Friday, March 04, 2005

This Apple has a worm in it (II)

An update on a previous post regarding Apple's bullying tactics against websites that speculate on upcoming products and their sources of information.

The Mercury News reports in Apple 1, bloggers 0 that Apple will likely get away with their suit against websites like Think Secret that discuss upcoming products among other Apple related things. It appears the sites have no protection on revealing their sources of information because they are not "legitimate press". Forbes Online sums it up nicely today in Is Apple the New MicroSoft?. Being likened to the dark side has to hurt, ouch!

It is truly remarkable to see how Apple, which is riding the crest of the popularity wave with its iPods and itunes, is hellbent on tarnishing its public image over a relatively minor internal issue. You could argue that insider information, especially if erroneous, can hurt the company. But frankly, when I read Think Secret, I know they are speculating on new and exciting products at Apple. The fact that the products turn out differently is not a shock to anyone and the buzz created by these websites actually benefits Apple.

In the days leading to the San Francisco Mac Expo in January, I read the Think Secret site every single day eagerly hoping to learn the smallest tidbit on any of the exciting new products that might be announced at the show. No advertising campaign could ever give Apple that level of attention and hype. This is good for them but they don't understand it. This blog thingy is scary for the control freaks among us.

My unsolicited two cents for Mr. Jobs is to loosen your belt one notch, take a deep breath, and work with the sites to spin the information to your advantage. Deal with the insider information internally and focus on creativity which is why we like you in the first place. It will save you much bad "illegitimate" press like this in the coming weeks. See the Guardian's Online Blog for more on this.

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