The best and worst sources for this year's hottest iPhone and Apple watch rumors

Crystal Baller: Biggest winners and losers in the iPhone rumor game

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Tim Cook put an end to iPhone 6 rumor season with the introduction of two monstrous new smartphones this week in Cupertino, but before we dive head first into another 12 months of crazy iPhone and Watch rumors, let's take a look back at this year's most popular rumors and see which sources in the Apple rumormill were spitting out truth, and which sources should probably be avoided when the next crop of rumors pop up.
These crazy Russians not only have one of the most fascinating business models that spits out $10k customized iPhones, they're also the undisputed winners of this year's iPhone rumor season thanks to a series of high-quality leak components. The site had everything: shells, logic boards, flex cables, camera modules, a display. They even made a working iPhone 6 before Tim Cook revealed it on September 9th.
Gordon Kelly at Forbes tried to argue that Apple was ditching the headphone jack this year after seeing MFi specifications that let headphones use the Lightning Port, but there's only one company that's introduced Lightning Headphones so far, and it wasn't even Beats. The 3.5mm headphone jack still remains on the iPhone, however there were some rumors that Jony wanted to ditch it for a 2.5mm headphone port, but figured we'd all be too pissed about having to buy new cables, or an adapter.

Many Apple reporters consider Ming "the world's best Apple analyst" which isn't a hard title to earn when your competition just throws out bullshit ideas about Apple 24/7. The KGI analyst knocked himself off that #1 spot this year by throwing a hail mary prediction right before the Apple event, and it completely bombed.

Kuo predicted gold iPad Airs at this week's event, a programmable power button, and said the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 wouldn't launch alongside the 4.7-inch iPhone. All wrong. He did manage to successfully predict 128GB storage on all iPhones, rectangular iWatch design, and that not every iWatch would have sapphire glass, but those were all rumored before his reports.

Analysts have cried "NFC if coming" for years "based on supply chain sources" but GeekBar was the first source to find definitive proof. They also scored a couple other scoops like the 150 Mbps LTE modem from Qualcomm that went against other rumors of a 300Mbps modem, and the addition of a barometer, thanks to their keen eye at viewing Apple schematics.
Apple's got one of the most passionate support communities out there. So why not highlight it?
Analyst Brian Blair of Rosenblatt Securities got back from a trip to Taiwan claiming he'd seen evidence from the supply chain that iWatch would be round, but like we've said a thousand times on this site, "supply chain sources" mean next to nothing when it comes to the accuracy of Apple rumors.
John Gruber nailed the iPhone 6 screen resolution in his deep think piece on double and triple pixeling, but when it came to the 6 Plus resolution, everyone was off the mark. 9to5Mac reported a 1704 x 960 resolution was being used, while Chinese sources went even bigger with a quad-HD 2560 x 1440 prediction. All of them were off though, as Apple used a 1920-by-1080 pixel display for its gigantic new phone.
You did it NFC! After more than four years of hounding the Apple rumor mill with your promised presence in the iPhone, you finally made it. What's going to take the NFC's place as the most popular rumor least likely to come true for the next four year? My bet is on haptic feedback.
It's the rumor pretty much every Apple analysts and blogger in the world predicted for the last 8 months and everyone got it wrong.
Chinese site Laoyaoba declared that the iPhone 6 had a secret weapon with advanced haptic feedback technology that made it feel like the screen had buttons on it, but September 9th came and went without any mention of the tech.
Double down indeed. Not one glimpse of the Apple Watch was leaked to the press or even Chinese manufacturers ahead of this week. No one got the name of Apple Pay right. And who could have predicted the Digital Crown as the UI input for smartwatches? Say what you will about the new products, but Steve's secrecy machine is on point like never before.

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