Forbes: 'Apple Bites The Fans That Feed It'

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Date: Friday, January 7th, 2005, 17:45
Category: Announcement, Any Laptop Computer

Forbes’ Lisa DiCarlo wrote an interesting piece about Apple’s new strategy for 2005 to litigate its best customers. Specifically, she delves into Apple’s suit against ThinkSecret.com.

Make no mistake, there’s a good chance that the source of ThinkSecret’s story about plans for a $500 Mac and new business software did break whatever legal agreement not to divulge the information that they had agreed to with Apple. And, one must assume it is at least partly true, or Apple wouldn’t bother suing.


Forbes’ Lisa DiCarlo wrote an interesting piece about Apple’s new strategy for 2005 to litigate its best customers. Specifically, she delves into Apple’s suit against ThinkSecret.com.

Make no mistake, there’s a good chance that the source of ThinkSecret’s story about plans for a $500 Mac and new business software did break whatever legal agreement not to divulge the information that they had agreed to with Apple. And, one must assume it is at least partly true, or Apple wouldn’t bother suing.
But, this sort of stuff happens all the time in the tech industry.
Sources leak details of forthcoming products to reporters whose
motivation is to get credit for an exclusive story. Here’s the
difference with Apple: most of its secret product news is not
published first by national, mainstream media, but by Apple advocates.
These people are customers, fans and Apple-lovers.
This community gives Apple untold free–and mostly positive–publicity
and buzz about upcoming products and strategies. They salivate over
every upgrade. This is a pre-iPod gang–people who supported Apple
before the second coming of Steve Jobs in 1997. Consider that it was
Apple enthusiasts who helped drive the market for the iPod after its
2001 release, despite a widely held perception that the $399 price tag
was too high.
And, the leak certainly hasn’t hurt the company’s stock price. Since
news of the cheap Macs hit on Dec. 28, two investment banks have
issued bullish reports on the developments and Apple’s shares have
risen 33 cents, to $64.55.

In one fell swoop, Apple has managed to alienate a large portion of their customers while giving away Steve’s big Macworld surprise at the same time. I think that Apple needs to re-focus on the important things: building high-quality products and increasing market share.

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