Usually tech rumors – and especially Apple rumors – are shadowy things, sourced to anonymous insiders or employees of factories in China or Taiwan. Well, hey, this is a nice change of pace: Philippe Starck, the famed French designer, has told a Parisian newspaper that he is helping Apple design a "revolutionary" product, which will hit shelves in approximately eight months. In other words, Starck is both the progenitor and the subject of the rumor.
What Starck actually said – courtesy of our high school French classes and an assist from Google Translate – is this: "In effect, there is a big project that we're working on together." Starck, invoking Apple's famed "culte du secret religieux" – cult of religious secrecy – declined to comment further. And Apple is staying mum. So is this for real?
Maybe. It does seem extremely unlikely that a highly-regarded public figure would go dashing around dispensing completely false pieces of information. (Starck has in the past designed the interior of Eurostar trains, Parisian restaurants, and the apartments of French politicians. Once he even built a wicked cool toothbrush.) Let's say Starck is partnering up with Apple.
And let's look at the time frame he gave his interviewer: 8 months. That would put us towards the end of 2012, which would be prime time for a new Apple iPhone. (Although the last iPhone launched in the fall, so the successor is probably due in about 6 or 7 months, rather than 8.) On the other hand, as others have pointed out, it could just be a remote control for the (presumably forthcoming) Apple TV.
We'll let you know as soon as we know more.