Apple is notorious for its secrecy. Because of that, the Apple blogosphere mostly relies on leaks, patent applications, insider information and rumors. And many of those rumors actually turn out to be true, even if they seem unlikely at the time. But, of course, not all of them do. Continue reading to browse 13 examples of Apple's biggest rumors that never came true.
iTV with iRing Controls
Way back in 2013, rumors were swirling that Apple could debut an updated Apple TV platform called an iTV. The Apple TV existed at the time, but the iTV was meant to be a major update. Even more interesting were predictions that the iTV could be controlled by way of in-air gestures with an “iRing.” Of course, none of those rumors ever came true. But Apple did eventually debut wearable tech with the Apple Watch in 2015.
Over the last couple of years, rumors about an iPhone SE refresh have been numerous. For a while there, it was looking pretty likely that Apple would bring back the 4-inch handset with iPhone X-style features. Those rumors eventually fizzled out when the iPhone SE 2 failed to appear, and some reports suggested it was scrapped. A cheaper and smaller device could still make a comeback next year, but it may be more of an iPhone 8 than an iPhone SE.
If you don’t remember what a netbook is, let us refresh you. It was a miniature version of a notebook computer with cellular connectivity. They were also often cheap and lacking in performance. Back in 2009, rumors suggested that Apple wanted to get in on the game. That never occurred, but the company did eventually release the iPad in 2010 with cellular connectivity. That’s fairly close to original rumors, but arguably better.
Long-Distance Wireless Charging
Wireless charging is convenient, but Apple was once rumored to take it a bit further with long-distance wireless charging that could work up to 15 feet away from a device. Back in 2015, a company called Energous was working on long-distance wireless charging and was said to be partnering with Apple. Those rumors died down when the functionality never materialized.
Under-Glass Fingerprint Scanner
Before the iPhone X’s release in 2017, everyone expected the device to sport an under-display fingerprint scanner. Instead, we got Face ID. More than that, Apple said that it never planned on integrating Touch ID in the display. On the other hand, there may still be some merit to this rumor. Certain reports suggest that Apple could add display-integrated Touch ID by next year.
Many other PC makers have blurred the lines between tablets and laptops. Apple still hasn’t. More than that, Apple says it’s not going to merge the iPad and MacBook lineup anytime soon. Rumors of touchscreen MacBooks stretch back to 2014 (and even before that), but have died off in the last few years. And it’s looking more likely that Apple isn’t going to add a true touchscreen anytime soon.
AirPower wasn’t a rumor — Apple actually announced the device. But, unbeknownst to consumers, the company was continually running into problems producing it. Despite that, there were no shortage of rumors that AirPower had entered production and was ready for a release. Of course, Apple officially canceled AirPower in a press release, stating that it didn’t meet the company's device standards.
Carl Zeiss Apple Glasses
Rumors of Apple AR glasses have persisted for several years — and they’re actually looking more and more likely as time goes on. But an interesting rumor from 2017 suggested that the device could be made in partnership with optics firm Carl Zeiss. While a recent report suggests that Apple will partner with “third-party brands,” it isn’t clear if Carl Zeiss will be among them. That rumor also suggested that they could arrive by the summer of 2017, which obviously didn’t happen.
Apple to Buy Disney
One of the most persistent rumors about Apple over the past two decades is that the company would acquire Disney. Just look at reports from around 2000 to 2010. It’s likely that this rumor kicked off because Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was the largest individual shareholder of Disney stock. But it, of course, never happened — and probably never will.
iPhone with Stylus Support
Apple has long been famously anti-stylus, at least when it comes to UI navigation. But, obviously, it’s softened its stance with the Apple Pencil and iPads. More recently, rumors suggested that Apple would bring Apple Pencil support to its 2018 and 2019 iPhone lineups. Neither of those rumors actually panned out, of course. But Apple could introduce stylus support in a later handset generation.
Goldman Sachs 'Financing'
In February 2018, credible sources told The Wall Street Journal that Goldman Sachs was teaming up with Apple to offer customers low-cost financing options. At the time, the Journal noted that the talks were tentative. More than a year and a half later, we don’t have Goldman Sachs financing at Apple Stores. We do, however, have the Apple Card, issued in partnership with the financial firm. That suggests that both companies may have changed their focus during their discussions.
iMessage Support for Android
At one point prior to WWDC ’16, a fairly sketchy rumor suggested that Apple would bring an iMessage app to Android. That, of course, didn’t really ever happen — and likely never will unfortunately. It is possible, however. Unlike SMS, iMessage is an internet-based standard much more akin to WhatsApp, Signal or Facebook Messenger. Apple could bring it to other platforms. But, again, it probably won’t.
Jay-Z and Apple Record Label
What do Jay-Z and Apple have in common? These days, probably not much. But back in 2008, the two parties were rumored to be on the verge of teaming up and starting their own record label. In the decade that followed, Apple never created its own record label, but Jay-Z did go on to start the Tidal streaming service. Similarly, in 2014, Apple actually bought the Beats brand from another popular 90s hip hop artist: Dr. Dre.