Specs vs speculation: what the gadget rumors said - and what we actually got

6 Samsung Galaxy Gear

Galaxy Gear

The Galaxy Gear wasn't the flexible wonder we were looking for

Patents are a particular minefield for rumor-mongers - just because a firm has an idea doesn't mean they'll actually make it into a product any time soon, or ever.

NBC News clearly wasn't listening back in 2013, because it used a Samsung patent to describe how "this could be the first device to bring [Samsung's] flexible display technology to the masses."

The real Galaxy Gear turned out to be considerably less futuristic.

7 Sony Project Morpheus

Project Morpheus

Rumours of a Sony VR headset have been swirling since at least 2011, when Sony London's chief Mick Hocking described how Sony was experimenting with "virtual reality-type experiences."

But while the headset was supposedly due to appear at pretty much every games-related event in 2013 it didn't receive an official unveiling until 2014. The rumours, however, accurately predicted that Sony would have relatively little software for it and it would be more of a tech demo than a finished product.

8 Apple iPhone 5

iPhone 5

Again, where was the sytlus?

The intense interest in all things Apple is taking the fun out of rumor-mongering. By the time the iPad 3 was imminent the rumour mill was accurately predicting a retina display, a heftier body and the imminent iPad mini, and we feel we know all about the iPhone 6 already.

It's not all sensible, though: the last three iPhones have been rumoured to have NFC and the iPhone 5 was also reported to have wireless charging and haptic feedback. Before that the iPhone 4 was rumoured to have a touch-sensitive casing , while patent watchers suggested a stylus (nope), a pop-out antenna (nope) and a removable battery (nopety nopety nope).

9 Microsoft Xbox One

Xbox One

There's 719 reasons the Xbox 720 is a better name than the Xbox One

It would be called the Xbox 720, the Loop or Durango, it would retail for $350-$400, it would have similar specs to the PS4 and it would bundle a next-generation Kinect. The new controller would have a touch pad, it would require to be always on and it might ban second-hand games.

Not quite: it was called the Xbox One, its price was a hefty $499 at launch, and the controller was touchpad-free. The rumoured Kinect, always-on and limits on second-hand games were correct, though - although Microsoft has since backtracked on all three.

In some cases reality is even crazier than rumours: according to Xbox insiders, Microsoft even considered adding smells to its controller.

10 Samsung Galaxy S5

Galaxy S5

Galaxy S5 never did get flexi time

The rumours predicted a 2560x1440, 5-inch WQHD display delivering an incredible 587ppi, a flexible OLED and either aluminium or carbon fibre for the chassis. The S5 would be Samsung's first 64-bit smartphone and you'd unlock it with your eyeballs.

Not quite: what we got was a 1920x1080 display, a plastic case, and a 32-bit smartphone with fingerprint, not eyeball, scanning.

  • If you want more rumors, then check out iPhone 6: what we want to see
Carrie Marshall

Writer, broadcaster, musician and kitchen gadget obsessive Carrie Marshall (Twitter) has been writing about tech since 1998, contributing sage advice and odd opinions to all kinds of magazines and websites as well as writing more than a dozen books. Her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, is on sale now. She is the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR.