This week’s Apple rumors have a hard on for hardware.
WWDC came and went without a single mention of new hardware, which means the Apple rumor mill is going nuts for every little juicy detail about new iPhones, MacBook Airs, and even the tiny Touch ID.
Once again, we’re donning our finest gypsy apparel and stepping behind the crystal ball to divine the truth behind this week’s most plausible and impossible rumors to see what Jony Ive is really cooking up on the Design Lab kitchen table.
Come see which rumors are guaranteed to materialize and which are about to vanish like ghosts. Stare into our crystal ball to see past the rumors and into the future…
iOS 8 beta 3 is on hold
The Rumor: Apple won't release iOS 8 beta 3 until July 8th.
The Verdict: Most likely. Apple usually releases iOS betas like clockwork -- every two weeks for the first couple builds -- but BGR claims we won't see iOS 8 beta 3 until July 8th. Not very surprising considering July 4th is coming up next Friday and half of Cupertino will be out enjoying the summer sun before getting back to work on iOS 8 for the fall.
The Rumor: More durable Touch IDs are coming to the iPad
The Verdict: Definitely. Not only will Apple add TouchID to all iPads this fall, ChinaTimes says Apple and its manufacturers have focused on making internal modifications so the fingerprint scanner is more durable. Home buttons, power buttons, and volume buttons break more than any other iPhone component, so you can bet Apple is working on ways to reduce Genius Bar repairs by making parts last longer.
Beefier screen with beefier storage?
The Rumor: The 5.5-inch iPhone 6 will have up to 128GB of storage
The Verdict: I'm a believer. The iPad has carried 128GB of storage for over a year. It's time to bring it to the iPhone, which is just what will happen this fall according to Feng.com. The site also claims the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 will only have a maximum of 64GB of storage, giving you one more incentive to buy an iPhablet and a pair of cargo shorts to carry the beast around in.
Not too big, not too small
The Rumor: Production of the 12-inch MacBook Air will begin next quarter.
The Verdict: Why? The often unreliable DigiTimes says Apple is making a 12-inch MacBook Air "to fill the gap between the 11 and 13-inch MacBook Airs," but unless it comes with a Retina display and kills off the 11-incher in the process, it's hard to see Apple fattening up its offerings with a new MacBook that's just slightly bigger than the cheapest model.
Another double iPhone launch this fall
The Rumor: Both the 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 units will launch simultaneously.
The Verdict: Too early to tell. We've heard for weeks that production issues will cause the 5.5-inch iPhone to come out a month or so later than the 4.7-inch iPhone 6, but Bloomberg reports production plans are already underway for both devices and they should land at the same time. If they do hit Apple Store stockrooms at the same time, its most likely the iPhablet will be harder to come by during the first few weeks, just like getting your mitts on a gold iPhone 5s last fall was a feat worthy of an Olympic medal.
HomeKit hardware coming soon
The Rumor: Apple is building its own "mainstream" hardware products that are built specifically for HomeKit.
The Verdict: Definitely. Apple made an interesting decision to pass up on acquiring Nest and its home automation products, but according to The Information, Apple is readying its own lineup of hardware for HomeKit.
9to5Mac seconded the report and says Apple's 'mainstream' HealthKit hardware won't compete directly with the Nest thermostat, but they don't have any clues yet on what kind of new products it's working on. Apple definitely has something in development, but with the iPhone 6, iPad, iWatch, and maybe even 12-inch MacBooks coming out soon, we won't likely see the HomeKite hardware this year.
The 5.5-inch iPhone will have a unique camera?
The Rumor: Optical image stabilization will only be available on the 5.5-inch iPhone 6.
The Verdict: Maybe. Apple makes camera improvements to the iPhone every year, and while the smaller iPhone 6 could still get a better sensor, fancier lens, and improved color balance, bringing optical image stabilization to the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 exclusively would be a major bummer for users who want the best camera Apple has to offer, but hate the idea of carrying around an iPhablet just to get it.
iPhone 6 liftoff in September?
The Rumor: iPhone 6 will launch on September 19th
The Verdict: Too soon to tell. Every summer the 'When Will Apple Launch the Next iPhone' guessing games begin, and first up to the plate this year is the Chinese site Laoyaoba. They've pegged the launch date for September 19th. We're still months away, so it's impossible to tell if this is valid or if Apple has even set a date internally, so until we get a Jim Dalrymple 'yep' on this, we'll hold off on clearing our calendars.