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Apple fills two spots in Fortune's 'Dumbest Moments'

updated 09:40 am EST, Tue December 30, 2008

Apple in 'Dumbest Moments'

Apple has managed to find its way into two positions in Fortune's Dumbest Moments in Business list for 2008, the magazine notes. While many of the moments are connected to the credit crisis and the subsequent fallout, the sixth choice was Apple's approval of the "I Am Rich" iPhone app. Although costing $1,000, the app did nothing except display a red jewel, scamming eight customers out of their money. Apple quickly pulled the app without any discussion.

The 19th position in the list assigns guilt to Bloomberg and CNN in their coverage of Apple CEO Steve Jobs. In August, Bloomberg accidentally published an template obituary for Jobs, one with clear gaps in it for his age and means of death. CNN took flak in October, meanwhile, for its iReport system, which allowed a teenager's claim of a Jobs heart attack to be posted unverified. This in turn triggered a brief but sharp drop in Apple stocks, which lost 10 percent of their value in the space of 10 minutes. A later SEC investigation found that there was no obvious profit motive for the false report.

by MacNN Staff





  1. jpellino

    Joined: Dec 1969


    MobileMe Rollout

    I'd put that over the fake obit.

  1. slider

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Well, without reading the article, I think slots 1 through 8 of the dumbest moments should have been for each customer that paid $1000 for an iPhone App.

    While the MobileMe rollout was a disaster, I don't think it was a result of stupidity.

  1. dynsight

    Joined: Dec 1969


    why remove app

    The app was a perfectly legitimate app to allow CEO's to waste their money by showing off that they can waste their money by dropping $1000 on an application just to show how rich they are.

    Of course, it was that kind of attitude that got us into the financial mess we are in today....

    Also, the Jobs death misreporting, Apple is not the cause of the issue, it was about them. The MACNN headline is very misleading.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    MM and app

    The stupid part wasn't the acceptance of the app, it was the pulling of the app. There was nothing about the app that was deceptive, nor did it "scam" 8 people into buying it. I don't care who you are, you're not plunking down $1000 on an app for an iPhone intentionally.

    If there was any other stupidity involved, its in Apple's appstore system that apparently made it easy for 8 people to buy the app.

    As for MobileMe, a disaster of this kind requires stupidity for it to occur. We're not talking about a server lab exploding or something. Someone actually had to say "MobileMe is ready to go!" when it apparently wasn't. I guess you could argue that's gross negligence, or just corporate marketing's unwillingness to cope with the fact that the product wasn't ready when they wanted it ready by.

    But any way you cut it, someone was stupid.

  1. ZinkDifferent

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The MACNN misleading...

    "The MACNN headline is very misleading."

    Wow, now there's a shocker.

  1. Fast iBook

    Joined: Dec 1969



    How about the dropping of 90% of firewire support in one product cycle?

  1. shawnde

    Joined: Dec 1969


    re: Firewire ....

    Oh yeah, I'm totally with you on that. That's the stupidest thing Apple did in all of 2008. Even worse than MobileMe. Because at least with MobileMe, you can fix it with updates; it's software. With Firewire missing, you can't do anything; you can't upgrade it.

    If you drop your own invention from your own product, there's gotta be something wrong with your brain. This was just like Motorola's decision to dump all their Macs with Motorola processors and go to PC/Windows machines with Intel processors.

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969



    As a video editor, and student, i know a lot of students are upset about the macbooks losing firewire. That said, the old macbooks were essentially useless for HD video, the new ones not much better.

    For HD video, you have HDCAM which is tape based and uses SDI to transfer, that doesn't depend on firewire. XDCAM based cameras use essentially blu-ray discs. XDCAM EX uses memory cards that you plug into ExpressCard slots. DVCPro HD uses tape, again via SDI - Firewire was an option but the decks aren't exactly portable. The other option for DVCPro HD is P2 card - that either uses a drive thats USB for PC or firewire for Mac - I am sure with some firmware changes USB could be supported on mac. Lastly is HDV this does use firewire, but HDV is a dying standard as the industry moves to memory based systems.

    On the consumer end, HD cameras all use USB.

    So whats the point? The MacBook is a CONSUMER laptop, with firewire it was compatible with HDV which is a pro-sumer format at the best, and Panasonic DVCPro HD - which if you can afford $6K-$60K cameras you can afford a MacBook Pro. Beyond that, nothing was available in the first place beyond consumer cameras - which are USB.

    So what do you lose? Support for old DV which frankly is old technology.

    The only other thing you lose is support for firewire hard drives, most of which work with USB - albeit with diminished performance. But from my experience with students at my school, 90% of them use USB even when their drive supports firewire - and they don't even care or notice. When I suggest they use firewire, they dismiss me FW is 400, USB is 480, USB is faster. The lost of firewire doesn't matter because the consumer audience the MacBook is intended for couldn't care less - many of them would probably laugh in your face for suggesting firewire over USB - thats my experience.

  1. unwillyn

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Dumber Still

    From where I stand, the dumbest Apple decision of 2008 isn't cutting Firewire per se, but cutting firewire on new systems while still forbidding G4 and G5 machines from booting from USB 2.0 drives.

    There's no technical reason for Apple to do so, and it can be "hacked", but Apple's official policy on the issue is clearly "beyond dumb" considering the new Firewireless systems.

    Wake up Apple !! You look pretty stupid with both policies in effect at the same time !!

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