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A Look Back at a Decade of Terrible Apple iPhone Rumors

If there’s anything constant in the world of Apple’s iPhone, it’s the rumor mill.

Apple’s desire for secrecy, coupled with its popular products, make the company the biggest subject of rumors in the tech industry. And since 2007 (and even earlier), the iPhone has been the most popular rumor topics.

But with all of the good, solid rumors we’ve seen over the years, there have also been some downright terrible rumors, as well. For instance, remember that iPhone rumor that suggested Apple’s (AAPL) handset would get a QWERTY keyboard to catch up to competitors like BlackBerry that offered physical keyboards?

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Suffice it to say that the iPhone has been the subject of countless ridiculous rumors over the years. And here’s our look back at some of the worst over the past 10 years of iPhone:

Where’s the QWERTY?

Would you believe that reports surfaced in 2011, saying the iPhone 5 would come with a physical QWERTY keyboard? Those reports, citing people who claimed to have knowledge of Apple’s plans, said that the company would offer an iPhone 5 that would come with a slide-out physical keyboard, similar to the old T-Mobile Sidekick. It was downright crazy, but some Apple fans were excited at the prospect.

The Long-Forgotten iPhone Nano

Also back in the late 2000s and early 2010s, there were reports that Apple would take some cues from its iPod line and offer a slimmed-down version of the iPhone called the iPhone Nano. The device would be about half the size of the full-sized iPhone, come with a crunched-down version of iOS, and have a cheaper price.

It was ridiculous, and of course, never found its way to store shelves.

OLED Before It Was Even Possible

In 2009, just two years after the original iPhone was released, rumors surfaced, saying the iPhone could come with an organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screen. If you’ve been following the latest iPhone rumors for this year, reports are still saying an OLED screen could be coming. Only this time, it might actually be possible.

Back in 2009, delivering OLED in a device as popular as the iPhone was little more than a pipe dream. And the idea that it was even floated was ridiculous. OLED screens were too hard to produce and not available in nearly the kind of quantity Apple would have needed. Now nearly a decade later, that’s still the case, and likely why Apple might only be able to offer the technology in just one of its handset version sthis year.

The No-Storage iPhone

In 2011, there were some reports circling the Web that suggested Apple would ditch built-in storage for its iPhone and offer a storage-free, cloud-based iPhone. Uh, no.

A Dizzying Array of Mock-Up Designs

Over the past decade, the number of alleged mock-ups of what the iPhone would look like has been shocking. And a large percentage of those aren’t even close to accurate. In fact, Apple has kept a rather evolutionary design process over the last 10 years, leaving most of the major design changes to renderings created by tricksters or hopeful Apple acolytes.

What in the World Is an iPhone Shuffle?

All the way back in 2008, some rumors suggested Apple could release an iPhone Shuffle. The device would be tiny and come with only a few of the features in the standard iPhone. But it would be cheap and according to the reports at the time, dramatically change the smartphone market.

Yeah, it never happened.

A Stylus? Really?

Let’s just make this clear: late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs really, really hated the idea of using a stylus with the iPhone. And yet, rumors have persisted over the years, that have said the feature is coming. It hasn’t, and it won’t. Give it up.

Sprint Exclusivity

Yes, this was really a rumor back in 2011. Some reports had suggested that Sprint (S) was willing to dole out serious cash to Apple to get exclusive access to the iPhone 4S. It didn’t happen (thankfully).