Trawl the tech blogs, the Apple fan sites and even mainstream news sources, and you could be forgiven for thinking we were mere weeks away from a new iPhone launch.
Since the turn of the year there has been a seemingly endless flurry of iPhone rumours, with gossip about a full-on new iPhone 6, budget iPhone Mini and now a so-called iPhone Mathmaking headlines.
This level of gossip normally ramps up when Apple pretends it’s not releasing a new product, but really it’s got a new iPhone or iPad waiting in the wings.
This time, things are different. While Cupertino has slashed orders for its iPhone 5, a new device is not even close to being released.
It’s only four months since both of its key iOS products were updated, with June the most likely date for any updates to its best-selling devices. So, why all this gossip, and why now?
To answer the first question, it’s pretty clear that Apple is cooking something up with regards to the iPhone Mini, budget iPhone, or whatever it decides to call it.
Tim Cook and co never confirm or deny speculation, but it may as well have brought out some bellows to fan the flames after asking a Chinese newspaper to amend an article in which exec Phil Schiller apparently said that the company wasn’t looking at making an entry-level smartphone.
You could say that that also covers why all this chitter-chatter is happening right now: Apple’s working on an iPhone Mini, hence component sources are divulging details.
Except that’s not quite the full story. It’s widely accepted that Apple either helps facilitate these leaks or keeps schtum in order to build hype and momentum and therefore sales.
Later today, Apple is set to reveal its latest quarterly earnings and the results are not expected to be pretty.
We’re not talking HTC or Sony levels of disaster, but it’s expected that it will reveal a drop in profits compared to the same period last year, a first fall in nine years.
For a company that’s been at the top for so long, that’s big news. Ally that with a fading share price and some terrible PR in recent months (hello, Apple Maps and this could be the beginning of sustained pressure on Apple.
It might sound cynical, but it could just be that Apple is helping to feed these crazy iPhone rumours in order to deflect attention from the real story: that its days of domination are slowly, inevitably, beginning to come to an end.
It may take years, it may yet push itself back to the top, but these kind of stories keep the hardcore onside and excite those who still equate the Apple brand with quality and next-gen brilliance.
If the results turn out really bad, don’t be surprised to hear an awful lot more about the iPhone Mini and iPhone Math in the next few weeks and months.