Of course, the rumor that Apple will introduce an iPhone trade-in program might not be true, but it doesn't matter. My concern does not revolve around this one rumor. It's broader. And scarier.
There's one constant that ties together pretty much every Apple rumor these days. Post-Steve Jobs, the company has turned into the very thing Jobs famously made fun of -- a copycat. Practically everything we hear it might do is a reaction to forces others have dictated.
In the Bloomberg video, the reporter said that Apple sees this huge trade-in market out there and they need to be part of it. When we hear iRadio rumors, they're often accompanied by statements such as Apple needs to be in this business because everybody else is or Apple wants a piece of that pie. It appears that Apple is set to knock off Microsoft's (MSFT - Get Report) design specifications for the next iteration of iOS. That's pathetic. And it spells trouble. Samsung and other random names produce six million versions of the same phone distinct only superficially and price-wise, so Apple needs to get in on the game.As I argued in October, Steve Jobs would have fired Tim Cook over MappleGate. What happened there was at the top of the list of Jobs' fears. Cook presided over the textbook example of a bozo explosion. And if he didn't fire him then, he would be ready to strangle him now. If you have studied Jobs, even casually, I'm not sure how you could disagree. If you don't think this drastic shift in Apple strategy and attitude matters then, I'm sorry, you just do not have a handle on why Apple has been (and still is) so dominant. There's one saving grace here -- these are rumors, all or most of them are not even close to true; and Tim Cook is the smartest guy in the room. Hope is a small town in Alaska. And it's about all I can put behind the potential saving grace. There's no reason to be confident we will not see a full-blown bozo explosion at Apple before long. Follow @rocco_thestreet -- Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.