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It would be an understatement to say that this years' iPhone rumors go a little out of hand. They sort of do every year – like when California police raided Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's house in search of a "stolen" iPhone 4 prototype – but this year was particularly bad in its own way. It seemed like the headlines of every morning were filled with "iPhone 5 to (fill in the blank) ..." and tidbits of information that didn't match up with the information given by a "source familiar with the matter" from days before.

After eighteen months of mountains of conflicting, far-fetched rumors, Apple took the stage in Cupertino and talked mostly about major updates to their software before quickly touching on their slightly redesigned iPhone 4S. There was no iPhone 5, no larger display, no teardrop design overhaul and a lot of upset consumers and journos (myself included).

Nonetheless, iPhone 5 rumors keep rolling in. Business Insider has been told by an "industry source that has been right about future Apple products in the past" that "the 'iPhone 5' – or at least, a fully redesigned iPhone – was real and it was scrapped only months before the iPhone 4S was announced." As it stands, Business Insider was unable to confirm this claim and suggests we all take it with a "fat dose of salt."

So what does all of this mean? Absolutely nothing. I'm positive we'll see the next generation iPhone sometime in 2012; it's inevitable. And with an impending Apple product, minds always seem to soar. People want to believe the next generation iPhone will be totally redesigned, regardless of rumors that say otherwise. It has to be. A constant flow of concepts and wandering ideas will manage to make their way to the Internet, sources "familiar with the matter" who think they know what the next iPhone will hold will take to blogs across the Web and rumors will press on, far and wide, increasing in absurdity every step of the way.

My question to you is: are you skeptical of the lofty claims now? Or will you, like we all did this time, be sucked into the faraway Apple product dreamland where phones have projection keyboards and can double as a straight razor in the morning?

Back when we originally heard the iPhone 5 would be sporting a new shell, back when we still thought it was slated to launch this year, I was skeptical. Apple has shelled a lot of money into R&D for their external antenna design, not to mention the fixes they've had to make in that very department. On top of that, a larger display would fragment the OS, which is, according to Business Insider's source, the whole reason Jobs scrapped the project. But mountains of rumors convinced me otherwise. I was sucked into the mounding hype and forced to believe that there was no possible way all of these sources were wrong.

The latest from the rumor mill, which reveals the redesigned phone was scrapped not long before Apple's keynote, suggests they weren't totally wrong. It could explain a lot – case manufacturers posting iPhone 5 prototype cases on their sites, hundreds of varying reports, etc. But it leaves a lot to question in terms of what the next generation iPhone will be.

Will it be razor thin? Will it have a full HD display? Will it sport a quad-core processor? Rest assured, a flurry of far-fetched rumors will arrive in the coming months and seemingly answer all of these questions. The real question is: what will you believe?

Although my list of things I would like and hope to see in the iPhone 5 has not changed, I'm beginning to think that Apple may be taking another route. Although it's not exactly what I would like to hear, maybe a larger display and redesign are not the answer just yet. I know that this time around, however, I will not be so quick to digest the rumors. I never should have in the first place, but it's just way too easy to get caught up in the hype.

Will you be more skeptical of the less-than-trusty rumor mill this go around? Or will you get swept up by a sea of absurd rumors again, only to be let down by Apple in the summer (or whenever they actually release their next phone)?

Image via MacRumors


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