Get ready, boys and girls: It's officially time for the silly season of Samsung smartphone rumors.
Okay, to be fair, the season started several weeks ago -- back before the holidays. But now that we're past the new year, it's really shifting into overdrive.
The latest rumor revolves around the yet-to-be-announced Galaxy S6 and how Samsung might approach the phone's software. All the hubbub comes from a single publication called BusinessKorea: In a heavily reblogged article, the site quotes an unnamed "industry source" as saying Samsung is planning to "get rid of unnecessary functions" and "simplify" the user interface on its upcoming phone.
(The same article, it's worth noting, shows a fan-made concept render at the top of the page and labels it "The Samsung Galaxy S6." So...yeah.)
Now, all the hype and speculation is par for the course with this kind of thing, but this little tidbit in particular made me do a double-take. I couldn't help but feel a serious sense of déjà vu -- and there's a reason:
We heard this same exact narrative leading up to the launch of the Galaxy S5 last year.
Remember? All the buzz in early 2014 was about how TouchWiz would be toned down and simplified on that phone. Samsung itself even used the line "Back to the basics" as part of its marketing once the device arrived. But as I noted in my eventual review of the GS5, the actual evolution was far less dramatic than many were anticipating based on the pre-release rumbles.
Maybe this year's phone will be different. Maybe Samsung really is going "back to the basics" with the Galaxy S6 and scaling back its approach to Android software. But before you blindly buy into the gossip du jour, take a moment to reflect on the past.
To quote some wise words I once read somewhere, rumors are rumors -- not necessarily reality. And in our world of instant communication, it's all too easy for vague statements and unsubstantiated hearsay to start looking like fact.
The noise is only going to grow louder in the weeks to come, folks -- and if it's anything like years past, a fair amount of it will end up being bunk. So as you click through our crazy virtual world, remember: This is the time to keep your filters set to "high." A healthy grain of salt today will save you a mountain of frustration tomorrow.