Crystal Baller: New iMacs, NFC madness, and other crazy Apple rumors



Five juicy new rumors await you behind the crystal ball.

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.

This week the rumor mill has been busy spitting out new details on practically every Apple product. From delays with the Apple TV revamp, to clues a new Mac Minis and 27-inch iMacs waiting for launch. Of course there are also some new iWatch rumors and a possible launch date for the iPhone 6, but you’ll have to slide up to crystal ball to see which of these rumors has what it takes to go all the way, and which ones about to fade away like ghosts.

Apple TV revamp delayed

The Rumor; The huge Apple TV revamp has been delayed again thanks to stalled negotiations with cable companies.

The Verdict:This looks promising. We’ve heard about Apple’s supposed redesign of the Apple TV for two years now, but the cable companies keep getting in the way, and it looks like this year the Time Warner-Comcast merger is making some executives drag their feet on inking the deals Apple needs to create the service it wants.

If a new Apple TV doesn’t come by the end of 2014, expect to hear about it at the beginning of 2015. Maybe that will give Apple enough time to add third-party apps and a SDK. Pretty please?

Illustration: Martin Hajek

More NFC madness

The Rumor:Bare iPhone 6 logic board hints at upcoming NFC support.

The Verdict: Don’t get your hopes up, yet. We’ve seen the NFC rumor pop up quite a few times already during this year’s iPhone rumor season, and even though these bare logic boards provide the most convincing evidence yet, until we see an actual NFC chip, or hear the words “near field communication support” stumble from Tim Cooks lips, we just can’t find any hope in our hearts that 2014 is really going to be the year the iPhone gets NFC. And at this point, I’m pretty sure no one wants it - unless it’s all tied into Apple’s incredible mobile payments service.

Genius spills the beans

The Rumor: Apple retail employees think the iPhone 6 will launch on October 14th.

The Verdict: Probably not. Apple Store employees are kept completely in the dark on new product launches until they’re announced. It’s rumored that the iPhone 6 announcement will happen in mid-September, putting its launch date about two weeks later if Apple follows it normal routine. The company also prefers to launch new iPhones on Fridays to take advantage of sales over the weekend, but October 14th is a Tuesday, making it horribly unsuitable for a launch date.

Sapphire-less iWatches

The Rumor: At least half of finished iWatch products will ship with glass covers instead of sapphire.

The Verdict: Too early to tell. Along with lowering his estimate of iWatch sales for 2014 down to 3 million, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims that not all iWatches will get a sapphire glass display because of production issues with the ultra durable glass.

We’ve heard for months that sapphire production issues have plagued both the iWatch and iPhone 6. It seems that GT Advanced Technologies has finally come up with a solution to make a sapphire protective film, but it might not be ready for mass production until early 2015.

iMacs and Mac Minis enroute

The Rumor:New 27-inch iMacs and a Mac Mini will be released in “mid-2014.”

The Verdict:Believe it. Apple left a smoking gun on its support forums that it plans to release a new Mac Mini and 27-inch iMac by the end of the year. Both will probably just be modest hardware upgrades, though we wouldn’t mind seeing a sleeker Mac Mini and Retina iMac if Jony’s got them ready in the design lab.

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  • RB

    Apple TV… I bought one a few months ago and was seriously un-impressed. I will say it helped with streaming of Netflix. The remotes features suck. Love my Apple products but this get’s a 5 out of 10.