The iPhone 5 Failboard: How Everyone Got It WrongS

A great many Apple fans are hot and bothered that no iPhone 5 emerged today to fill the void in their souls. But you know who should really feel dejected? All the tech bloggers who wasted time typing bold proclamations about new features, designs and phones that never came.

The dramatic comeback of Apple, the company, has been accompanied by a parallel rise in the class of professional Apple pontificators - bloggers, analysts, newspapermen, wire service writers, TV producers, book authors, magazine editors, and even lowly Steve Jobs emailers. Now that Apple is the second biggest publicly traded American company, the Apple ecosystem is churning out more predictions than ever before. Quality control has become, how should we put this, a bit of an issue.

Here's a look at some lemons from the last few months, with a special emphasis on claims disproven by today's less than mind blowing iPhone 4S rollout:

  • "Facebook to Launch iPad App at Apple's iPhone 5 Event [EXCLUSIVE]" Nope. [Mashable]
  • "The design of the phone is set to radically change... there are strong indications that Apple will surprise a public that's expecting a bump more along the lines of the 3G to 3GS." Virtually identical to the old one. [This Is My Next]
  • "Apple... is aiming to launch by the end of September, said people familiar with the situation." (October.) "These people said the new iPhone is expected to be similar to the current iPhone 4, but thinner and lighter..." No change in width. Bit heavier. [WSJ]
  • "Sprint will be getting the iPhone 5 - yes the real iPhone 5, not the iPhone 4S - as an exclusive." (Sprint got the iPhone 4s as a non exclusive.) [Boy Genius Report]
  • "iPhone 5 Cases Suggest a Much Larger Device with a 4 inch Screen" [MacRumors]
  • "New iPhone 5 cases indicate a thinner but half inch wider and longer frame." [9to5 Mac]
  • "iPhone 5 to have radical new design according to Case-Mate images." [Boy Genius Report]
  • "Apple evolved the form of its flagship device. The iPhone 5... is just skinnier enough to make a fat difference... This [review]... is a little, uhm, hacked-together, but I'll bet you it's not going to differ significantly from the... reviews that come out next week." [Gizmodo]
  • There'll be multiple models of 'iPhones' because Al Gore said so! [The Next Web, Gawker]
  • "As iPhone 5 Launch Nears, an NFC Chip Looks Increasingly Likely" No NFC. [ReadWriteWeb]
  • "Services based on 'Near-Field Communication...' [are] due to be embedded in the next iteration of the iPhone... likely to be introduced this year." [Bloomberg, quoting top billed source]
  • "BGR has been given information from multiple Apple sources that could possibly sway the argument in favor of an imminent NFC-capable iPhone." Imminent! (No.) [Boy Genius Report]
  • "This Could Be What Apple's iPhone 5 Looks Like.... Assuming the leaked case designs are accurate, the iPhone 5 should be close in appearance to these renderings." Not a good assumption. [MacRumors]
  • "Is this the design for the upcoming iPhone 5? Probably. Maybe... We currently believe that the iPhone 5 will be thinner than the current generation, it'll also come with a larger 4 inch display." [Giga.de]
  • "The iPhone 5 Will Be Shaped Different From The iPhone 4." [iPhone5 Specs].
  • "What We're Expecting from the iPhone 5 — A New Design." You'd think blogs entirely devoted to the iPhone 5 would be more accurate. You'd be wrong. [iPhone 5 release]

Bad phrasing, good story

Even when they got it right, tech writers were undermined by headlines containing the term "iPhone 5." We know, we know: You meant to say "next iPhone," but ran out of space, on the web:

  • "We're just weeks away from the announcement of the new Apple iPhone 5," wrote the New York Times in an otherwise correct blog post accurately predicting an 8 megapixel camera, A5 processor and pending release date.
  • "Sprint to Get iPhone 5," wrote a Wall Street Journal editor. If the editor had stuck to the reporters' milder assertion that "Sprint will begin selling the new version of the Apple iPhone in mid-October," there would be no problem.
  • "Apple Launching iPhone 5 in October," said All Things D. John Paczkowski was very right that the next iPhone was coming in October, not September. If only he'd not called it the "iPhone 5" over and over again.
  • "Live Blogging the iPhone 5 Announcement," said the New York Times. "iPhone 5 launch: Live coverage of Tim Cook's speech," said the Guardian. Sigh. [via Regret the Error]

Better luck next time, everyone. And remember, with the all new iPhone 4S, you can correct your blog's mistakes faster than ever, from more places than ever. And just wait until you see the forthcoming iPhone 6 3D Porn edition, which will be eight times faster at posting corrections. Our Apple iPhone case supplier analyst friends' sources are absolutely 100 percent certain of it, unless they're not.

(Update: Several stories have been added to the lists above since the time of publication.)

[Thanks to Chad Catacchio for the term 'failboard']

[Photo of Apple's Phil Schiller unveiling the remarkably familiar looking iPhone 4S today via Getty Images]