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The funny thing about the media, about news outlets and everything in between is that there are all sorts of information to digest at any time. If you’re looking for information on a new phone, whether it is official documentation or the latest and greatest churned from the rumor mill, you can find it. Even if you’re not someone who’s captivated by all of the rumor mongering that happens before the launch of a big device, you’ve probably heard something once or twice. And if you are someone who listens and catches up on all the rumors, then by the time the phone launches there’s a real chance that you’ll be let down by the real product.

Before the launch of the iPhone 4S, there were plenty of rumors being swirled around. What’s worse, all of those rumors were being soaked up and repeated, if not sometimes even glorified by some of the most heard pundits, and news agencies, out there. This is the first time in recent memory where the rumors literally seemed to outweigh any hard facts that may have been seeping through the cracks. This is the first time that I can remember really, where a phone’s incoming presence was literally marred by the rumors that were being tossed around haphazardly. So by the time the iPhone 4S was announced, and Apple higher-ups were out on stage talking up the next great thing, people were already talking about the mistake that was going on.

But, Apple didn’t make a mistake. I will say that, yes, an iPhone 5 with much-improved specifications over the iPhone 4, with a slightly bigger display, faster processor (which we still got), a better camera (which we still got), and better everything else would have been great – but the iPhone 4S is the exact device that Apple was always going to launch. We saw the same “minor” improvement in the iPhone 3GS, when it took the place of the iPhone 3G. But back then there wasn’t much competition, so no one was clamoring about how the iPhone 3GS was a huge let down, and how Apple failed.

And that has me thinking that with another huge phone about to be launched, and with plenty of rumors being swirled around out there, will we see it again? To be specific, is Samsung going to see the same reaction when the Samsung Galaxy Nexus launches? Because, if these latest rumors are true, then we’re already looking at an unimpressive 5MP camera around back, with a 1.3MP camera up front. Not the best specs to be sure, but it’s also not the worst, so that’s something, right? That’s the real trouble about rumors, isn’t it? We’re just guessing here, going off what sources “familiar with the matter” are telling us, or what people have heard in passing. Screenshots.

I love rumors as much as the next person and I love sitting around with my colleagues talking about a phone that hasn’t even been announced yet, speculating on what’s going to be the next big thing that the manufacturer unveils. But what I won’t do, and what everyone else shouldn’t do, is let the rumors actually dictate the announcement, long before the announcement even comes. Rumors are rumors, ladies and gentlemen, and there should never be a time where you take them seriously. Remember that salt shaker, the one with that single grain of salt in there? These phones are just phones, there’s always going to be something new coming, and there’s no denying what Apple launched, or what Samsung will launch right around the corner, is impressive in and of itself.

Was the iPhone 4S not enough to sway your purchase? There’s nothing wrong with that – because there’s plenty of people out there who are going to be perfectly happy with the bumped specs, even if there weren’t a lot of bumped specs, or because the phone doesn’t look different than the previous version. There’s always a chance that a company’s product will be crushed by its own rumors, I guess, and that’s seriously unfortunate. Especially when pundits, analysts and market researchers are talking about as negatively as they can about what’s been launched, versus what the “expectations” are. Let’s keep the rumor mill churning, because it’s a great source of entertainment, but let’s try and keep our expectations in check, okay?


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