As we approach the time when Apple is expected to launch two of its flagship products for 2011 — the iPhone 5 and the iPad 2 — the rumors around the company, its plans, the products’ features and the launch dates are entering a frenzy matched perhaps only by high profile celebrity rumor mills. Be the first to know about iPad 2 and iPhone 5, the legendary Apple machine to compete most wanted gadget 2011. The rumored iPad 2 release delay could mean that Apple has changed its mind about a number of factors regarding its tablet plans in response
The Apple rumor economy has always been fascinating. More so than any other company, people obsess over little tidbits of information which may be true, may be half true, may be half false, or may be totally made up.
It is at this point that, to paraphrase the legendary post-modern saying, the rumors get so intense that everything is pointless. Even if you’re closely following Apple, which keeps its secrets behind a tightly locked 10-inch-thick steel door, it’s getting hard to track every single rumor about the upcoming products, and it’s even harder to discern which of them could be true.
We cannot be certain what features the iPhone 5 and the iPad 2 will have. Hell, we don’t know for sure that these products even exist. The rumors themselves, however, follow an interesting set of patterns that seem to reappear every time an Apple product is about to be launched.
1. The Age of Innocence
At this early stage, actual products are several months away, and the only palpable data anyone really has is the timing of Apple’s yearly events, such as the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference. It is also at this time when the rumors actually make the most sense, as analysts and media outlets take the obvious picks. The new iPhone, you will often read at this time, will have a better camera, a faster processor and more memory.
Well, duh. The features sound good, but they’re also so obvious that anyone could’ve predicted them. While the predictions at this stage are often correct, they only point toward an evolutionary product release, which Apple often does.
2. The Advent of 3D Models
This is where the 3D Studio Max and Illustrator wizards take the matter into their hands. Why wait for the official pictures of the new devices when you can imagine them yourself, thinner and more beautiful than they can ever be in reality?
The models get better as the first images that relate to the new product start to trickle onto the Internet. A case seemingly designed for the next generation of iPad will set a whole new wave of 3D model creation in motion, and soon we’ll have some models that look like they could be the real thing. But the real thing, as it almost invariably turns out, is often so much more perfect than any 3D model could be. The images you see at this stage of the Apple rumor mill will be enough to sate your brain for a little while, but you will forget them all the second Apple shows us the actual design.
3. The Stage of Wild Predictions
We have recently entered the third stage, perhaps the most tiresome of them all. Rumors abound at this time, and it is no longer enough to go with the obvious picks; if you want to start a good rumor, you have to go for something wild. The new iPad will not have a camera, and Apple is about to release a very, very small version of the iPhone that needs to be installed under your skin — these are the type of rumors you are likely to encounter at this time.
One could also call this stage the Age of Opposites. Everything you thought was true might be wrong, or so you will be told. Is the new iPhone really a phone? Has Apple completely given up on the concept of data storage? Just like in George Orwell’s 1984, you will learn to doublethink — two completely opposite concepts will suddenly start making sense in your head. And this is the perfect setup for…
4. The Dark Age of Chaos
Yes, this is the time when tech media journalists get physically sick when they hear words starting with “i,” while the readers repeatedly bash them for being Apple fanboys. The rumors have stopped making sense a long time ago, but you still cling onto them. With a mad look in your eyes and a hint of a snicker on your lips, you refresh the Google Reader on your iPad, looking for a new glimmer of hope on that 8-megapixel iPhone camera you’ve been craving.
The worst part is that this is when some data about the upcoming products actually leaks. Now you have to change everything you’ve believed in, but are you strong enough to do that? Isn’t it easier to just keep on living the dream in which the next iPad has a 2 GHz quad-core CPU, more RAM than your desktop computer and a screen with more pixels than the current state of technology can possibly allow?
5. The Silence Before the Storm
The time is near. Apple has actually set a date, and now most readers, analysts and media outlets are collectively: a) sick of predictions and, b) explored every possible rumor avenue. It is now pointless to fabricate any new rumors, and even if you do, the actual product launch is so close that the exhausted Apple fanbase is more content to wait for the real thing than to live in the fantasy world.
This is, by far, the most rewarding part of being a journalist and a tech media reader: finally, you get some well-deserved rest. We’re not quite here yet, but when we do reach this point, do yourself a favor: have a night out, drink a couple of drinks, forget about Apple. The truth will be revealed soon, and you’ve earned it.Continue Reading