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The Worst Apple Rumors Of 2011: The Year In Outrageous Predictions

First Posted: 12/31/11 12:04 PM ET   Updated: 12/31/11 01:14 PM ET

2011 was a total cluster-schmutz of terrible, embarrassing, questionably-sourced, often outrageously-premised and bombastically-written Apple rumor stories that never came true, a truly hallmark year for getting things totally and un-apologetically wrong about Apple's future plans and products.

The end of December is, besides being a slow point in the tech news cycle, an ideal time to look back on how we all went so wrong; so don us now our 20/20 hindsight goggles (with 4G LTE and a bigger display screen!) and give a toast to everyone with an anonymous source who gave them awful information: Better luck next year, fellows!

Welcome to The Worst Apple Rumors of 2011. As you may know, I do a weekly roundup called This Week In Apple Rumors, a running catalogue of all those who claim to know anything about Apple's upcoming products; you can follow that thread weekly, or, if you want up-to-the-minute baseless, link-baiting Apple speculation, you can follow me on Twitter.

The iPad 3 Will Be Released In 2011
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Much of the rampant speculation began in February, when widely-read Apple writer John Gruber speculated -- and we're talking SPECULATED, based on no inside information whatsoever, a fact he admitted outright in the column -- that his gut was saying that the iPad 2 would be released in Spring 2011, followed by the iPad 3 in Fall 2011, perhaps in September. Despite what should have been everyone's better judgment, news outlets went bananas on this column (One headline: "Gruber Confirms iPad 3 In Blog Rant?") until March, when the iPad 2 was released and Apple, in an announcement accompanied by a sad trombone, dubbed 2011 "The Year of the iPad 2." This seemed to rule out that a second iPad would follow later that year; Apple bloggers everywhere shed a single tear for a device there was never any evidence existed.

The trail of the single tear was still moist in May when everyone forgot that Apple had said 2011 was The Year of the iPad 2 and went bananas again. A May report from put the iPad 3 on track for a September release; a concurrent rumor claimed the iPad 3 would be a glasses-free 3D device, which I suppose could still be true (I'm dubious of Apple promoting one of its products with such a stupid gimmick, but I've been wrong before). The 2011 iPad 3 rumors mounted and mounted: A May article from Reuters put the iPad 3 on track for Q4 2011 release, and then Asia weighed in with reports from the supply chain: An analyst working in Hong Kong said that a 4G iPad 3 would arrive just in time for Christmas; Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes reported in July that Apple would start production on the iPad 3 in September and would make it available in October; Japanese Apple site Macotakara independently confirmed that DigiTimes was correct.

And that's not all: Also in July, non-Asian tech siteThe Verge nee This Is My Next reported that the iPad HD would be released in Fall 2011, as did FBR Capital Markets analyst Craig Berger.Isn't it comforting to know that in this day and age of multinational aggression, distrust and strife that we, as a planet, can sometimes come together and all be wrong about the iPad 3's release date as one?

It was at this point, in August, that The Wall Street Journal weighed in with a report that, due to problems with the display screen on the supply chain, the iPad 3 was being pushed back to 2012. Analysts agreed, with most predicting that the iPad 3 would be released in early 2012 a.k.a. exactly one year after the iPad 2 was released a.k.a exactly the way that Apple ALWAYS released iterative updates to its devices.

2011 really was the year of the iPad 2. Boo hoo.
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