Apple today announced the eighth annual iTunes Festival in London with a whole bunch of massive acts already confirmed. Those lucky enough to bag tickets will see the likes of Pharrell Williams, Maroon 5, Kylie, Sam Smith, and Blondie.
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The wackiest Apple rumors in history
From personal computers and smartphones, to tablets and wearables, half the fun of following Apple is trying to figure out where it's going to go next.
Looking back through the Cult of Mac archives, a lot of the rumors we've brought to light over the years did hint at innovations that eventually found their ways into the sweaty hands of excited customers. But every once in a while a rumor comes along that's so ridiculous it can't possibly be true. And more often than not, that's exactly the case.
Check out our gallery for our picks of top Apple rumors that turned out to be totally wide of the mark.
Apple’s going to reinvent the television set
Apple TV is still awaiting its apparently game-centric overhaul, but the Apple TV this rumor’s about is the long-awaited Apple television set we’ve heard reports of for years now. Of all the reports we’ve heard, the most oddly specific was one from analyst Peter Misek. He claimed Apple would make a television “display, gaming center, media hub, computer, home automator, etc.” that would retail for $1,250, bring in 30 percent gross margins, feature IGZO panels from Sharp, and be called the iPanel. Oh yes, and Apple was building 5 million of them in May 2012.
Of course, absolutely none of this wound up happening. Maybe the shipments sunk on their way over to Cupertino?
Apple plans to buy Disney
Disney is an entertainment giant. But with assets valued at a total of just (!) $81 billion, Apple could probably snap it up with the money Tim Cook uses to wedge his office door open with. There are people who will swear up and down that an Apple/Disney buyout makes perfect sense — particularly given Steve Jobs’ history as a major Disney shareholder.
Recently Francis McInerney, a consultant at North River Ventures, called the deal “frighteningly obvious” and said that “the logic is so great this could happen tomorrow.” Rumors of an Apple/Disney merger go back at least as far as 1999 when it was reported that Disney planned to acquire both Apple and Pixar in a $12 billion stock swap, with Steve Jobs being ordained CEO of the mega-company. Since then, this rumor has come back with surprising regularity — although it’s unknown exactly why Apple would be interested in running theme parks and making animated movies.
One iRing to rule them all
According to Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White earlier this year, Apple’s busy working on an “iRing" finger ring we’ll use to control our Apple devices with. The suggestion was so preposterous that even the usually poker-faced Tim Cook cracked a joke about it.
The reality is that much of the “digital hub” functionality that an iRing would have brought will likely be carried out by the iWatch when it finally surfaces. For those who really wanted this rumor to be true, however, never fear: several companies have created their own third-party iRings to bring this rumor to life.
The iPhone 6 is getting Dark Knight-style sonar mapping
At the end of Chris Nolan’s 2008 movie The Dark Knight there's a scene in which Batman uses Lucius Fox’s sonar concept to turn every cellphone in Gotham City into a huge sonar-based live map in order to find The Joker. Back in 2012 it was rumored that Apple was interested in applying that same technology to its then-a-gleam-in-Apple’s-eye iPhone 6 handset. The tech would allow Apple to integrate audio sensors into its displays, which could detect the proximity of objects to your iPhone: interrupting your podcast app to alert you that a fast-moving large object is approaching you, for example.
Now obviously it’s a bit difficult to disprove this report given that the iPhone 6 itself is still technically a rumor. This one was also based on an Apple patent, which shows that someone in Cupertino at least took it seriously enough to file the necessary paperwork. However, we’ve heard nothing about it since, while more and more details of the iPhone 6 have been leaking on what seems like a daily basis. Maybe one to chalk up for the unsubstantiated rumor pile!
Which is a real shame because if Apple could’ve figured out a way to license Morgan “Lucius Fox” Freeman’s voice for a next generation Siri the combo could have been a total crowd pleaser.
Tim Cook is leaving Apple
Greedy rumor-mongers didn’t even wait until Tim Cook started running the show at Apple to begin spreading rumors of his plans to quit. Back in 2010, investor gossip site Fly On The Wall wrongly suggested that Cook was off to join HP as its new CEO. (Gullible investors actually led to Apple stock dropping 20 points as a result.) Now that Cook is CEO it’s a bit more difficult to make those kinds of reports convincing, so the narrative has instead changed to suggest the Apple board is unhappy with Cook’s performance and plans to drop him at the earliest possible opportunity. Well, plenty of opportunities have presented themselves, but Cook’s still hanging on in there.
Maybe (shock horror!) people have realized he’s actually doing a pretty great job.
A Retina iMac?
There have been rumors of Retina iMacs practically since the day Apple announced Retina display was coming to iOS in 2010. Most of them have been complete nonsense, and Mac fans have had year after year of seeing their ultra-high-res hopes dashed whenever Apple would announce a new Mac product. Unlike pretty much every other item on this list, however, it looks like a Retina iMac may finally be happening, courtesy of recently discovered code in Apple's OS X 10.10 Yosemite beta. But maybe that’s just the optimism speaking...
