The iPhone rumor mill gets busy grinding

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Mark Twain is often credited with, but ultimately didn’t coin the phrase “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth gets its boots on.” The phrase originated with 19th century English preacher Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Good thing Mark and Charles never saw the Apple blogosphere.

A rumor spread through the blogosphere like wildfire that Apple would introduce new phones on June 22, and separately, that there had been hints of a Verizon iPhone. Neither one has really panned out.

The first rumor, about the release date, first appeared on the blog ModMyi. That date would make sense, as Apple has announced the phones in June/July and shipped them in July/August. Mine comes off contract in August and oh boy is AT&T trying its best to get me to renew.

They claimed that the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts had been reserved for a June 22 hosted by Apple. Apple has used the Center for several events now, and the timing is logical, but there is nothing on the Center’s calendar yet and the Center wouldn’t confirm anything related to Apple. So file that one under “believable, but not yet proven.”

The second one was a testament to the old adage. Engadget ran an article claiming to have evidence of Verizon network usage by iPhone apps, which was attributed to Flurry, the market research firm that follows the mobile apps market. The chart showed there had been some traffic on non-Wi-Fi and non-AT&T networks, including a fractional amount of traffic on Verizon.

However, Flurry said the stats are “absolutely not proof.” It came from an anonymous developer using Flurry analytics to examine his own application and not from Flurry itself, according to Peter Farago, vice president of marketing with Flurry.

Farago said the developer is simply seeing DSL/Wi-Fi use, which is common. Verizon offers home Internet services under both DSL and its high-speed FiOS service. “Since January 2009, when Flurry began first offering its analytics service, Flurry has tracked hundreds of millions of sessions on Verizon.  The only thing the data in the chart shows is that the IP address used is owned by Verizon. These are most likely Verizon DSL or FiOS subscribers using their iPhone at home over Wi-Fi,” he said.

Engadget has since corrected its article. So for now, it’s back to waiting for the Verizon iPhone, possibly codenamed “Godot.”

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