Apple’s ‘Revolutionary’ New Product May Not Be What You’re Expecting

Posted by · April 13, 2012 3:23 pm

Apple revolutionary productBig rumors always start small.

After stumbling upon an interview between renowned French designer Philippe Starck and the French newspaper Le Fargo, lesser-known tech site HardMac is reporting that Apple may have an exciting new project in the works. According to the site, which translated the interview, Starck is predicting that a “revolutionary” new product will be here in just eight months.

“Indeed, there is a big project together which will be out in eight months,” Starck is quoted as saying in a rather rough translation of the interview.

Unsurprisingly, the French designer did not spend any time telling the newspaper anything about what the product might be, invoking Apple’s “religious cult of secrecy,” as he called it. So leave it to the Apple rumor mill to take the exciting scrap of information and run with it, right?

Well, not necessarily.

In a rather uncharacteristic response from Apple Insider, writer Neil Hughes added, “There’s no indication that Starck has worked with Apple in any capacity before.” However, he notes, “[H]e did design premium iPhone/iPod speakers and headphones for the company Parrot in 2008.”

Departing even further from the archetypal Apple rumor mill post most of us expect, Hughes continued, “The comments from Starck will undoubtedly fuel speculation about a rumored Apple television set that the company is believed to be working on.”

Meanwhile, feeding off HardMac’s suggestion that it would put all of its money on “the revolutionary remote control that will be associated with the future Apple TV set,” others suggested that something—other than the next-generation iPhone, which is hardly a secret—may in fact be on the way.

Reaching out to Apple for comment shortly after the rumor broke, AllThingsD came to a far different conclusion.

Far from an Apple television set or a redesigned Apple Store, the “revolutionary” product is not a product at all. According to an Apple spokeswoman, the company is not working on anything with Starck at this time. However, Starck was working with the late Steve Jobs on a product of sorts before Jobs’ untimely passing.

“Prior to his death, Apple CEO Steve Jobs was working with Starck on a yacht,” notes AllThingsD’s John Paczkowski (emphasis added). “And this is very likely the ‘fairly, if not very, revolutionary’ project he was talking about.”

This leaves two explanations for the full day of free PR that Apple received for doing nothing: Either something got lost in translation or Starck is no longer a part of the “religious cult of secrecy” he speaks of so nonchalantly.

For more on Apple’s “revolutionary” new product . . .