WWDC Rumor Wrapup: Winners and Losers

After each major event, MacRumors provides a wrapup of rumors to reveal the sources of the most accurate and inaccurate information. Readers are encouraged to read our previous roundup and final thoughts to decide for themselves. (Note: Roundup information is filtered, influenced and presented in an attempt to accurately predict outcomes.)



The World Wide Developers Conference keynote was perhaps the most highly anticipated event in recent Mac history.

After months of rumors and speculation of PowerMac/970 updates -- Apple, themselves, accidentally leaked the specs for the PowerMac G5 four days early. This only raised excitement and expectations to unhealthy levels.

Apple Legal also played a more participatory role in the pre-game in this round with multiple interventions at many of the sites involved.

PowerMacs

MacBidouille deserves credit for being the first (by far) and -- for some time -- the only site to claim that Apple would announce PPC 970 based PowerMacs at the World Wide Developer's Conference.

Their first claim (in March) was that IBM would be presenting the 970 Chip and demoing a 970-based PowerMac at WWDC.

Subsequent rumors, however, were ambitious with claims that low-end (1.4 GHz) 970-based PowerMacs were rolling off assembly lines in May 2003, and implied immediate availability of the 970-based PowerMacs at WWDC. This information turned out to be incorrect. MacWhispers also claimed tha PowerMac's based on 970 chips were currently in production along with an inaccurate description of the case design.

Our own sources had indicated that PowerMacs would not be a a shipping state by WWDC with final notes confirming this information as well as accurate reports of increased price points for towers.

Motherboard claims from MacBidouille were mostly true -- with claims of DDR 400, USB 2.0, AGP 8x, and Hypertransport. Claims of FibreChannel built-in, however, were not.

Traditionally accurate CNet provided confirmation of the use of Hypertransport, with AppleInsider returning from the grave with a PowerMac G5 report that triggered Apple Legal. Most of the details of the AppleInsider report turned out to be correct (ports, hypertransport, motherboard, G5 name) with the exception of starting processor speeds which were claimed to be 1.4-1.8GHz.

Appleinsider also provided an accurate description of the new PowerMac case, as well as corroboration for ThinkSecret reports of an Apple Video Camera which turned out to be iSight. If their other information can be considered accurate, then we may also expect adjustable displays (first mentioned by Looprumors), and Filemaker returning in-house.

Panther

Surprisingly little information emerged regarding Panther was available prior to WWDC.

Accurate tidbits: Multiple User Login (MacOSRumors)

Inaccurate tidbits: New File System (MacBidouille), Piles (MacEdition), Music/Movie Purchase Integration (MacOSRumors).


Mixed tidbits:

    eWeek: Multiple Graphical (Yes), Piles (No), New File System (No)

    LoopRumors: Themes (No), User Switching (Yes), More Dock Features (No), iChat 2.0 (Yes), Speed (Yes), Mail 2.0 (No), More Metal (Yes), Flatter Aqua (Yes), Improved Dock (No), Quicktime 6.5 (No), iWorks (No), Safari 1.0 (Yes), Advanced Mouse Support (No), Advanced Software Update (No), 64-Bit Support (Yes).

The most accurate overview came from leaked screenshots (on 4OSX.com) in the 2 days prior to the event.

PowerBooks

MacWhispers cited manufacturing sources and reported that 970 Based PowerBooks had started production claiming "we can say that both the new PPC 970 Power Mac and Powerbook will have substantial inventory already produced by the time of the upcoming WWDC keynote."


With Apple's Vice President of Hardware Product Marketing stating that the G5 "is not going in a PowerBook anytime soon," it appears MacWhispers' reports were incorrect.

Summary

With more and more eyes on Apple and the Mac rumor scene, the number of rumor sites and rumor sources have exploded -- with an increasing noise-to-signal ratio. Despite this, real information is available to the community -- but the challenge that remains is to find the accurate information from the disinformation.

MacBidouille deserves credit for providing the lead info on such an important Apple event, however, based on the above record, they remain consistently inconsistent in their accuracy -- which has also been true of them in the past.

Long time rumor-site, AppleInsider, has re-emerged with accurate information, and appears to be poised to regain its previous status in the Mac Rumor community.

MacWhispers, however, has been consistently wrong with inaccurate claims including LCD Specs, iPod Release Date & Powerbook Release, No New iPod Case, and most recently the PowerBook 970s at WWDC. As a result, any future rumors should be met entirely with skepticism.

ThinkSecret was conspicuously absent from much of the 970 rumors, but retains its traditionally accurate record -- and the notable distinction of bringing down the wrath of Apple Legal a number of times over the past few months.

Next Apple event is MacWorld Creative Pro on July 16-18...

Addendum: Note, one eWeek.com report was inadvertantly omitted from this wrap up -- and they proved (again) to have accurate information with their Smeagol, 64-Bit article.

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