MacWorld SF 2004 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 MacWorld Rumor Roundup that was written prior to the actual event.

As far as MacWorld Expos go, pre-Expo hype was somewhat subdued this round -- except perhaps for the extensive coverage of Mini iPod rumors that exploded across the web in the days before the event.

Mini iPods

Actual "Mini" iPod rumors first originated on MacRumors' Page 2 of all places. (Page 2 was formed to serve as a webpage that reports on uncertain rumors and other dubious content.) This first "Mini" report pointed to 2GB sizes and multiple colors, which only turned out to be partially correct.

Prior to this report, AppleTurns had predicted the coming of "modestly-featured and modestly-priced" entry level iPods arriving at MacWorld Expo.

AppleInsider added the possibility of a 4GB configuration while ThinkSecret cited "reliable sources" that new 2GB and 4GB iPods would offer multiple colors (including stripes) and also "start at around $100US". Finally, MacRumors sources confirmed the mini-physical-size of the new iPods as well as one of the planned colors (gold).

As readers are painfully aware, the new iPods did not completely match these early rumors. No 2GB size was introduced, and the price point was much higher than some reports had suggested. However, there is enough correlation (Mini iPod, 4GB Size, Colors) that one can not write off the rumors as complete fabrication. This suggests that 2GB devices may have been or may continue to be in the works in Apple's labs.

Of interest however... was the emergance of many accurate details on a last minute Page 2 report. Posted on the day prior to the Keynote, the latest report seemed to have most of the elements of the new announcement ($249 "credit card" sized iPod) but at the same time this information was overshadowed by some other inaccuracies in the report (10,000 songs).

iApps/3rd Party Apps

Apple trademarked Garage Band in September 2003, spawing significant (and apparently justified) speculation. Rumors of a new consumer audio app and pro audio app circulated, but even with firm confirmation of its release, the details were only revealed in the same curious Page 2 report that revealed much of the iPod Mini information.

Meanwhile ThinkSecret accurately reported that iLife would see updates while MacRumors sources provided some small details to the new iApp revisions.

AppleInsider accurately predicted the MS Office 2004 and VPC 7 announcements at the expo.

Xserve G5

Xserve G5 updates have been long in the coming, and we finally received confirmation of the impending release. After a premature prediction of Xserve updates, Appleinsider since was able to provide a brief but accurate description of the new Xserves ("3 drive bays, as opposed to 4, separated by two circular openings on the front of the chassis").

PowerMac Updates?

Despite "corroborating" reports from Appleinsider that PowerMacs would see updates at MacWorld San Francisco, true to ThinkSecret's predictions we saw no PowerMac updates at MacWorld. With 90nm PowerPCs now in production, we should expect the new PowerMacs to take advantage of this new technology. Readers are cautioned, however, that the accuracy of recent PowerPC rumors remain in question as at least one has been shown to be incorrect (regarding SSOI technology).

Fakes

Perhaps the most vocal reports surrounding the weeks prior to the expo were those of fake product images and product descriptions that propogated over the Mac Web. With all eyes on Apple as well as the proliferation of Mac Rumor sites, individuals frequently attempt to catch their 15 minutes of fame prior to the event by fabricating rumors.

This time these came in the form of fake iTunes screenshots, the Apple iBox and even an entire fake Xserve G5 reseller website. Readers are reminded that anonymous rumor submissions to these random sites are rarely accurate, and that resellers are not privy to early product knowledge.

Summary

No single site came out on top this round. Rumors from each of the major rumor sites have had only partial accuracy. However, of most interest is that MacRumors' Page 2 has been a source of at least some accurate information (and its share of inaccurate information), despite the inability to confirm most of the information provided.

Readers are reminded that non-Expo related Apple Product announcements are quickly becoming the norm so we may see more product updates in the coming weeks.

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