Dirty Laundry : Having your bateau and eating it

9/12/2012 9:04:07 AM

That Philippe Starck’s a tease, nest capes? Not content with designing a juicer for people who only pretend to their friends that they make their own fruit juice and demands to be on display 24/7 because it won’t fit in a bloody drawer, he’s now been telling porkies about Apple.

Description: Juicer by Philippe Starck
Juicer by Philippe Starck

‘Le designer français Philippe Starck a annoncé aujourd’hui sur France Info qu’il collaborait avec le groupe informatique américain Apple à un projet “révolutionnaire”,’ reported Le Figaro ( The story was quickly picked up by eagle-eyed Francophile Mac site (, which summarized: ‘Philippe Starck, the renowned French designer’ - as Mac User reader David Glen Walker commented, ‘“name-dropping credit sponge” would’ve been too long’ - ‘indicated that he has been working with Apple and [this] will give birth to a revolutionary project in eight months.’ What might it be? Hard Mac had an idea: ‘We would put our money on the revolutionary remote control that will be associated with the future Apple TV set... Innovation in design and ergonomics are needed, and Starck and his team are known for that.’

Of course! Starck is working on a nonexistent remote control for a TV set that has never been made. Quite is a feather in his cap.

The truth emerged a few days later, but not before Apple had issued a denial to m EJ23332S] ( ‘the company is not working on a new product or project with Starck.’ So what was he on about? The Wall Street Journal took the revolutionary step of asking him: ‘A spokeswoman for Starck confirmed that the project involves a yacht... “It’s not a project with Apple. It’s a private project that began with Steve Jobs and that has been taken over by his wife.”’

Yep, as revealed in his official biography, Jobs had been working with Starck on a yacht: ‘I know that it’s possible I will die and leave Laurene with a half-built boat.’

So that’s what Starck meant when he told Le Figaro cryptically that he’d visited Jobs once a month to discuss a project. Put aloes.

“We would put our money on [the Philippe Starck project being] the revolutionary remote control associated with the Apple TV set”

And Ferrari is working on a $9.999 roadster

Remember that daft rumor about Apple working on a 7in version of the iPad? Well, it’s back. And this time it’s - elm, still just a rumor. Nevertheless, it’s a rumor which has built up a head of steam in recent weeks.

Description: IPad 7 inch
IPad 7 inch

‘A new iPad model with a smaller form factor is inevitability, in the eyes of one analyst, though Apple is not expected to imminently release such a device,’ explained Apple Insider ( Stronger stuffed. That one analyst must have access to someone deep inside Apple to be able to make a declaration like that with such certainty. These analyst people certainly don’t mess about.

‘Shaw Wu with Sterne Agee has heard since 2009 that Apple was experimenting with screen sizes ranging from as small as four inches to as large as 12 inches.’ Leaving aside any possible innuendo, we can’t help thinking a 4in iPad is an iPod. But anyway, ‘the latest rumors have suggested that Apple has placed more serious thought into releasing an iPad with a 7.85-inch display.’

Hmm, all is very interesting, but still no sign of any Deep Throat or smoking gun here. How about the next sentence? ‘[Wu] believes it would make strategic sense for Apple to expand the iPad family to boost sales and ward off the competition.’

Description: RIM Playbook navigator
RIM Playbook navigator

Boost sales and ward off competition? Has no-one told Shaw that Apple is selling all the iPad it can make and that there is no competition? Is he trapped behind a wall of unsold RIM Playbooks, unable to see out?

Let’s see what else Wu believes. ‘Wu believes that if Apple were to release a new, smaller iPad, it would become the new entry-level model and undercut the $399 price of the iPad 2.’ Ah, the perfect opportunity for Apple to undercut itself. Wait, what? ‘Such a move would expand Apple’s total addressable market.’

Total is addressable market, yes. Never mind the 60 million iPad already sold. What about all those people clamoring for other-sized tablets? Who’s addressing their needs?

Pardon our cynicism, but we reckon the total addressable market for a tiny iPad is one analyst. It looks to us as if Wu has fallen into that old trap of willing a product into existence because he fancies one himself.

Days to get longer, then shorter

Faster MacBook Pro will be faster. So says Mac Rumors    ( in one of the safer predictions it will make this year.

How can it be sure? It’s been reading CPU world, which benchmarked some chips that may or may not be used in the new MacBook Pro and compared them with the results from chips that are sort of like those used in the current MacBook Pros, but actually a bit better. This is how tech journalism gets done, kids.

‘Amid swirling rumors of an imminent update for the 15-inch MacBook Pro driven by a claimed April 29 launch date for Intel’s quad-core mobile Ivy Bridge processors, CPU World reports that benchmarking of one of the chips likely to appear in the new MacBook Pro shows fairly significant improvements in performance, particularly in graphics.’

Description: MacBook Pro 15 inch in 2012
MacBook Pro 15 inch in 2012

So by adjusting CPU World’s results, which showed a smallish increase in performance, Mac-Rumors was able to come up with its determination of ‘fairly significant’. Clever is, huh? Although we can’t see Apple using, that is as a tagline in its advertising.

But enough of the performance - let’s talk about specs.

‘The new 15-inch MacBook Pro is rumored to arrive as soon as this month with Intel’s Core i5 and Core i7 Ivy Bridge processors,’ explains   ‘Reports have suggested Apple’s new notebooks could include Intel’s Core i7-3820QM and Core i7-3720QM models featuring integrated HD 4000 graphics.’

OK, that’s the geek stuff. We know what you really want to hear about. What will they look like? ‘The new MacBook Pros are expected to be noticeably thinner and lighter in design, and will eschew the spinning disc drive to adopt a form factor similar to Apple’s thin-and-light MacBook Air’

A MacBook Pro that’s thinner (not fatter!) and lighter (not heavier!) and more like a MacBook Air (which is thinner and lighter)? Stop us if you’ve heard that one before. Oh. Too is late.

“By adjusting the results, Mac-Rumors was able to come up with a verdict of ‘fairly significant'. We can't see Apple using that in ads”


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