iPhone 5 Rumor Scorecard: The Good, The Bad and The Asinine

As with any Apple announcement, the pre-event online rumor mill is running at full steam. Some are serious, some less so, and some are so ridiculous as to make you curse the egalitarian world of online publishing. and through all of it, of couse, Apple never comments on rumors or speculation (or much of anything else). That leaves a lot of unaccounted-for online blathering.

We’ve rounded up some of the best and the worst of the current conjecture, and we’ve given each a plausibility rating to cut through (most of) the nonsense; a score of one means it’s complete hokum, while a 10 means it’s a sure thing.

Plausibility rating: 4

As news of the Google Wallet spreads, the hope of having all of our tools rolled into one device is growing. Some think that Apple will wait until NFC is more ubiquitous before sticking the technology into its next phone, but among the growing list of Apple’s patents, there’s evidence to the contrary. iWallet, anyone?

Plausibility rating: 7

This one depends on whom you ask. According to an interview with tech blog Gigaom, T-Mobile is waiting for that miraculous phone call from Apple, while Sprint isn’t “in a position to comment” on the matter.

Plausibility rating: 7

Most expect at least one brand new iPhone, complete with aesthetic and hardware upgrades from the iPhone 4. Some, however, think that Apple will release a refurbished, budget-conscious iPhone 4 alongside the new flagship device. the strategy worked for the 3GS, which remains second best-selling smartphone after its big brother. What’s more, Al Gore mentioned the new “iPhones” during his Discovery Leadership Summit address. That’s iPhones, plural.

Plausibility rating: 8

The Apple event invite explicitly states “Let’s talk iPhone.” People can argue over semantics and punctuation till blue in the face, but Apple’s recent acquisition of voice-recognition startup Siri could mean a robust voice-to-text system isn’t far off.

Plausibility rating: 4

According to one study, 34 percent of iPhone 4 owners think that they are riding high on 4G. sorry guys, but the truth is that the iPhone 4 is still stuck in the 3G stone ages. while it would be shocking if Apple didn’t eventually give its new baby the same horsepower as its competitors, we don’t see it happening any time in the near future.

Plausibility rating: 2

Back in July, reports stated that Taiwan-based parts suppliers for Apple were readying battle stations to provide for not one, but two new devices.

Plausibility rating: 9

There aren’t many surprises left for Apple’s mobile operating system since its announcement in June, but we’ve been fooled before. there is, of couse, the possibility of a Facebook partnership (though from what we’ve heard about animosity between the two companies, it’s not bloody likely). It’s a safe bet, however, that Tuesday will bring the much anticipated release of iOS 5 that we’ve been waiting for.