Newsletter Issue #556: Welcome to the Ministry of Silly Apple Rumors

July 26th, 2010

If you can believe reports from the mainstream media, Apple was poised to announce a software fix for the iPhone 4 antenna problem last week. I’m not referring to a more accurate display of signal strength — meaning fewer bars in many instances — but an actual method to compensate for the effects of using the famous death grip on that device.

Now it doesn’t matter much that you can create similar symptoms on other phones, including the highly touted alleged iPhone killer, the Motorola Droid X. Facts don’t matter when the public’s perceptions and misguided commentaries count for everything. If you believe it’s true — or close to the truth — that’s all that counts on 24/7 cable news channels and the blogosphere.

But that software fix report didn’t come from the usual online suspects. Instead, it appeared in The New York Times, the fabled newspaper of record. Hence you had to take it seriously, even though Steve Jobs denied it outright during that special media event at Apple headquarters.

Also denied was the story from Bloomberg News claiming that Apple’s chief antenna designer protested the decision to use an external antenna system. That, too, seemed credible ahead of Steve’s response, but let’s take the stories to the next level.

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