As with all rumors, it is difficult to discern which of the latest pieces of gossip about Apple and its products are worth listening to. Oddly enough, a decent number of these rumors turn out to be correct. It turns out that at least part of this can be accounted for when one considers Apple’s supply chain.
Over the years speculation about the latest releases of Apple products have abounded. Some of these have been more accurate than others. In 2013 these accurate calls included predictions for the release of the new OS X 10.9, the integration of AirDrop wireless file-sharing into iOS, and an early look at the iOS 7. However a meta-analysis of the Apple rumors website 9to5 Mac reveals that in 2013 less than half of the site’s predictions proved to largely or even partially correct.
The prediction accuracy becomes markedly better if the predictions pertain to the near future. In a recent interview with Digitimes Research senior analyst and director Joanne Chien, it was revealed that part of the augmented accuracy may be attributed to leaks that occur in Apple’s supply chain.
Digitimes Research is probably best known to the public as a media outlet, but they are also dedicated to market research within the technology sector. Digitimes provides companies like Apple and Samsung with data on the complicated logistics involved in the multi-step manufacturing process that is needed to produce these high-tech devices. Specifically, it was explained in the interview that when Apple is preparing a product for market release, the supply chain must be set six to nine months before the company will even announce a new product. Around one to two months before the announcement is made, manufacturing is well underway and an increasing number of people are granted access to either the physical product or information about it. This may explain why rumors about Apple’s latest products may be more accurate one to two months before Apple makes any announcements.
This information aligns nicely with previous advice that speculators have been given with regards to assessing whether or not the latest rumors about Apple are worth listening to. Specifically, enthusiasts are advised to rely only on primary sources for their information. In addition, one must also be wary of long re-posting threads that turn out to be only widespread dissemination of bogus facts.
Current rumors about the iPhone 6 are in wide circulation. Earlier this month photos of the purported iPhone 6 were posted all over the Internet. The photos show a phone that is thinner than the current iPhone models and that will measure 4.7 inches diagonally and 2.3 inches wide. It is also said that the new phone will have a bezel-free design and a sapphire glass display.
Though it may be true that rumors about Apple’s soon-to-be released products tend to be more accurate one to two months before the product is announced, there is no way to tell if these rumors are worth listening to until after the fact. In the meantime, fans must be patient and rest assured that Apple will not keep them waiting for long.
By Sarah Takushi