Bill Palmer: ‘Headless Mac’ a phony rumor that doesn’t exist

“Well, let’s see now, Apple has filed a lawsuit against the rumor site that broke the “news” about the impending release of the fabled headless iMac, so that definitely means that the product is for real, doesn’t it? Apple wouldn’t go to such great lengths to protect its secrets if they weren’t even real, would it? I mean, you don’t sue a site that published rumors that didn’t even come from inside Apple, so the rumors have to be true…right? Yeah, right,” Bill Palmer writes for

“I don’t believe for one second that Apple’s lawsuit against the website that posted the headless iMac rumor means anything as far as the rumor being true,” Palmer writes. “For all we know, Apple decided to intentionally spread a false rumor to certain employees, just to see where that misinformation ended up surfacing, so they could figure out just who it was that leaked it. And if you’re Apple and you’re going to throw something fake out there, then why not use the most laughably false rumor in Apple history?”

Palmer writes, “I don’t know if we’ll ever know what it was that caused the most absurd rumor in Apple history to suddenly find legs this year when it had always petered out in the past. But I do know one thing: I don’t see Apple’s lawsuit as having told us anything about the headless iMac one way or the other… I gave the headless iMac rumor a zero percent chance of being true prior to the lawsuit, and I give a zero percent chance of being true now.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Say what you will about Bill, but he’s staked out his limb quite clearly and he doesn’t seem to be budging, no matter what. If Bill’s right, we won’t forget it here at MDN. Same goes for if Bill’s wrong.


  1. Does Bill “Harry” Palmer have a good track record in debunking rumors or something? If not, then why quote his random rants from his amateurish web log here?

    Just wondering.

    By the way, my magic word is “showed.” Just a second ago it was “shown.” Interesting.

  2. I don’t believe the headless Mac is coming. If Apple really wants to get into the cheap Mac space, surely just dropping the price of the eMac is the way to go? No additional R&D costs, no additional manufacturing costs. They will still sell into education and businesses and grow the market that way.

  3. Any high-tech company makes lots of prototypes and creates products that never see the light of day for some reason or another. So, it is conceivable that Apple has made a headless xMac or media server at some point, and maybe even had folks who’ve signed NDAs test them out.

    It doesn’t mean it’s a product that Apple will ever sell.

    I don’t agree with Bill, I think an xMac at this point may make sense IF and only IF Apple can make them by the shipload and keep up with demand. Apples supply history only supports their current high-margin philosophy.

    I am sure there are even versions of OS X that are routinely compiled on x86 processors “just in case”. Who knows, maybe Jobs is having himself cloned, too. Anyway, Apple is far more prepared and agile than ever before. If it can get out of its historical component supply issues and ship stuff whenever we want to buy it, then Apple is truly a force to watch. Microsoft has never been so vulnerable, too.

    The Expo will be fun to watch. That’s about the only certainty here!

  4. Bill is by no means an expert commentator, but he is knowledgable and I think he sees this rumor for what it is. Nothing but bunk. I am more willing to believe that the eMacs are dropping in price to something like $599, than a cheap mac with no monitor for $499… I’m on Bill’s side here. This rumor makes no sense, business, common or otherwise…

  5. I don’t know if the rumor is true or not but personally I think it would make sense right now for Apple to do something like this. I usually agree with Bill Palmer and he is certainly entitled to his (in my estimation) valuable opinion. But in this case he seems to be stretching really hard to have what he has been predicting be true. I also don’t know that his separating Mac Users on the web from the “other ninety-nine percent of Mac users” rings true with me. Maybe to some extent but certainly not to the level he implies. Oh well, as MDN said, we will know soon enough. And even if Bill proves to be wrong, I will still read his blog from time to time but would probably take it with a bit more of a grain of salt.

  6. As I’ve been saying all along, people’s a*ses are on the line here. If it turns out to be false, the rumor sites will have credibility of less than zero forever. If Bill is wrong, he’s going to take a hit too. Either way, Tuesday should be a monumental day in the history of the Macintosh. I only hope it’s monumental for what did happen rather than what didn’t…

  7. I have learned over the years to not get too excited about all these wiz bang products Apple is rumored to reveal at Macworld. And as much I wish this one to be true, I fear it will go the way of the all those other rumored products that never materialized.

    However, I think Mr Palmer is dead wrong about this not making sense for Apple. It would be a huge hit.

    But Apple doesn’t seem to care so much about winning the PC/OS market share battle as much as the Macfanatics do. Sure it would be nice to get back up to at least a 5% share. But lets not kid ourselves folks. The OS battle has been won….not by the best OS, just by the company that got it out there smarter.

    Now move on and enjoy the new and improved Apple…a really cool, innovative company that likes to make tools for the “crazy ones” who some people thing are crazy because they change things.

    They invent. They imagine. They heal.
    They explore. They create. They inspire.

    They push the human race forward.

    While some see them as the crazy ones, Apple sees genius.

    “Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” – Apple Computer

    Let the countdown to macworld begin! I can’t wait!

  8. Why the iHome Pics are FAKED

    If you want to see them, do a Google on “iHome Photos” and you’ll be presented with all sorts of sources for the photos and video.

    Why they are faked…

    The person who faked the photos did a great job, but forgot that the position of the handle means that when the box is carried from the store by a happy Apple customer – the labelling will be upside down. This is unlike all the other Apple boxes with handles, which are (naturally) designed to advertise to others as the box is being carried.

    Nice try…. but no cigar!

  9. I’m not going to read the whole article, but I think there is a point to be made. Some people assume that because the lawsuits have started, Apple is simply protecting their secrets, and therefore legitimizing the rumor sites. However, I want to make the argument that Apple is actually protecting themselves because it’s possible (not definite, I’m not sure whether the rumors are true) that the product doesn’t exist.

    In other words, a rumor site starts a rumor about a cheap iMac, even though it isn’t real. Hopes are high, and if SJ doesn’t deliver at Macworld, then everybody (Mac users and PC users) are going to be majorly disappointed in Apple. The result is a loss in sales and a loss in credibility for the company.

    If the product doesn’t exist, would Apple just allow these sites to continue posting these “rumors” that in teh end will hurt them? Probably not. So they throw up these lawsuits to force them to stop spreading “rumors” so people won’t be so damn disappointed.

    Make any sense?

  10. It makes no sense for apple to file a law suit if it’s not true

    Maybe because they don’t want every one to know what’s true and what’s not based on whether or not a lawsuit is filed.

    Obviously they’re not going to say, this lawsuit is directed as X rumour because it’s true.. so your comment is weightless.

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