When Will Apple's Crazy Rumors Finally Come True?

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AP/Mark Lennihan
The rumor mill would be a lonely place if it wasn't for Apple (AAPL). The trading week kicked off with sources telling Bloomberg that the consumer tech giant's next iPhone would be bigger and have a curved screen.

Then on Tuesday, we saw dueling analysts arguing over whether we will finally see a full-blown Apple high-def TV in 2014. Throw in all of the old chatter that has never panned out and you have smartwatches, NFC-equipped smartphones, and phablets (phone-tablets) that were either abandoned by Apple before seeing the light of day or -- more likely -- never in the works at all.

TV or Not TV

NPD Group analyst Paul Gagnon made waves on Tuesday by claiming that the development of Apple's smart HDTV -- often referred to as iTV -- has been bumped from a potential release next year.

Gagnon reports that Apple suppliers are indicating that Apple's having doubts about the replacement cycle of high-def TVs. It's also struggling to get content providers to offer shows and channels without the ridiculous bundles that the pay TV industry currently offer.

%VIRTUAL-article-sponsoredlinks%He's right on both fronts. No one is going to replace a TV every other year the way people upgrade smartphones and tablets. TVs usually get switched out every seven or eight years. However, that's been the way it worked for a long time. Apple knew this going in.

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster sees things differently. He's adamant about Apple introducing the iTV in 2014, and his channel checks within Apple's supply chain bear that out.

Then again, skeptics will argue that Munster's been talking up Apple's entry into the smart television market for years. He's been at this since 2009, and the product has yet to roll out. Why should it be different this time?

It's About Time

We may get the curved screen for next year's iPhone 6. We may even get the Apple HDTV next year. However, the only thing that's a lock to come next year is another wave of Apple product rumors.

We can blame it on Apple's history of innovation. We got the iPod in 2001. The iPhone followed in 2007. The iPad ushered in the tablet era in 2010. We're about due for the next great Apple innovation, and it will be the first new line since Steve Jobs passed away.

If anything, the death of Jobs 25 months ago places even more pressure on Apple to innovate. The stock is trading lower this year in a market that has generally been kind to tech stocks.

Hall of Bogus Apple Rumors

Will we see the iWatch? Since everyone started talking up Apple's inevitable smartwatch we've seen Pebble, Samsung, and even Qualcomm (QCOM) jump into the market.

Wearable computing seems to be a buzz-worthy field, yet it was Google (GOOG) -- the company that's been giving Apple fits with its industry-leading Android mobile operating system -- that turned heads with its Web-tethered Google Glass specs.

Despite the success of Samsung and other Android device makers with phablets -- gadgets larger than smartphones but smaller than tablets -- chatter about Apple making its mark in that market has gone unrequited.

Let's not even get started on Apple handheld gaming systems, eReaders, or the iCar.

Apple prefers to work in secrecy, and that has been a healthy strategy for Apple -- when it follows through by putting out products that wow the market. When Apple exceeds the hype -- as it did with the iPod, iPhone, and more recently iPad -- great things happen.

However, speculation has been more tantalizing than reality for Apple in recent years.

It's time for that to change, and it's time for Apple to prove that it can dream bigger than the rumor mill can imagine.

Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz owns shares of Qualcomm. The Motley Fool recommends Apple and Google. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, Google, and Qualcomm. Try any of our newsletter services free for 30 days.
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