This Week's Tech Rumors, From Crap to Credible

Illustration for article titled This Weeks Tech Rumors, From Crap to Credible

Another week of tech means another week of rumors. Stuff from Apple, Google, GoPro, and OnePlus attracted speculative headlines. But this week, we decided to enhance our rumor-sleuthing methods by introducing a highly scientific bullshit meter. It works as follows:

💩= Likelihood is very high

💩💩= Probably going to happen, but there’s room for doubt

💩💩💩= Could go either way

💩💩💩💩= Most likely not, but anything is possible.

💩💩💩💩💩= Fuck no.

Ok, with all that settled, let’s get into this week’s rumors, shall we?

“The next iPhone will be self-healing and waterproof”

Here’s one quick debunk that’s led to a lot of misleading headlines. The “self-healing” part of the phone works in conjunction with waterproofing the iPhone, so it’s not like we’re going to see the same type of material used on the “self-healing” LG Flex back in 2014.


So with that out of the way, let’s talk about a waterproof iPhone. This might be one of the oldest rumors pertaining to iPhones. Most likely, this iteration will further improve the iPhone 6s’ already decent water protection. The “self-healing” stuff comes from a patent—which is far from being anything certain for next year’s iPhone, let alone any other iPhones down the road. This sounds like another step in a years long line of similar hearsay.

Rating: 💩💩💩

“OnePlus 2 Mini exists and has stellar specs.”

This one might have some truth to it. Last year, a bunch of rumors popped up that OnePlus was working on a “mini” version of the amazingly popular OnePlus One smartphone.


That turned out to be true, though the name was a little different. The phone that many were referring to became the OnePlus X, but you can see that it has OnePlus One heritage all over it, especially since both have the same exact processor. So this rumored smartphone with a Snapdragon 810 and 4.6-inch screen (even smaller than an iPhone 6s) is definitely possible, I just don’t think we’ll see this guy anytime soon.

Rating: 💩💩

“What? Why won’t the new iPad Air have 3D Touch?”

This bit of hearsay got a little bit of traction this week: Like the iPad Pro, the rumored iPad Air 3 may not get 3D Touch, the touch-sensitive tech currently found in the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus that basically unlocks touch-sensitive functions in apps and the home screen. Although it’s rare to not include new iPhone tech into the next generation of tablets—they even included NFC in the iPad Pro so you can use Apple Pay (lol)—the sheer ergonomics of using 3D Touch on a large display, doesn’t make a ton of sense.

If any tablet could make use of 3D Touch it would be the iPad Mini, but the increased surface area on the Air and the Pro would turn 3D Touch from a semi-useful shortcut, to kind of a nuisance. Although this is just one industry analyst’s speculation (and a historically accurate one at that), this speculation’s most likely true.

Now, the rumor I really want to talk about is if the future iPad Air 3 will have Pencil support. But alas, another day.


Rating: 💩💩

“Best Buy’s going to sell a Gold Nexus 6P variant.”

Sure. Why not. Everything is going gold. Apple’s got gold stuff. Samsung’s got gold stuff. So why should Google not have some gold stuff?


Technically the phone already exists in Japan, and 9to5Google says that Best Buy would be the exclusive carrier of the variant in the U.S., according to “sources familiar with the matter.” Huawei’s got a couple CES press conferences lined up, and this very well might be one of the talking points.


Rating: 💩

“Apple’s going to buy GoPro”

This is one of those rumors that’s like “Sure, I guess that could happen?” I certainly couldn’t have predicted that Dr. Dre would one day become an Apple employee, but this still seems unlikely.


The current thinking is that Apple is going to buy GoPro because “stocks.” The mere rumor that Apple was sniffing around GoPro sent the prices soaring, but aside from that, GoPro’s been trending downward in value and Apple’s never been much of a bargain bin buyer.

There’s also the added fact that literally neither company has given any hint, leak or otherwise, that this is happening and it’s all pure speculation. Way back in January, an Apple action cam patent sent reverberations of worry that this could mark the end for GoPro. In September, the CEO of GoPro said he doesn’t think Apple is even investigating the action cam scene.


Of course, the tin-foil hat wearers among us might speculate that the GoPro chief knows that BECAUSE APPLE’S GOING TO BUY THEM. But, I’m still going with a solid no on this one.

Rating: 💩💩💩💩

“Huawei and Google are going to bring back the Nexus 7 tablet.”

This would be so great if true. The ASUS Nexus 7 (2012 or 2013) is still arguably one of the best Android tablets ever made. Like the Nexus 5, it had solid build quality and was incredibly cheap. Coming off the success of the 6P, it wouldn’t be too crazy to think that Google would tap Huawei to make their next tablet seeing as companies like Samsung and HTC have made Nexus phones and Nexus tablets before.


Two reasons to be skeptical here. For starters, if there is one thing tablets are doing, they’re not trending smaller. With the iPad Pro and Surface devices as an example, it seems going small would either be a.) a step in the wrong direction or b.) a shoutout to well-loved Nexus device, much like this year’s 5X was to the Nexus 5. The other question is Google didn’t even make a Nexus tablet this year and instead created the interesting-yet-ultimately-misguided Pixel C tablet.

So some for and some against. Going to have to play it safe for now.

Rating: 💩💩💩

“Luke Skywalker dies at the end.”

Just kidding. I have no idea.

Rating: 💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩


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"The ASUS Nexus 7 (2012 or 2013) is still arguably one of the best Android tablets ever made." <—- until you update the OS and it slows down to unusable speeds and requires shutting off the GPS and clearing the cache every 3 days. I HATE my 2012 N7 with the passion of a million burning suns.