they decide to open it up and see if they can rummage through to find a name. What they found was an iPhone that looked a little different than the current models. Could it be the next iPhone?

Well, that person then took the phone and somehow (since we don’t know the actual person that found it) Gizmodo got their hands on it and decided to disassemble the device. So would that be against the law to do?

Most people decide to use the “Finders, keepers – Losers, weepers” analogy. However, California has a statute on lost and unclaimed property. You can read the Civil Code Section 2080-2080.10 at Justica.com. Let’s take a look at the code and see how this applies.

The Civil Code:

Of course, before we move forward, I have to say I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV. I can only interpret the codes as best as possible. I have called a few law offices to try and get some clarification, but the understanding is this: a Civil Code is not a law, but can result in legal action of some kind. Now, with that said:

2080. Any person who finds a thing lost is not bound to take charge of it, unless the person is otherwise required to do so by contract or law, but when the person does take charge of it he or she is thenceforward a depositary for the owner, with the rights and obligations of a depositary for hire. Any person or any public or private entity that finds and takes possession of any money, goods, things in action, or other personal property, or saves any domestic animal from harm, neglect, drowning, or starvation, shall, within a reasonable time, inform the owner, if known, and make restitution
without compensation, except a reasonable charge for saving and taking care of the property. Any person who takes possession of a live domestic animal shall provide for humane treatment of the animal.

What does that mean? Well, simply put, you must make an effort to find it’s owner. You should not expect any compensation other than any charges you incur for taking care of the item. For example: If it was a puppy you found, you should be compensated if you bought dog food, a collar or any other item that keeps the dog safe while you look for the owner.

Keep in mind the most likely owner of this device is Apple. Let’s continue:

2080.1. (a) If the owner is unknown or has not claimed the property, the person saving or finding the property shall, if the property is of the value of one hundred dollars ($100) or more, within a reasonable time turn the property over to the police department of the city or city and county, if found therein, or to the sheriff’s department of the county if found outside of city limits, and shall make an affidavit, stating when and where he or she found or saved the property, particularly describing it. If the property was saved, the affidavit shall state:

  1. From what and how it was saved.
  2. Whether the owner of the property is known to the affiant.
  3. That the affiant has not secreted, withheld, or disposed of any part of the property.
    1. The police department or the sheriff’s department shall notify the owner, if his or her identity is reasonably ascertainable, that it possesses the property and where it may be claimed. The police department or sheriff’s department may require payment by the owner of a reasonable charge to defray costs of storage and care of the property.

Well that means if the property is over $100, you need to turn it over to the police within a reasonable amount of time. They will then hold said item for a 90 day period as they find the owner.  If you know who the owner is, you should disclose that.  The police would then begin the search. In 2080.3, it says if the value is over $250, the police would then increase the search by placing an ad in the paper. That is, unless they do know who the item belongs to. That, once again, would be Apple.

Disassembly:

So instead of taking this device to the proper authorities, it was given to Gizmodo, who decided to disassemble and research it. They said so here:

We’re as skeptical—if not more—than all of you. We get false tips all the time. But after playing with it for about a week—the overall quality feels exactly like a finished final Apple phone—and disassembling this unit, there is so much evidence stacked in its favor, that there’s very little possibility that it’s a fake.

They go on to say they have been contacted by Apple and that the company wants the device back. Of course, we don’t know if that happened before or after Gizmodo took the week to disassemble and review the item. I would venture a guess that it was after the fact, otherwise, the phone would be retrieved within a few hours and we would have seen pictures only. Even if  the iPhone was a fake –  That would be for Apple to determine, not Gizmodo.

Profiting by Loss:

While it’s not direct profit, Engadget (who first posted pictures) and Gizmodo are apparently profiting on this device. Not by reward, but by reporting. Ad revenues from users coming on the site to look at the supposed next gen iPhone.

The Rumor Mill as News

Of course, this brought the Apple rumor mill a buzzing once again. Not as bad as the iPad, but still just as annoying. Google news has this article on their top news stories of the day.

Fact: I scan the news everyday looking for items to talk about. I don’t think I’ve seen a day in the last 6 months where an Apple rumor has not been in the top news stories. Why is that? Do we not have good news to talk about?

If you look at the Top stories of the Nation, U.S. or Local, rumors are not present – especially not every day for over 6 months. It seems that the only place the rumor mill really churns is on the Tech side. That is a trend that needs to stop.

Does Apple push the Rumor Mill?

When the iPad rumor really hit in December, Apple stock went up to $209 a share – $6.94 in one day. Today it sits at $243 – Down from Friday’s $251 / share price. This new rumor could push up Apple – and other stocks. For instance, if Gizmodo was to have thrown down a “4G” word in their article (which they did not, but other sites like PCWorld did), I would venture a guess to see Sprint get a big boost in the market.

Let’s speculate for a second. What if, instead of “finding” the new iPhone, an Apple exec sat in a bar with someone and said “Here is the new prototype. Make sure you get this into a reporter’s hands.” They then set the wheels rolling for new anticipation of the next big Apple device.

While that statement cannot be confirmed or denied, the end result is the same – Apple continues to top the Tech news with rumors.

When the Rumors Stop, will Apple come tumbling down?

A very good question to ponder. In the last 5 years, it seems Apple does have advantage when it comes to making rumors become news. We hear of rumors from other tech companies, but no one has had staying power than Apple has. So if Apple cannot spin a good rumor for a product, could we see the company start to take a major dive?

The Good Rumors with the Bad

Some of those rumors in the past never came to fruition. Remember the clamshell iPhone? How about the iPhone mini rumors – They even had a story where China was making mini phone cases in anticipation. I wonder if that company is still in existence…

The iPad rumor actually was around for over a year before Steve Jobs showed it off to the public. It didn’t really ramp up until December of 2009, where more confirmations could be made. However, if January 27 was to have come and gone without an iPad announced, we could have seen a different outcome – One where investors would be really upset.

While my humble opinion is that I don’t care for the rumor mill, it seems to drive the tech industry. Whereas someone can take another’s intellectual property and rip it apart before returning it, then they should face consequences to said actions. Google should stop allowing these rumors in their news feeds (unless they turn into actual news, example: If Gizmodo was charged for dismantling the device they found).

Alas, rumors – Especially Apple rumors – will continue. People will continue to “obtain” not-yet released items and report them. We will read and discuss. Rinse and repeat.