iPhone 5 rumor roll-up for the week ending Dec. 16

iPhone 5 rumor roll-up for the week ending Dec. 16

If iPhone 5 rumors were gifts this holiday season, people would already be lining up to return them.

This week we can see the birth of a new iPhone 5 rumor, that the next Apple smartphone will support Flash, caused by misreading another rumor, about flash memory. There's more speculation that iPhone 5 will for sure be released during the 2012 calendar year. And we know an advanced version of the Siri voice assistant is being planned because Apple wants to hire two software engineers for the Siri team.

You read it here second.

"After extensively surfing the web, filtering through all the BS I have the best, most appropriate and accurate Apple Iphone 5 release date. ... More specifically the Apple Iphone 5 release date is said to be in March of 2012 pending finishing touches and tweaking which could extend the Iphone 5 release date to as late as fall 2012." -- "Admin,"

iPhone 5 will have Adobe Flash! Or ... wait: Is that just "flash"?

In what will undoubtedly prove to be the shortest-lived rumor of this week, BostInno offered a post that explained Apple had delayed the iPhone 5 release so it could bring Adobe Flash to the smartphone.

CATCH UP: iPhone rumor roundup for week ending Dec. 2

APPLE iPHONEYS: The iPhone 5 edition

The website was recycling an Israeli-sourced story, from the Hebrew-language newspaper Calcalist, that first emerged at TechCrunch. The rumor was that Apple was considering buying an Israeli firm, Anobit, which designs chips for, ahem, flash memory, for enterprise and mobile markets.

But the capitalization of "Flash" in the TechCrunch headline -- "Apple Reportedly Buying Flash Memory Company Anobit For $400 Million-$500 Million" -- apparently was misinterpreted by BostInno to refer to Adobe Flash. The BostInno headline, in part: "Could the iPhone 5 Have Flash?"

"[W]e may have found a reason for the iPhone 5 delay [in 2011], and it isn't a new iOS: Apple may be looking to add Adobe's Flash Player. ... According to TechCrunch, Apple is in talks to purchase Israeli Flash chip maker Anobit for between $400 and $500 million. The TechCrunch post cites Israeli Calcalist as having the original scoop, but also makes note that there may already be an Anobit Flash chip inside the iPhone 4S."

There may be indeed, but the chip isn't running Adobe Flash and isn't an Adobe Flash accelerator.

TechCrunch, of course, had it right in covering Calcalist's Anobit rumor, the idea being that Apple might be interested in improving the speed and longevity of flash memory chips for its mobile devices by buying a fabless semiconductor company that specializes in that technology.

The resulting Internet rumormongering bifurcated. Some sites followed TechCrunch in repeating the rumor accurately, such as 9to5Mac, which later followed a second Calcalist story that Apple was considering creating a development center in Israel. The "impartial online and telephone comparison and switching service", speculated, "The deal could mean that the next-generation of iPhones will rock 128GB of storage space -- double the capacity of the top-of-the-range edition of the iPhone 4S." Though why Apple would need Anobit to increase RAM capacity wasn't made clear.

But others picked up the BostInno story without checking it, as CMSWire did, and echoed the ... well, words fail here because it's odd to call a rumor "mistaken" when rumors aren't by definition factual to begin with. CMSWire: "The latest rumors suggest that Apple is holding off a launch to get a Flash-accelerating chip to, ironically, bring the retiring web platform to the phone that did the most to kill it."

Irony. It's a wonderful thing.

"iPhone 5" was one of 2011's fastest-growing search terms!

Electronista reported this fact, based on actual data from Google, without a trace of irony. We're including it here because, though not itself a rumor, it shows how rumors make the Web go round in a kind of virtual circle or vicious circle or downward spiral or vortex or black hole, depending on your viewpoint.

Rumor. Repeat rumor. Search for rumor. Re-rumor. Repeat re-rumor. Search repeated rumor.

