Macworld San Francisco 2007 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 which was written prior to the actual event.

iPhone

Prior to MWSF 2007, the iPhone rumor was likely the longest running Apple rumor that had yet to come true. One of the oldest references to it that we found was this usenet post almost seven years ago:

Apple registered the domain iPhone.org in mid-December [1999]. Could this be a hint of a new hardware device or some streaming videoconferencing software to be added to QuickTime?

In 2006, the first hints of the iPhone emerged from the financial analysts. UBS, PiperJaffray, and J.P. Morgan offered early predictions that the iPhone was coming. Unfortunately, there were many conflicting reports as to the specs of the iPhone. To be fair, Apple deliberately spread false information to defuse our efforts.

ThinkSecret reports claiming that the iPhone would be Cingular-only and GSM/EDGE only turned out to be quite accurate, and LoopRumors was first to claim that the iPhone would run a 'light' version of OS X and clearly described the upcoming device as a "communicating device" with touchscreen and wireless capabilities.

Both sites, however, also made many additional claims that did not pan out, including claims that the phone would pack a 3 megapixel camera and 2.2" screen (actual: 2 MP camera, 3.5" screen; claim: ThinkSecret) and claims that the iPhone would contain videoconferencing ability (claim: LoopRumors). MacRumors own sources were also tainted by false information, as our reported artist's rendition was off the mark, and traditionally accurate Kevin Rose's leaked specs ($249/$449, slide out keyboard) were also wrong.

Appleinsider offered some confirmation to the earlier "light" OS X rumors with accurate claims that Apple was "working an an operating system based on the core technologies in Mac OS X as the basis for upcoming device."

The most accurate leak of the actual iPhone specs came from Rebecca Runkle of Morgan Stanley who described a 3.5inch full screen LCD phone which was 4/10th inch thick and made of metal. Runkle's prices were slightly off ($599 for 4GB, $649 for 8GB) but she was otherwise remarkably close to the final product.

The much-publicized Commercial Times report appears likely to be accurate, but the several other reports that the phone had been finalized and released to manufacturing were clearly inaccurate.

Finally, last minute reports from the Wall Street Journal (phone "as early as Tuesday"), Cult of Mac ("Steve Jobs has invited all of his best friends to his MacWorld SF Keynote on Tuesday"), and International Herald Tribune ("first of the next generation of devices that are closer to personal computers in pocket form") all turned out to be true.

Update: ThinkSecret's early 2006 True Video iPod report described many features which did make it into the iPhone: 3.5inch display, touch-screen.
Apple TV

AppleTV came with few surprises, and Appleinsider was on target with information that the units would not ship immediately after being shown after the show.

iLife and iWork

The lack of iLife and iWork was preceded by last-minute claims by both ThinkSecret and MacScoop that the software may not be ready (or too dependent on Leopard), although MacScoop did inaccurately add that a preview of iLife would be available.

One lesson to learn is that despite posting placeholders for iLife '07 and iWork '07, like all resellers, Amazon has no special knowledge of future Apple releases.

Mac Pros, Leopard, and More...

With Steve saying that we'd all "see him soon" at the end of the keynote presentation, what is the next step for Apple?

Leopard remains a prime target for further information from Apple, and 8-core Mac Pros are still anticipated. With the hype surrounding the iPhone, many have suggested that Apple may have delayed the 8 Core Mac Pro and Leopard demos for a future press event.

Meanwhile, thin MacBooks and Flash booting MacBooks are said to be on the horizon for 2007.

Summary

Unlike previous rumor wrapups, there were fewer clear winners and losers. Several sources clearly did have tidbits of accurate information, but much of it was diluted by the sheer volume of iPhone rumors leading up to the event.

- Rebecca Runkle of Morgan Stanley certainly deserves credit for having the most accurate physical specs of the rumored iPhone.
- Despite the ongoing litigation, ThinkSecret continues to leak accurate tidbits of information.
- Looprumors deserves credit for the first reports of the "light" OS X and "communication device".
- Flickr and YouTube "spy" photos/videos of unreleased Apple hardware have never been accurate.
- Appleinsider's accurate report about the "light" OS X also gives the following exciting tidbit of information:

Apple intends to integrate the software on a couple of devices beginning early [2007], those people say, while more comprehensive plans call for it to form the bedrock of a jaw-dropping device not due to hit the market until the following year.

Related Roundup: Mac Pro
Buyer's Guide: Mac Pro (Neutral)

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