Crystal Baller: Big-ass iPad and 5 other crazy Apple rumors

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The week's top Apple rumors

Stare deeply into the crystal ball ...

Hi-def audio coming to iTunes

The rumor: iTunes will offer high-fidelity audio files to iOS 8 users along with some new EarPods designed to accommodate high-quality audio playback.

The verdict: Neil Young's Pono player rekindled consumers' interest in high-def audio a few months ago, but the "iTunes is getting HD audio" rumors have been around for years. With Beats coming on board maybe this is the perfect time for Apple to boost its music quality, but Macotakara's rumor record is pretty shaky. Don't get your hopes up.

Split-screen paradise?

The rumor: To answer the multitasking trash talk of Microsoft and Samsung, iOS 8 will add split-screen multitasking to boost iPad productivity.

The verdict: It's about damn time, but our own Alex Heath says unless Apple also has a big-ass iPad up its sleeve, split-screening is a waste of time.

Big-ass iPad on its way?

The rumor: Images of an alleged "iPad Pro" rear shell land on Chinese website Weibo, adding to speculation that Apple is prepping a 12.9-inch slate.

The verdict: There's no way the Weibo image is a genuine Apple product. At best it's a dummy part based on assumed specs; at worst it's just a Photoshop job.

iPhone resolution boost

The rumor: The iPhone 6 will come with a 1,704 x 960 screen resolution and keep the same 16:9 aspect ratio Apple introduced with the iPhone 5.

The verdict:  Copious leaks erupting out of China show Apple is definitely working on a large iPhone. Both a 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch display would deliver Retina-worthy pixel densities if Apple uses pixel-tripling mode to scale iOS, as detailed by 9to5Mac. This would also match iPhone schematics that have allegedly leaked. Get ready for tons of extra pixels on your new iPhone.

Not feeling NFC

The rumor: iPhone 6 will finally get near field communication just so China UnionPay customers can use one of the 3 million QuickPass machines in mainland China.

The verdict: NFC is dead. Bluetooth LE and iBeacons are the future. Why would Apple add old technology to the iPhone 6 when it could have included it in the iPhone 3Gs, 4, 4s & 5, at a time everyone swore NFC was the next big thing? It wouldn't. No matter how many QuickPasses China has.

Dr. Dre at WWDC?

The rumor: Dr. Dre will hit the stage at the Worldwide Developers Conference when Apple reveals its Beats acquisition.

The verdict: Billboard's track record covering music rumors is top-notch but if Dr. Dre is coming to WWDC, we hope he brings some special guests with him like Kendrick Lamar. He's the hottest MC around, has an album coming out, and is from the same city as Apple's new Resident MC. Forget a 13-inch iPad, I'd rather see a K.Dot & Dre show as this year's "one more thing."

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We get slammed 24/7 with new Apple rumors. Some are accurate, most are not. To give you a clue about what’s really coming out of Cupertino in the future, we’re busting out our rumor debunker each week to blow up the nonsense.