There's something in the air this week. Maybe it's that the holidays are coming, or that it's getting colder, or that there's not much actual news to be had three weeks before the Consumer Electronics Show. But for some reason, the dumb Apple rumors are piling up like so many discarded MobileMe accounts.
The latest offender? You've probably seen it already: Retina iPad mini. Here's why it's a total waste of everybody's time.
Just to be clear, this isn't the kind of rumor that's dumb because it's wrong. In fact, it's the opposite: a rumor that's based on something so inevitable, it has no merit as a rumor. It's simply a statement of fact, one that's been known since the day the first iPad mini came out. You might as well say that the next iPad mini will have a faster processor or a bigger battery or will run iOS 7. No. Kidding.
That makes all of this flocking toward Retina iPad mini bad enough, in its own way. But what makes it truly galling is that today's burst of stories isn't based on a component someone found, or anything concrete it all. It comes, instead, from DigiTimes. For those unfamiliar, DigiTimes is the single worst purveyor of rumor wrongness in the entirety of tech. Harry McCracken at Time did an excellent take-down earlier this year, if you're looking for proof. It's so bad, in fact, that most sites run every DigiTimes story with a throat-clearing caveat. Others, like Gizmodo, straight up don't run them. Ever.
So when DigiTimes says the next iPad mini will have a retina display, what they're really doing is taking the most obvious spec bump available to them, slapping some unnamed, probably nonexistent "sources" on it, and calling it a scoop.
Here's the thing; everyone who covers technology knows all of this. They know that a retina iPad mini is a rumor in the same way that the sun rising tomorrow is a rumor. They know that DigiTimes is a travesty. And yet:
Rumor: An upcoming version of the iPad Mini will have a Retina screen cnet.co/UgGHh3— CNET (@CNET) December 14, 2012
Hold Onto Your Hats! Apple's Next iPad Mini To Get Retina Display [Rumor] cultm.ac/VGavCQ— Cult of Mac (@cultofmac) December 14, 2012
Rumor: Next-gen iPad mini to boast high-resolution display dlvr.it/2dd5w9— AppleInsider (@appleinsider) December 14, 2012
iPad Mini with Retina Display expected next year, 5th gen iPad to be lighter bit.ly/U01hFx— Geek.com (@geekdotcom) December 14, 2012
Digitimes claims next iPad mini to have higher-res display, next 9.7-inch iPad to be lighter goo.gl/fb/UcaG1— 9to5Mac (@9to5mac) December 14, 2012
Rumor: próximo iPad mini virá com tela Retina; iPad de quinta geração será mais leve ● mcmgz.in/cy7— MacMagazine.com.br (@MacMagazine) December 14, 2012
Apple focusing on Retina display for next-gen iPad mini, sources say wp.me/p19WFc-p2M— MacDailyNews (@MacDailyNews) December 14, 2012
So there you have it. Yet another in a long, venerable line of terrible Apple rumors this month, this year, always. We're smarter than this, guys. Let's start acting like it.