Psst! New iPad to offer videoconferencing, iPhone 4's display

Sources say that Apple will introduce a new iPad this fall along with an iPhone 4-based iPod Touch -- should you believe them?

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There's no technical reason Apple couldn't create a CDMA version of the iPhone, and in markets like the United States where the population is split fairly evenly between GSM and CDMA users, it could make financial sense. Personally, I'd love it if the iPhone were available on Verizon, the carrier I happen to use. Given my past experience with AT&T, I'm very reluctant to switch back, which is the main reason I don't have an iPhone -- and I'm not alone.

But you won't read any of this context in this week's rash of blogs and "news" stories all citing that single Bloomberg report. In fact, you probably think that the Verizon iPhone is a done deal. Certainly, several friends told me of the "news" in the past couple days, not realizing it was unverified.

Many of the current round of stories neglect to mention the fact the sources are anonymous, simply citing Bloomberg as the source. In their naïveté (or lack of concern for the truth), these sites and TV stations assume that just because Bloomberg is a well-known business news service, the story must be true -- except that doesn't mean a thing. For example, the august New York Times reported in April 2009 that a Verizon iPhone was in the works. It didn't happen. The equally august Wall Street Journal reported in March 2010 that a Verizon iPhone looked to be imminent. Those anonymous sources sure get it wrong.

The bottom line is that the blogosphere is full of rumors masquerading as news, and respectable organizations have joined the rumor rat race -- an unfortunate side effect of the Web's immediacy. I'd have no problem if the stories were labeled upfront as speculation or rumors; then we'd all know to take them with a big grain of salt, but many don't do that.

As for the next-generation iPad and iPod Touch, or for a possible Verizon-compatible iPhone, we'll all know what's real when Apple decides to tell us -- or if it manages to lose a preproduction model as it did with the iPhone 4. But not before then.

This article, "Psst! New iPad to offer videoconferencing, iPhone 4's display," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read more of Gruman et al.'s Mobile Edge blog and follow the latest developments in mobile computing at InfoWorld.com.

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