It's not something to get all serious about,it's just a bit of speculation, and lots of people are interested in it. If you're about to take the plunge with a new phone it can be quite helpful to read a round-up of all the rumours and speculation.
"I refuse to read speculative "comparisons" until the product is available for purchase."
I really can't see what the point of your thread is. If you don't want to read speculative comparisons, don't read them.
Millions of people are interested however, which is why they're published. It's always been the case, and not just with Apple products. Many articles speculating about Windows 9 are appearing already, and Windows 8 hasn't launched yet. Of course rumours are just that, but some of them come from reliable sources, and as I said, huge numbers of people are interested.
"when you can patent an oblong with rounded edges you can patent anything."
But can you?
For something to be patentable it must satisfy certain basic conditions:-
It must be new, not known anywhere in the world prior to filing an application.
It must have an inventive step, not obvious or a simple adaptation or combination of existing products (an oblong with rounded edges would fall at this fence).
It must be capable of industrial application, having a technical effect.
That all makes it sound simple, but it isn't. Patent applications can be horribly complex. In America it's slightly different, you can patent a wider range of products, although I don't think an oblong with rounded edges would make it there, either.