A "leak" in traditional journalism parlance is an act committed by someone with insider knowledge, and with insider motives, on a reporter who's more than willing to be leaked upon, but in theory at least thoroughly considers the leaker's motives. That doesn't happen so much in the iOSphere, where "leak" means "an unsourced photo, or something made to look like a photo, that I've never seen before."
That's enough for Tapscape, for example, which took the same photos noted by CultOfMac, reiterated the same unfounded Consenus Rumor Estimate, and had the audacity to run the result under the bold headline "iPhone 5 Features In-Depth: The New Mini Dock."
Heath focuses on one picture in particular from Nowehereelse.fr which shows the bottom edges of the pressed together iPhone 4S and the Mystery Phone. The "dock connector pic is the best quality we've seen so far," he assures us, apparently fully prepared to accept the French language posting at face value. How anyone in the Age of Adobe Photoshop could write that with a straight face is a modern wonder.
Heath says the photo shows a "surprise" - a metal ring surrounding the connection port, which to Heath looks rather, kind of, somewhat like the MagSafe port on Apple's computers. MagSafe is the proprietary Apple power connection, which uses magnets to hold the cord to the device so it will break apart easily if someone accidentally hits the cord. It was updated recently on some new MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models. Mag nuts have predicted for months that Apple will bring it to iPhone.
Not everyone buys this. The headline at iPhone5NewsBlog reads, "The Fakest-Looking Part Of The Purported iPhone 5." Which, to us, is another way of saying "The Fakest-looking Part Of The Fake iPhone 5."
Editor Michael Nace says "If the glimpses of the purported iPhone 5 units that we've seen thus far are all fakes, then they are the best fakes we've seen to date." But he thinks the bottom of the revealed iPhone 5 "looks really off." He uses a rendering of a pretend iPhone 5 originally created by Bryce Haymond, a freelance designer operating as Blackpool Creative in Pleasant Grove, Utah. Haymond released updated fake images in June.
"The bottom of these iPhone 5 units, to me, look[s] really 'off,'" Nace says. And this isn't just a gut feeling, he says: there are cold hard facts, or more precisely, cold hard rhetorical questions, to back it up.
For one thing, the "gaping hole" of the iPhone 5 port depicted in all these pictures looks nothing like the MagSafe port on the MacBooks, Nace says. And that headphone jack on the bottom? Not gonna happen. "Does it not seem rather odd that Apple would move it from top to the bottom?" Finally, there is the fact of having more speaker perforations on one side than the other. "I get it the presence of the headphone jack reduces the left hand number of holes to only five," Nace writes. "But does Apple do asymmetry like this?"
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.