Not everyone takes this dim and dark view of humankind. To CNET/UK, "it's been a momentous and turbulent year, with the trends and topics that gripped us revealed by Google in its annual look at what we searched for in the past 12 months."

Electronista, of course, didn't waste any time on Ryan Dunn or Adele (Top 10 search terms I had to search on to realize who they were), or the Arab Spring and the Fukushima disaster.

"Three Apple-related search terms have placed among the fastest rising in Google's Zeitgeist charts for 2011," according to Electronista. "The fastest-rising Apple search term in the top 10 overall was 'iPhone 5,' coming in at number six. 'Steve Jobs' was ninth, while 'iPad2' closed out the 10 leaders."

So how fast did iPhone 5 hype grow? Electronista has the facts, the data, the real deal, the stuff: "'iPhone 5' grew 1,658 percent between 2010 and 2011."

At holiday parties for the next several weeks, you'll be able to get free pretzels and punch and impress friends and prospective employers by casual, cool, fact-dropping about the sixth-fastest rising search term for 2011.

The Date: no question that iPhone 5 will be released in ... 2012

The impoverished state of current iPhone 5 rumoring is exemplified by a post by "admin" at the aptly-named

This guy has had it with all the BS. He gets down to brass tacks and doesn't pull any punches.

"After extensively surfing the web, filtering through all the BS I have the best, most appropriate and accurate Apple Iphone 5 release date," admin declares. "The Iphone 5 release date is said to be in 2012 which we all should already know because hope for an early launch in 2011 will only have your hopes let down. More specifically the Apple Iphone 5 release date is said to be in March of 2012 pending finishing touches and tweaking which could extend the Iphone 5 release date to as late as fall 2012."

That's sort of like saying, "After extensively surfing the Web, filtering through all the BS, I have more specifically concluded that either Barack Obama or someone else will be elected president of the United States in November 2012."

Admin floats the not-original rumor that all the iPhone 5 rumors are part of a cunning Apple plot. "Everyone is so preoccupied with all the rumours surrounding the hot topic of the Iphone [sic] 5 release date that they are completely oblivious to Apples sneaky but, very strategic marketing approach. As the days go by waiting to hear an official release date, more and more eager customers are fuelling the hype by chatting online and conversing with theirs friends and acquaintances making the Apple Iphone 5 release date such a hot topic that everyone has to have one."

Ironically, admin seems completely oblivious to how he himself is furthering Apple's strategic sneakiness.

Advanced version of Siri planned for iPhone 5

This rumor, or the less-suspect term "speculation," is from Planet Insane, which cleverly waited a week to recycle earlier rumors based on trying to interpret two job descriptions posted by Apple for software engineers to work on its Siri voice assistant.

The original rumoring, from the week of Dec. 7, was along the lines of Christian Zibreg's post at 9to5Mac, which carried the headline, "Apple job openings hinting at Siri API, prettier interface and additional languages."

Zibreg found the short job postings to be hinting at quite a lot, as the headline hints. This week, Andrew Gilbert, at Planet Insane, found even more hints. The headline of his post: "Advanced Version of Siri for the iPhone 5 in the Work."

Gilbert's post is filled with references to "speculations" and "reports," not to mention a whole lot of "indicating" and "hinting," though he never seems to distinguish between any of these terms. So, "These speculations have hinted that this hiring was linked to the iPhone 5."

"The job listing has indicated that these engineers will help the team that are [sic] involved in the user interface of Siri, which hint at a possible new layout for the service prior to the availability of the iPhone 5," Gilbert continued.

In other words, reports of emerging speculation about the job listings indicate possible work that is expected to hint at something reportedly related eventually to iPhone 5.

John Cox covers wireless networking and mobile computing for Network World. Twitter: Email: john_cox@nww.comBlog RSS feed:

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Tags smartphoneswirelessAppleNetworkingconsumer electronicsiPhone 5 rumorsiPhone rumor rollupiPhone rumor roundup

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