Case in point: the iPhone mini-tablet story that broke Wednesday afternoon in Germany.
It started with a bad computer an English translation of a sloppy dispatch in the German language version of ZDnet. Under the headline “iPhone kommt mit größerem Display und Intel Atom,” ZDNet.de reported on a speech given by Intel Germany CEO Hannes Schwaderer in Munich. The key passage, as machine-translated, edited and re-broadcast by MacRumors:
MacRumors’ Arnold Kim helpfully added that this correlated with “circulating rumors” that Apple was working on a mini-tablet (720×480) device.
That’s all it took. By Thursday morning, there were 15 headlines on Techmeme echoing and amplifying the ZDNet report, among them:
- Valleywag: “Intel Atom to be used in new, larger iPhone”
- Gizmodo: “Intel Germany CEO Spills on Atom-Based Mini-Tablet iPhone”
- Engadget: “WWDC to launch a 3G iPhone and Atom-based MID device?”
AppleInsider ran a Photoshop rendition of a Newton-size iPhone and reminded readers that the device Intel Germany’s CEO now “vouches” for was first reported by AppleInsider last September. (link) Seth Weintraub in Computerworld went so far in his tablet-iPhone speculation as to post a bar graph of benchmark tests comparing the Atom to predecessor chips. (link)
Intel specifically “disclaimed” the report that started it all. Intel Germany’s CEO was only making general remarks about the kind of mobile devices the Atom might power in the future and did not mean to speculate about future Apple (AAPL) products. He mentioned the iPhone in this connection, according to Intel, only as an example of a small Internet device.
“Intel knows nothing over future products of other manufacturers and can therefore over it also nothing say,” press spokesman Mike Cato told ZDNet in a quote that probably sounded better in German than it does in Babel Fish translation. (link)
[UPDATE: MacRumors’ Kim stands by his German-to-English translation (duly noted, and corrected above) and notes that ZDNet now points to second account of Schwaderer’s speech from PCGamesHardware.de:
We leave it to the reader to determine if this confirms the existence of the mini-tablet iPhone.]