It seems that, more and more, the Apple focused tech media has become inundated by coverage based on rumormongery. Of course, it’s understandable why this is happening. The simple fact of the matter is that advertising generates the revenue in this busines, and making money through advertising means maximizing page-views. Sadly, in our ever prurient tech press, nothing brings in the eyeballs like speculating on what Apple is going to do next.
The problem isn’t so much that rumor-based stories have become so prevalent. As explained in the above paragraph, that is to be expected. Additionally, here has always been a place for well crafted speculation in the Apple media. The problem, in my opinion, is how the less professional amongst the page—-view whores have created a small industry out of taking speculation and rumor and amplifying it into a frothing mass of insanity.
Case in point, the recent news and speculation regarding Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference and whether or not Apple will announce a new iPhone at the event.
On Monday Apple announced the dates for this year’s WWDC. The announcement can be viewed here. The tagline for the event is “Join us for a preview of the future of iOS and Mac OS X.”Following the announcement my pal Jim Dalrymple at The Loop posted an article claiming that the WWDC Keynote would not involve the announcement of new iPhone, iPad or Mac hardware.
Now, I want to be clear here. I have no reason to doubt Jim on this issue. There are probably less than five Apple pundits who’s sources and analysis I trust implicitly, and Jim is one of them. If Jim says that his sources are telling him that this year’s WWDC Keynote is going to be hardware free, then I have no doubt that this will be the case.
Note, though, what Jim isn’t saying. He isn’t saying that there won’t be an announcement of the next iPhone sometime before WWDC. Nor is he saying that Apple won’t hold a separate event the week after WWDC (and don’t ink for a moment that Apple is incapable of doing something like that). All that we know, to the extent that we trust Jim’s sources is that the announcement won’t be during the WWDC Keynote. To be clear, I’m not saying that either of those scenarios is likely, just that they are conceivably possible based on the information we have now.
Of course, that won’t stop the impending deluge of idiotic speculation based on the small bit of rumor—and understand that, sources not withstanding, this is a rumor until it’s either confirmed by Apple or the Keynote ends. Even within the comments to the post on The Loop the speculation has begun that this “delay” is due to Apple waiting until they can include the mythical Near Field Communication unicorn, or because they’re waiting for AT&T’s 4g LTE rollout to achieve sufficient density (ignoring that that won’t happen until mid-2012), or because of the quake in Japan.
Expect the next few days to be chock-full of worthless articles with headlines shouting “REPORT,” and “CONFIRMED” all based on nothing more than Jim’s report and a typically information-free Apple press release. All of them will be utter shit.
But hey, the page-views must flow.