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Apple's secrecy may erode over time

updated 05:40 pm EST, Tue January 16, 2007

Apple's secrecy to erode?

Apple's ode to secrecy has historically shrouded its product releases to increase the dramatic impact on fans, customers, and industry watchers when the company finally debuts its latest creations. A new report suggests, however, that Apple's secrecy may disintegrate over time due to expanding relations with other firms. "They keep acquiring more and more partners, and as they do that their ability to keep a cone of silence around the company is becoming more difficult," said Roger Kay, president of Endpoint Technologies Associates. "They love the secrecy because they get a big bang out of it. But that's going to erode slowly because their partner ecosystem keeps getting bigger all the time." Former Apple employees say the Cupertino-based company plants fake product names within workgroups to track the source of media leaks, and monitors employee internet surfing habits to lessen workers' internet surfing habits during work hours, according to the Associated Press.




by MacNN Staff

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  1. Spacemoose

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Of *course* it's eroding

    Look at Apple's recent track history with product development in Apple's 'new era'. Look at products that took multiple years of intense development, close working relationship with several partners in different sectors, and were incredibly hotly anticipated.

    Apple hasn't been able to maintain any form of secrecy for anything in recent memory.

  1. Peter Bonte

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    I call bull

    There are no secrets at Apple anymore, the iphone is known in rumor land for over 2 years and every other product has been rumored before, its just that we don't know its fact or fiction, concept or actual product. Shipping next week, next year or Steved. There will always be a time and place for a good rumor. :)

  1. Peter Bonte

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Ah

    I see we agree :)

  1. QualleyIV

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    re: i call bull

    I guess you can always argue that the iPhone is an example of how that's true. But if that's the case, then why was I biting my nails before and during the keynote that no iPhone would actually happen and that my AAPL stock would go through the floor...

    I would actually argue that Apple's effectiveness in keeping their products secret has INCREASED in recent years. Again, look at the iPhone. Here we're talking about a mult-year project, the outcome of which, VERY FEW people really knew until SJ took the wraps off of it at Macworld. Sure there was speculation that there was going to be an iPhone, but show me ONE rumor that got a significant number of details even close to right. It's one thing to know that Apple is working on something cell-phone related and an entirely different thing to know what that actually IS.

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    what qualleyiv said

    .

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    secrecy and rumors

    I find it hard to say that a slew of rumors that could or could not be true somehow makes products no longer secret. You suggest 20 rumors. 2 actually happen. Do you talk of the 18 that didn't, or really talk up the 2 that did?

    And what qualleyiv said is true. You can say all you want about rumors, but until there's some real solid fact, its all hope and prayer. For example, some people will claim that the iPhone is proof of the Apple/PDA rumors (the iWalk has finally emerged!).

    But forget the iPhone and the incessant "Its just around the corner!" A REAL indicator of this eroding secrecy (or dismissed secrecy) is the iTV. Its introduction in September/October was an extremely rare event for apple; they literally told people what their plans were, with a prototype, before it was released or officially announced. You could argue the iPhone continued that trend, as well as state Apple's always done this, just in a weird way (they just love to announce products as if they were purchsable, only to say they'd be available in 1-6 months, or not say that and still not be delivered in 1-6 months).

    It just would be so much nicer for EVERYONE involved if they'd just come out with a freakin' roadmap about where they're going, so you can decide your purchases without that fear of a new release the next day.

  1. QualleyIV

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    re: secrecy and rumors

    In large part I agree with testudo, however as to the roadmap part, I've got to disagree. While the surprise to the consumer might not be a desirable thing, surprise to the competitor is a tactical business advantage. For example, where do you think Apple would have been if they would have announced that they were working on the iPhone two years ago. I'm betting you that Palm and RIM would have gotten their asses in gear a WHOLE lot sooner...

  1. dashiel

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    QualleyIV to the third

    i believe the iphone to be an example of apple's new secrecy policy. they figured they can't plug the leaks so they'll just flood the market. leak just enough legit info with copious amounts of bogus, but feasible info and you discredit everyone. all of a sudden the rumors sites are useless except to act as a free arm of apple's PR department.

  1. LouZer

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Re: secrecy and rumors

    For example, where do you think Apple would have been if they would have announced that they were working on the iPhone two years ago. I'm betting you that Palm and RIM would have gotten their asses in gear a WHOLE lot sooner...

    Um, exactly where they are now. Palm has not been abole to get their asses in gear with regards to phones. And the Blackberry is what it is.

    But a roadmap is not demoing the exact product and letting people copy its features before you get it out (because, as you know, if the iPhone's been in development the last two years, it probably looks very different then it did then). But roadmaps allow consumers, esp. businesses, know where Apple is going so they can make decisions about where to put their IT $$$ (for example, who in the IT world is going to invest in deploying a whole server farm of iServes if you don't have a clue whether Apple is going to continue the platform. h***, they're having trouble getting the intel version out).

    Then again, Apple doesn't like to tell businesses anything (you know, like how long any version of their OS will receive security fixes).

    Or, if you don't like those examples, how about all the people who keep putting off purchasing new Macs because they're waiting for the next revision, because their gut says its coming out any day now (the old 6-9 month product cycles). If you know the new MacBook Pros won't be released until August, you're more likely to buy one in April if you need one. Otherwise, you might just wait, and wait, and wait.

  1. tomodachi

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    But

    The only people who put off purchasing new Macs because of rumors and/or alleged "6-9 month product cycles" are the minority geeks who spend too much time in Apple related forums (incl. me). The vast majority of the Apple clientele don't act that way.

    Conversely, if everybody knew that new MBPs are coming out soon (say in March), then everybody will wait till March, even the very large number of (non-geek) people who would have happily bought the current MBPs right now.



    Yeah, roadmap, great business decision. NOTTTTTT.



    The fact of the effing matter is, most other PC companies don't give out their product "roadmaps" for the consumers to scrutinize either, be it Sony, Dell, Toshiba, whoever. They all keep their future products "secret" till they announce/release them.



    It just SEEMS like Apple is so secretive because everybody wants to know when a new Apple product/revision will come out. Nobody gives a rats a** when the new Vaio or Presario or Precision will come out. Are there "Sonyrumors.com" or "Dellsecret.com" or "Toshibainsider.com" out there? Thought not.

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