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Welcome back, friends, to the show that never ends! Yes, it’s time to take yet another ride on “sources familiar with the situation,” the crappiest roller coaster in all of Appleworld.

To get you up to speed, the lovely and talented Dan Moren has a piece about the strange tale of Apple supposedly cutting its iPhone 5 screen orders in “half” for this quarter, as The Wall Street Journal and Nikkei have claimed they heard—possibly from some dudes hanging out in front of the Shack.

The Boy Genius Report notes that the Journal had originally said the cuts were from an order of 65 million screens, but then removed the reference. Possibly because it sounded so laughable. And wrong. And dumb. And are people on the Journal copy desk drinking at work again?

If Apple ordered 65 million screens for a non-holiday quarter—when its best iPhone sales on record were 37 million—then someone is getting a quiet, drawly, and slow chewing out by Tim Cook, as Bob Mansfield inexplicably and angrily strangles a kitten just over Cook’s shoulder while staring wrathfully into the person’s eyes.

John Gruber catches a whiff of stock manipulation about this story, and indeed these missives from “sources familiar with the matter” always seem to come out in the days leading up to Apple’s quarterly conference call. Best to get your manipulation in now, before the facts come out on January 23rd!

Meanwhile, writing for the Atlantic Wire, Adam Clark Estes buys the whole report hook, line, sinker, rod, reel, fisherman, boat, and a Sasquatch that happened to be meandering aimlessly up the shore of the lake and was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

“iPhone Fever Is Fading”

News of the iPhone’s decline …

News! Now with 100 percent more rumor!

… comes as Samsung continues its bull run on the industry.

That’s it! Time to close it up and send the money back to investors!

… Samsung suddenly finds itself making more money than Apple

That link is to another piece by Estes, in which he touts Samsung’s earnings estimates for the fourth calendar quarter and compares them to Apple’s reported results from the third calendar quarter, saying “… one things [sic] is brutally clear: Samsung is making more money than Apple, now.”

Because it’s totally fair comparing Samsung’s holiday quarter to Apple’s prior quarter.

In that piece, Estes details a litany of Apple’s supposed woes before saying:

Meanwhile, Samsung is still knocking the socks off of consumers. Just hours before releasing the glowing Q4 earnings estimates, the company pulled back the curtain on some pretty mind-boggling new TVs that will probably cost as much as a car but also shows that they’re on the right side of the innovation curve.

The link there goes to a Gizmodo piece entitled “Samsung’s Giant Amazing Ultra-HD TVs Are Imprisoned In Horrible Metal Bars.” Expensive and ugly. Sounds innovativetastic. Well, don’t worry, if Apple does ship a television, the Macalope is sure that Samsung’s design ethic will suddenly and magically improve.

But back to the current piece.

Faced with a daunting reality of sinking sales …



He wrote that!

Meanwhile, in this warp bubble that everyone else must be stuck in, sales of the iPhone continue to grow, albeit not as fast as sales of Android devices. Still, rising is almost like sinking, right?

There’s also evidence that Samsung is emerging as the most popular smartphone brand for youths, meaning that Apple might miss out on a generation of potential iPhone users.

Yes, that link goes to the piece the Macalope tore into on Saturday.

Finally, as if to add insult to injury:

Update 2:00 p.m.: The Wall Street Journal report about waning demand has since pushed the company stock down below $500, a sign of Apple’s rumor economy turning against it.

Gosh, can you imagine that? Well, it’s nice that we have outfits like the Atlantic Wire to sort all of this out for us, and not in any way promulgate the “rumor economy.”

In other news on Monday, The Atlantic made waves by posting an article sponsored by the Church of Scientology, which has since been removed “pending a review.” Personally, the Macalope thinks the magazine left something on the table by not getting Samsung to pony up for Estes’s piece.

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