A key tenet of Apple rumormongering is that Apple history repeats itself repeatedly: If Apple has done X, Y and 42 so much as twice consecutively, pundits posit that Apple will do X, Y and 42 a third time.
So I'm going to use this methodology to attempt to poke holes in a solidifying conventional wisdom that Apple will announce the iPhone 5 on June 11 at its Worldwide Developers Conference.
As anyone who follows the industry knows, each of the past two iPhone releases has been preceded by a prototype of the upcoming model disappearing from a bar.
An iPhone 4 prototype went missing on March 18, 2010 and Apple officially unveiled the model on June 7. That's 81 days later. An iPhone 4S prototype skedaddled out of a saloon on July 21, 2011 and Apple took the wraps off that baby on Oct. 4. Seventy-five days.
A difference of a mere six days. Coincidence? I think n ... well, work with me here.
The next component in the equation is the elapsed time between the loss of the prototype and public disclosure of same.
The loss of the iPhone 4 prototype was not revealed publicly until an April 18, 2010 story by Gizmodo: 32 days. The iPhone 4S prototype was quietly MIA until an Aug. 31, 2011 story by CNET: 41 days.
Close again: We see that it takes the press an average of 36.5 days to catch wind of iPhone prototypes going missing from bars.
Which brings us back to June 11 and Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference, at which - if you believe a growing chorus of pundits -- there is expected to be an official iPhone 5 announcement.
Color me skeptical. Unless all the iPhone 5 prototypes have been surgically implanted into the forearms of those Apple employees who have them, history tells us that one went missing on or about Feb. 27, which means the news story should have been published in early April.
Since the latter didn't happen, the implications are clear: Either Apple has gotten much better at suppressing news about its missing iPhone prototypes. Or those looking for an iPhone 5 announcement on June 11 are going to be sorely disappointed.