Together we can end the scourge of the Apple rumor machine

You know the Apple rumor mill has hit full tilt when word leaks of 'Terminator 2'-style iPhones. It's time to end the gossip cycle

This just in: Apple iDevices are about to become much smaller. They're also going to be much larger. And some are going to remain exactly the same size but may be available in different colors and/or thicknesses. Are we clear on that?

It's comforting to know that despite all the changes in the iOSphere, the Apple rumor machine continues to crank away like some perpetual-motion device, running for millennia long after its creators have crumbled into dust.

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News of eensy iThings comes to us by way of Boy Genius Report, which took it from a website called PhoneArena, which found it on a Chinese-language site called Weibo, which requires a login I don't have -- so who knows what that story actually says? But according to BGR/PhoneArena/Weibo/your mom, Apple is planning two mini versions of the iPhone Lite with the unlikely names of Zenvo and Zagato/Bertone. (Apparently Apple has decided to name its phones after Pokemon characters.) Also: They'll be available in delicious Starburst-candy colors. Isn't that exciting?

Those are hardly the only iRumors swirling around the Webbernets. On the iWatch watch, the Financial Times reports Apple is aggressively seeking engineers to work on the new wrist-changing device. Multiple sources report that Apple is maybe/possibly working on an HDTV with ad skipping and gesture control, allowing you to wipe away those incredibly annoying Windows 8 dance commercials with a wave of your hand. New iPhones will sport fingerprint scanners for biometric security, 13-megapixel cameras, and video capture at 120 frames per second, according to some Random Dudes with Blogs.

What else? Oh yeah -- new "indestructible" iPhones will be made from LiquidMetal, the same stuff that rendered the cyborgs so hard to kill in "Terminator 2." Can iSkynet be far behind?

Wired's Christina Bonnington even ranks the rumors, using her trusty Magic 8-Ball. Save for the iWatch, nearly all fall into the Don't Count On It range.

Reality check

A somewhat more credible rumor comes to us by way of Wall Street Journal reporter Lorraine Luk in Taiwan, which notes that Apple has been asking it suppliers to provide screens larger than the current 4-inch model for the iPhone 5, as well as 13-inch touch-sensitive screens, suggesting a future iPad on steroids. To the WSJ's credit, it acknowledges that even if Apple is asking for these screens, there's no guarantee we'll ever see them in future products, a detail its more breathless blogging brethren seem determined to overlook.

The Journal also notes new iPhones expected to come out later this year will look and feel pretty much like the current crop of iPhones. Somewhere, fanboys are curled up behind the Genius Bar at their local Apple shrine, quietly sobbing, "Damn you, incremental but non-life-altering improvements. Damn you to hell!"

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