Hello, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to “This Week In Apple Rumors”, a regular look back at all of the week’s unconfirmed gossip, questionably-sourced reports, and blatant speculation about future Apple products from around the Web! Let’s take a look back at what the various Apple blogs and websites were excited about in the past week, from December 30, 2012 -January 5, 2013!
1- More Cold Water On That Apple Television Rumor:
That mythical, mystical, wondrous Apple television we keep writing about? It sure doesn’t look like it’s going to be ready this year.
Following a similar rumor from last week, based on a report from the Asian supply chain, BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield wrote in an investor’s note (as reported by BGR) that he just doesn’t see Apple releasing its so-called “iTV” in 2013. He chalks it up to the troubled negotiations Apple has had with networks, which have been well-documented: Apple is heavily rumored to want to break up the standard channel delivery method (in expensive packages from satellite and cable companies) and instead offer some sort of a la carte menu, while also redesigning the standard “guide” interface. The networks, which are still very profitable, have not been receptive, apparently, and that’s slowing everything down.
And so: No iTV until 2014 at the earliest, so go the rumors. But as with all things Apple — especially in these super-early stages of the rumors — details are susceptible rapid changes, pending new information. Stay tuned.
2- Is Apple Collaborating With Disney On A Gaming Console Called The “Toy Box”?
One of the strangest new Apple product suggestions we’ve heard in some time: Patently Apple points out a patent filed by Disney for some sort of augmented reality mobile gaming console, with technology that can take photos of inanimate objects and turn them into animated graphics, based on research out of Disney Labs. Disney, it seems, is working on the console — which it may or may not ever release — as a way to boost its revenue by investing in more advanced technologies. (Disney has several of its own research laboratories, in California, Pittsburgh, and Boston, for instance).
Here’s where Apple comes in: Patently Apple digs up an article from the New York Times, which speculated that Apple — given its close ties to Disney-owned Pixar from the Steve Jobs days — might be helping out with the console. PA’s conclusion? Disney and Apple could release a gaming console called the “Toy Box” some time in the future.
It’s a wild idea, and one that probably doesn’t have much merit. But Patently Apple makes a fairly compelling case that Apple could at least lend a hand to Disney in creating such a console.Read more about it here.
3- Could The ‘iPhone 6’ Be The ‘iPhone Color’?
We’ve heard this rumor before, from Jeffries analyst Peter Misek, and now we are once again hearing that the next iPhone will be an “iPhone color,” with more than just the black and white options for customers.
This time, analyst Brian White is calling for a colorful iPhone, to be released in May or June of this year. He doesn’t have any other details, but the whole color dimension would be a meaningful addition, and a key differentiator for those that have to own the new iThing first.
I wouldn’t start laying out color swatches for your iPhone just yet, though: Peter Misek, the apparent source of the rumor, is an analyst who predicted that an Apple television would be released in 2012 on five separate occasions, and Brian White led the charge calling for a radically redesigned iPhone 5 to be released in 2011, when only the iPhone 4S emerged.
In other words: Let’s wait for some more evidence before we start expecting the iPhone Pink or Purple.
4- Our First Real Evidence Of The iPhone 6 Appears!
Tech publication The Next Web talked to app developers who say their logs show evidence of a new Apple smartphone being tested at Apple headquarters in Cupertino.
From TNW: One developer showed us that Apple has been testing hardware relating to a new ‘iPhone6,1′ identifier, powered by a device running iOS 7, which is expected to be released by Apple in the middle part of this year.
Apple’s current flagship, the iPhone 5, bears the identifiers ‘iPhone5,1′ and ‘iPhone 5,2′ depending on the LTE model of the handset and the 4G bands on which it operates.
Many websites reported this news with mock surprise — “Shockingly,” read the sarcasm-dripped headline on the VentureBeat write-up of the story — “Apple Is Working On iPhone 6 and iOS 7.” And it’s true that this bit of news tells us little to nothing about possible timing for the next iPhone, nor does it hint at features.
What it does is signify is that something is under way, which means that more details, rumors, leaks and specs are sure to follow. For now, it seems, all we have is wild, unchecked speculation from questionably-sourced market analyst reports.
Speaking of which…