Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The rumour mill rolls...

Close on the heels of the announcement of an Apple special event on the 28th come the traditional rumours, fakes, hoaxes, and the odd honest to God actual leak from Apple.

In the total absence of any actual facts Engadget reports on a "leak" which claims that Apple will be releasing a new Media Cube. The leak is accompanied by an unconvincingly photoshopped picture of a spray painted cardboard box, so we probably won't be seeing that one on the Apple Store.

CREDIT: Mac Daily News (via Engadget)
The new Apple Media Cube?

At the same time AppleInsider is quoting analysts who are speculating on the release of a widescreen iBook replacement, presumably without any more insider knowledge than the rest of us...

Secrecy surrounding the event is tighter than we've seen before, either that or what Apple are announcing is so minor that nobody actually knows what it is yet. I'm still hoping for an Apple branded PDA, but I might be in for a long wait.

Update: The latest rumour (via faq-mac.com originally?) comes from an "anonymous tipster", and features a Nokia Series 60 N80 in black, with an added iTunes button.

CREDIT: faq-mac.com (via Engadget) & Mobile Scraper (via Gizmodo)
iTunes and FrontRow, on a Nokia?

Gizmodo picked this one up, but called shenanigans almost immediately claiming that nobody outside the cellphone community knows what a Series 60 phone is...

Update: Engadget aren't impressed with the veracity of the leak either. I'm starting to wonder if anyone outside of Apple knows what's up, none of the normal rumour sites seem to have any better idea of what's coming up as the rest of us...

Update: We might have the first solid hint at what's coming, it looks like Apple has halted bulk ordering of the Mac mini (via TUAW). Could this mean an Intel mini? Presumably they wouldn't replace the mini with a pure media centre box and do away with something that fills a niche so successful, but the announcement did say "...some fun new products"...

Update: Of course we also shouldn't forget the rumours that circulated just after the last Macworld of something "...much cooler" than a 12 and 17 inch Powerbook replacement.

Update: The Register has picked up on the same sources as Apple Insider, but is carrying an article focusing on the prediction that event next week is to launch Apple's plans to sell full length movies on the iTunes store, rather than the widescreen iBook replacement, which they mention as more of a footnote. I'm going to be really disappointed if this is all about selling movies on the iTunes store, especially since it'll almost certainly be restricted to the US store if it happens.

Update: While admitting that nobody seems to know anything for certain, Chris Seibold reverts to first principles at Apple Matters and tries to guess the answer. He speculates that an Apple PVR is the most likely product to appear on the 28th, and you can't fault his reasoning. But I can't get over feeling that the iCal related invite picture is significant, although it doesn't really say "fun" does it?

Update: In what has to be the best leak so far, a picture posted to MacShire seems to show a pre-production sample of the much rumoured video iPod.

Update: Despite the leaked images, Apple Insider still seem to think that we're looking at an updated Mac mini. Interesting, do they have a source, or are they just guessing?

Update: Dan Abrams has had a close look at the leaked picture of the video iPod, and has come to the conclusion that it's a fake. Unfortunately his analysis looks pretty sound, so on balance it's looking like this is yet another video iPod hoax.

Update: A video showing how the picture was faked has shown up on Digg. Definitely fake then, very disappointing...

Update: Coverage of the Apple Special Event and the new Intel Mac mini...