An epic battle of good and bad (rumor sources)!

This week's Rumor Roundup has not one, but two significant Wall Street Journal hints and allegations, about the iPhone and the purported next wave of Android tablets.

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Except the real joke is that Digitimes gets a lot of links and views and exposure for every one of its barely-there “reports,” and that’s only slightly funny.

Google bringing in multiple hardware partners early on to launch waves of Nexus tablets

Source: WSJ.com, again!

Details: Until now, Google has launched new version of Android with a single hardware partner, who is given early access to the platform to create a single device that has a short exclusive on that particular Android version. Now, according to “people familiar with the matter,” Google may bring in up to five hardware partners to launch Android 5.0, with an assortment of Android tablets that give Google much more of a say in what the first wave of devices looks like.

Likelihood: I like this rumor, to the tune of about 60-65 percent likelihood. It’s a smarter strategy than hoping that your hardware partners pick up on your subtle signals and press statements, and it gets Google out of the round-robin selection of single hardware partners. Plus, those partnerships haven’t always produced barn-burning standard-bearers (Xoom!).

Get excited?: I am, though the details of Android 5.0 aren’t available in any real form yet, so it’s hard to say when or in what form these Nexus tablets will arrive.

Chrome coming to iOS?

Source: Research firm Macquarie Group, as cited in CNET’s Download Blog.

Details: Google pays Apple for every person using Google services through the iPhone and iPad default browser, Safari. I’m not quite clear on how that works, but the Macquarie Group says that’s so. Google, therefore, is looking to reduce costs by offering its own Chrome browser for iOS, with a side effect of, presumably, spreading the Chrome/Android/Drive/ecosystem presence.

Likelihood: That Google is tinkering with a version of Chrome that runs on iOS, where Safari is based on a similar WebKit source code? Pretty good. That Google will submit that browser to Apple and hope to get it approved in any reasonable time? 50-50.

Get excited?: Chrome is my main browser on nearly every screen I have, so the sync-through would be very nice, if I used iOS devices. Your mileage will certainly vary.

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