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Apple letter breaks little girl\'s heart

updated 08:15 am EDT, Mon April 17, 2006

Apple makes girl cry

Apple's corporate policy for dealing with unsolicited ideas may be changing. The company held a special meeting to discuss ways to improve its cold-hearted, boiler-plate response to any unsolicited improvements or suggestions submitted to the company, after it found out that it shattered a nine-year girl's heart. According to CBS 5 News, 9-year-old Shea O'Gorman wrote to Apple CEO Steve Jobs as her class was learning about writing business and formal letters. The third-grader wrote Jobs to offer suggestions on improving her iPod nano, such as adding song lyrics so listeners can sing along to their tunes. Although it took three months, the company finally responded to her letter--although it was not what O'Gorman and her family were expecting. Instead of a polite response from Jobs, the girl received a cold, stern letter from Apple's legal counsel telling her that the company didn't accept unsolicited ideas and that she should not send any suggestions to the company.

Apple's full legal policy, designed to protect itself from protracted legal battles about royalties and licensing from submitted ideas, was available online, according to the letter received and read by both O'Gorman and her family.

"She was very upset, and kinda threw the letter up in the air and ran in her room and slammed her door," the girl's mother told CBS 5 News.

Although Apple declined to comment on the story, a company representative reportedly called the girl to offer an apology (following an inquiry by CBS 5 News); in addition, the report says that Apple held a special meeting last week to discuss ways in which it could improve its corporate policy when dealing with children.

by MacNN Staff





  1. howdesign

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I feel her pain

    I inquired to a few people in the industry myself about a new hardware concept, but everyone said most companies are not interested in unsolicited ideas. While I can see the legal reasons, it's too bad we live in a culture where ideas and suggestions are considered undesirable. Maybe the girl should do what I'm considering: put the concept on a nice website, promote it and see if it gets support...

  1. Gabriel Morales




    Oh, come on! This is news? Is this really deserving of an article. I really think not.

  1. CobraNT

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Big Meanies

    Although Apples response was pretty cold I understand why they handle it this way. If a year from now they used any of the kids ideas (without even knowing she sent the letter) you bet the parents would be sueing wanting a share of the profit.

  1. The Wolf

    Joined: Dec 1969


    It IS interesting...

    (1) If you live in or around NYC you no doubt have been barraged with "news" about a cat stuck in a wall in the Village for the past 2 weeks. Finally, something new... (2) Reason number 10 billion and 6 why I hate lawyers. Maybe if they were just HUMAN (this is problem with most lawyers) and said: "Thank you for your letter. Please be aware that our concerns about the legal consequences of reviewing or implementing unsolicited ideas for future products requires that we not consider any such ideas that we receive. Just because we cannot consider your idea for a future product, does not mean that your idea is not good or lacks merit. We truly do appreciate your support and genuine interest in our company. Thank you again..." (3) Maybe I should send my unsolicited advice to them and see what happens. ;)

  1. ronjamin

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Guards Seize Him

    String up Jobs, hes cold hearted. Waaa Waaaa. Who is writing this garbage?

  1. eldarkus

    Joined: Dec 1969



    That's really odd. when I wrote to Enron several years back on how to improve the stock price by lying about profits, I was welcomed with open arms!

    Didnt Apple used to have a feedback/suggestion thing? Or was that on iTunes or something?

  1. SpaceMonkey

    Joined: Dec 1969


    cbs 5

    Did CBS 5 write this entry? Jeez. Much ado about nothing.

  1. ThisGuy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I've had enough

    That's it. I'm switching to Windows.

  1. gurman

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Poor little rich girl

    You have to feel sorry for the nine-year old, but then again, how many nine-year-olds have iPod nanos?

  1. ibugv4

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Well, from what I see almost half of the 9-year olds have them. In some schools, they're suggested for language classes. (Thank you Duke Univeristy for deafening and isolating out future generations with a device that inhibits the user from seeing a bright green vw beetle and leading to their untimely demise).

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