Jay Z and Apple Starting A Record Label
Apple teams up with a super-wealthy rapper? It’ll never happen. Okay, so that’s probably what we would have written before Apple acquired the services of Dr. Dre courtesy of its $3 billion Beats deal earlier this year. That’s not the rumor we’re referring to though.
Back in the heady days of 2008, it was briefly reported that Apple was teaming with none other than Jay Z to launch a brand new music label. The “news” came off the back of Jay leaving his role of president at Def Jam, and was based on "a high-up person attached to Jay.” There was supposedly a business model and everything, but in the end this news lasted less time than Jay Z’s Black Album retirement.
Five years later, Samsung shelled out big bucks for a Jay Z exclusive promotion. Maybe someone at Samsung HQ was reading through old Apple rumors that day...Photo: MySpace
Apple going out of business
Over the years the reports of Apple's death have been greatly exaggerated.
According to the always entertaining Apple Death Knell Counter, Apple has been declared dead no less than 65 times since April, 1995. Usually the attempt of journalists looking to pick up click-throughs/sell books/make a fool of themselves, the disease can often manifest in business analysts, other CEOs, and generally anyone who should know better. A recent example? Trip Chowdhry, writing for CNBC, who sagely noted that Apple must come up with its debut wearables product within 60 days or it will perish. "It will take years for Apple's $130 billion in cash to vanish, but it will become an irrelevant company ... it will become a zombie, if they don't come up with an iWatch.” See what we mean?
Sadly these rumors won’t go anywhere, regardless of what AAPL stock prices do. Hey, at least they make amusing reading after the fact.
With the iPhone 6, the long-rumored iWatch and possibly a revamped Apple TV expected to be released this year, it’s safe to say Apple is hard at work. As the talk heats up regarding these new products, rumors and leaks spill into the mainstream, making it hard to keep up with it all.
Watch today’s Cult of Mac news roundup to hear all the latest news and rumors about Apple’s product pipeline. Catch the rundown for details on endurance-testing a sapphire display that’s supposedly for an iPhone 6, smart sweat sensors that might get added to the iWatch and the rest of this week’s big stories.
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Vimeo launched a redesigned version of its Apple TV channel today that gives the popular video service a streamlined new interface.
Heavy Vimeo users should find it easier to get to their own collections and likes, while more causal users will benefit from a monthly “Staff Favorites” collection and additional content curation.
“We took our old menu, cut it down to the essentials, and put it at the top of the screen for easy access,” said Vimeo’s Brad Dougherty. “Discover awesome videos, keep up with your feed, tackle your Watch Later queue, and quickly get to your own videos, likes, and collections.”
Tim Cook swears Apple TV isn’t just a hobby for the mothership anymore, but according to the latest estimates, it might be time for Apple unleashed some new non-hobby Apple TV features if it wants to catch up to Roku and Chromecast.
New data from Parks Associates reveals that while the Apple TV streaming box has been available for over seven years, Chromecast has already surged past Apple TV in 2013, making Google’s tiny stick the most popular streaming device in the U.S.
Seven years after the Apple TV launch, Google has announced Android TV software that will work with hardware from companies like Sony and Logitech. But how does the current Apple TV stack up to the new Android TV platform?
Today’s video shows off key features of Google’s latest attempt at ruling the living room, including some advances that might spur Apple to innovate once again when it comes to television.
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Apple is on a price-slashing spree this morning after taking down its online store for a few hours last night. Not only did Cupertino just release a cheaper low-end iMac, but it’s also dropping prices on the Apple TV and Mac mini across the UK and Europe.
Released as PS Vita TV in Japan, PlayStation TV will arrive in the U.S. and Canada this fall. It will allow users to stream games from their PS4 to other TVs in the house, thereby extending the gaming experience. It will also let you stream PS3 games and older classics via the forthcoming Playstation Now, which will presumably require no PS4. On top of this it will provide all the streaming services you’d expect from a set-top box, such as Netflix and Hulu.
Apple has made yet more improvements to AirPlay in iOS 8 by enabling compatible devices to make direct connections with each other for content streaming. This eliminates AirPlay’s reliance on a Wi-Fi network and fixes one of its biggest limitations.
After months of anticipation and countless rumors, Tim Cook and his merry band of Apple fellows are about to take the stage at San Francisco’s Moscone West to reveal the latest offerings coming out of Cupertino. It’s time for the Worldwide Developers Conference.
We’ll be covering the WWDC action here all morning with news and analysis on everything like iOS 8, OS X 10.10, Healthbook and whatever other goodies the mothership has prepared. The keynote starts at 10 a.m. Pacific, so bookmark this page and keep it open for a tidal wave of Apple news and insights.