Macworld San Francisco 2008 Rumor Wrapup: Winners and Losers

After each major event, MacRumors provides a wrapup of rumors to reveal the sources of the most accurate (or inaccurate) information.

MacBook Air

As always, rumors closer to the event tend to be more accurate and more revealing than those in the months ahead. In this case, many of the details of the MacBook Air were spot on, though many of these details were revealed in the week leading up to the event.

Our own MacBook Air Whispers article confirmed some long standing details, including a 13.3" screen, external optical drive, and was the first to dub the machine the "MacBook Air". Our other hints also suggested the use of a 1.8" hard drive, an ethernet dongle due to the slim size of the upcoming laptop, and the inclusion of a multitouch trackpad -- all of which also turned out to be true.

Finally, an actual description of the MacBook Air leaked out the night before the Keynote on Wired's Gadget Blog, with a description of an "unbelievably thin" design with tapering edges.

Meanwhile, the longer standing rumors for the ultra-portable MacBook came from multiple sources which were summarized in our Ultra-portable Rumor Roundup. In the end, Appleinsider provided the most accurate description: 13", aluminum, 50% lighter, Slim, NAND Flash, LED backlit, No Optical Drive. NAND flash ended up being an optional feature, but the remainder of the report as well as long lead time made their report particularly impressive.

Of note, CNBC's rumors of the ultra-portable Mac were far less accurate, despite being a mainstream news site. CNBC's Jim Goldman had cited "a very good source" and described a 12" model with NAND Flash only at $1500 -- all of which were wrong.

Other honorable mentions include 9to5mac's "something strange about the touchpad", and MacScoop's early ultra-portable report. Also of interest is a report coming out of CrunchGear in October claiming that Apple would be releasing Multitouch trackpad MacBooks. Despite the wrong timeframe, with the release of a Multitouch trackpad, we should give credit to this early rumor.

Apple TV

Despite much speculation of a possible Apple TV update, few credible rumors of what to expect from an Apple TV upgrade came out in the weeks ahead of Macworld. Businessweek was the only one to suggest that the Apple TV would see a major upgrade but no details or timeframe was provided. CrunchGear, however, did claim in that HD content was coming to the Apple TV (though they claimed October).

iTunes Rentals

FinancialTimes, Variety and Businessweek served as the major sources of information about Apple's new movie rental service. Word first leaked out in June with reports that Apple was negotiating terms for iTunes movie rentals. Subsequent reports pinpointed the $3.99/24 hour rental window as well as the wide participation of many studios.

iPhone 1.1.3

One of the biggest Apple leaks leading into this year's Macworld was the leak of the iPhone 1.1.3 firmware which was revealed by GearLive. As always, the leaked video and screenshots generated the usual doubts, but it turned out to be quite accurate. This leak of pre-release firmware is the biggest Apple leak in recent history.

Meanwhile, MacScoop's widely publicized rumor that 1.1.3 would get Copy/Paste functionality turned out to be inaccurate. And CNET France's early claim 1.1.3 would contain Disk Mode and Voice Recording was also wrong.

Other Winners/Losers

Winners: Digitimes 13.3" LED Screens, American Tech Research Analyst: an external HDD storage/dock/streaming device
Losers: American Tech Research Analyst: Blu Ray at Macworld, All "leaked" keynote claims, All "leaked" spy shots.
Unlikely now: Goldman Sachs Analyst: Apple TV with LCD screen

Summary

Dedicated Apple rumors sites such as MacRumors and Appleinsider continue to provide the most accurate look at what's to come from Apple, though an expanding number of sites are able to fill in many additional details. Wired's Gadget Lab deservers particular credit for leaking an actual description of the Air the evening prior. Patent applications can certainly point the way to what Apple might be working on (multitouch) but should not be taken for granted (iMac docking station). Anonymously leaked transcripts and photos remain almost always fake.

What's to Come: MacBook Pros, Mini Tablet

In looking back at the sources of the most accurate rumors, we also find enticing reports of items that didn't come true at Macworld, but did come from credible sources.

The MacBook Pro updates are certainly coming -- and soon. Even without our rumor sources, the MacBook Pros are simply due for refresh. But the most interesting tidbit is that there have been reliable reports that the Pro machines will incorporate Apple's new multi-touch trackpad.

Given Appleinsider's accuracy with their ultra-portable report, it is increasingly likely that we will see a mini-tablet device coming from Apple. Apple is said to be working on a multi-touch OS X device about 1.5x the size of the iPhone with a 720x480 screen. Initial reports had suggested the possibility of a Macworld launch, but was delayed and may instead be seen later this year.

Popular Stories

iPhone 16 Camera Lozenge 2 Colors

iPhone 16 Plus Rumored to Come in These 7 Colors

Wednesday April 10, 2024 3:52 am PDT by
Apple's iPhone 16 Plus may come in seven colors that either build upon the existing five colors in the standard iPhone 15 lineup or recast them in a new finish, based on a new rumor out of China. According to the Weibo-based leaker Fixed focus digital, Apple's upcoming larger 6.7-inch iPhone 16 Plus model will come in the following colors, compared to the colors currently available for the...
apple tv 4k yellow bg feature

When to Expect a New Apple TV to Launch

Tuesday April 9, 2024 8:30 am PDT by
It has been nearly a year and a half since the current Apple TV was released, so the device is becoming due for a hardware upgrade. Below, we recap rumors about the next Apple TV, including potential features and launch timing. The current model is the third-generation Apple TV 4K, announced in October 2022. Key new features compared to the previous model from 2021 include a faster A15...
apple silicon feature joeblue

Macs to Get AI-Focused M4 Chips Starting in Late 2024

Thursday April 11, 2024 10:10 am PDT by
Apple will begin updating its Mac lineup with M4 chips in late 2024, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. The M4 chip will be focused on improving performance for artificial intelligence capabilities. Last year, Apple introduced the M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max chips all at once in October, so it's possible we could see the M4 lineup come during the same time frame. Gurman says that the entire...
iOS 18 WWDC 24 Feature 2

iOS 18 May Feature All-New 'Safari Browsing Assistant'

Wednesday April 10, 2024 6:11 am PDT by
iOS 18 will apparently feature a new Safari browsing assistant, according to backend code on Apple's servers discovered by Nicolás Álvarez. MacRumors contributor Aaron Perris confirmed that the code exists, but not many details are known at this time. Álvarez said it seems like the browsing assistant will use iCloud Private Relay's infrastructure to send relevant data to Apple in a...
maxresdefault

Review: Six Months With the iPhone 15 Pro

Wednesday April 10, 2024 10:53 am PDT by
It's been a bit over six months since the iPhone 15 lineup came out in September, and MacRumors videographer Dan Barbera has been using an iPhone 15 Pro Max sans case since launch. Over on our YouTube channel, Dan did a long term review to demo how his phone has held up and his thoughts on the Action button, battery life, and camera features. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more ...
iPhone 16 Pro Sizes Feature

Alleged iPhone 16 Battery Details Show Smaller Capacity for One Model

Tuesday April 9, 2024 3:46 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming iPhone 16 lineup will feature bigger battery capacities compared to previous-generation models with the exception of the iPhone 16 Plus, which will have a smaller battery than its predecessor. That's according to the Chinese Weibo-based leaker OvO Baby Sauce OvO, a relatively new source of supply chain leaks with an as-yet unproven track record for accuracy. The iPhone 16 ...