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iPhone 6 rumor rollup for the week ending May 10

Popping inventory, Apple’s secret factories, June madness

By , Network World
May 10, 2013 12:19 PM ET
iPhone 6

Page 2 of 6

But there’s no holding back Stuff.tv, which reaches escape velocity from the gravitational pull of Reason in just a few sentences.

“[W]e could see a totally revamped body which strays away from the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5's well-established shape,” according to Stuff. “With Apple's WWDC kicking off on June 10th with a plastic budget iPhone expected to make an appearance, Apple could surprise us all with an early reveal of the iPhone 6. This would match up with the latest rumours which suggest that iPhone 6 production will begin in July, with an earlier August release date.”

Which of course contradicts rumors from as recently as last week, which pushed the “iPhone 6” into 2014, leaving us in 2013 with only the “iPhone 5S.”

iPhone 6 will be assembled in Apple’s own factories

StableyTimes.com is to be congratulated for what is undoubtedly the most audacious rumor of the week, created apparently ex nihilo (“out of nothing”): Apple is building and manning its own overseas manufacturing/assembly factories. The downside to audacity is that after this, the website will be known as UnstableyTimes.com

The post by Will Stabley starts by misstating, misinterpreting, and mangling news and rumors about two of Apple’s device assemblers, Pegatron and Foxconn.

“[iPad assembler] Pegatron [is] stating that it’s facing a surprise drop in iPad mini demand from Apple,” Stabley asserts. “IPhone 5 sales continue to soar while its manufacturer Foxconn reports massive drops in orders for it as well, with the vendor talking about life after Apple as if it’s already lost the iPhone 6.”

Neither of the companies made such assertions.

A Bloomberg story this week by Tim Culpan, on Pegatron’s first quarter results, implied that Pegatron’s CEO explicitly blamed a drop in iPad orders from Apple for an expected second quarter decline in Pegatron’s consumer electronics revenues. And that’s how it was widely and uncritically interpreted.

But Fortune’s Philip Elmer-Dewitt dissected the Bloomberg story’s problems. And he emailed Pegatron CEO Jason Cheng and asked him about his alleged comments. In reply, Cheng summarized his interacting with Culpan and concluded “I did not say anything associated with any specific products.” Or, in keeping with the company’s long-standing practice and principles, with any specific customer.

Which, as Elmer-Dewitt noted, is standard operating procedure for contract manufacturers, especially those working with Apple.

Similarly, in its recent quarterly financial report, Foxconn reported a decline in orders from one customer, without naming the customer. Apple isn’t its only customer; and estimates of the percentage of Foxconn business attributed to Apple are unreliable, ranging from 40 to 70%. Again, executives made no mention of Apple or the iPhone.

But Stabley is undeterred and, apparently unaware of the dangers of building a house on sand instead of rock (cf the Gospel of Matthew 7:24-27), constructs a new rumor before our very eyes.

“The curiously conflicting comments from the factories, which don’t line up with known sales figures and inventory availability, only make sense if Apple is quietly but broadly pulling its manufacturing orders from its longtime partners in favor of building its own factories,” he declares. It apparently doesn’t occur to Stabley that the comments are in conflict and don’t line up because there’s something mistaken about the comments or figures.

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