8. Zune Phone
The more Microsoft insisted it had no Zune phone in development, the louder the rumors about the device's imminent release became.
Microsoft never gave people any good reason to expect a Zune phone, but from July through December 2008, you could find various reports from The Inquirer and mock-ups from Wired of imagined Zune-phone hybrids. Closer to reality, perhaps, were rumors that the Zune might soon sport a touch screen.
The rumor is still alive and well. Currently, according to sources, the Zune phone will launch in January at CES 2009. Mike Elgan at Computerworld explains best why that won't really happen (at least not anytime soon): Microsoft "simply doesn't have the vision to build something really great in the consumer electronics space."
7. The iPhone Nano
From the category "I wish it were true" comes the idea of a smaller--and ultimately cheaper--iPhone, a rumor that has been with us all year long. First, we expected to see a miniature iPhone, dubbed the iPhone Nano, at Macworld in January 2008. That never happened. Then people hoped that 25 million iPhone Nanos would arrive in time for Christmas. That never happened.
But maybe the third time will be the charm for the iPhone Nano? The rumor du jour is that Apple will release a smaller, cheaper iPhone at Macworld in January 2009. The latest gossip comes from iDealsChina, and is based on information from a Taiwan company that makes Apple accessories.
Personally, I could do without the iPhone Nano. Think of the horror of typing on a screen almost half the size of the iPhone 3G's. Battery life on an iPhone Nano couldn't be better either. It just doesn't sound right for Apple to push an inferior product. Nevertheless, collectively willing Apple to deliver an iPhone Nano could bring us an even cheaper iPhone as production costs decrease.
6. Xbox in a Blu-ray Player
Some rumors start out as merely wishful thinking. Then they become willed into full-blown rumors. Some Microsoft Xbox 360 users really wanted to play Blu-ray discs on their favorite game console. And just like that, someone came along with the wacky idea of having an Xbox 360 in a Blu-ray player.
The suggestion was to have hardware that could run Xbox 360 game discs created by a party other than Microsoft--something like the Panasonic Q, which launched in 2001 in Japan and could play both regular DVDs and GameCube games.
The rumor became quite popular on specialist blogs, even getting mentions on Engadget and Gizmodo, and it also surged on Digg, with over 1964 Diggs. My take: If third-party hardware could help prevent the Xbox 360's red ring of death, maybe Microsoft really should consider the option.