There’s been quite a lot of buzz during the past week or so surrounding rumours that Apple will be launching a tablet device very soon, and the expectation that thereâ€™ll be an announcement by Apple on January 26. I wrote a post myself, too.
Whatâ€™s behind all the buzz? How did it get started? Who did the starting or at least added fuel to the fire? Apple itself?
See what you think after reading a post by John Martarello, a senior editor at The Mac Observer, following a report about Appleâ€™s forthcoming device in the Wall Street Journal on January 4, summarized by the Mac Observer. It has all the hallmarks of a controlled leak, says Martarello:
[â€¦] Often Apple has a need to let information out, unofficially. The company has been doing that for years, and it helps preserve Apple’s consistent, official reputation for never talking about unreleased products. I know, because when I was a Senior Marketing Manager at Apple, I was instructed to do some controlled leaks.
The way it works is that a senior exec will come in and say, "We need to release this specific information. John, do you have a trusted friend at a major outlet? If so, call him/her and have a conversation. Idly mention this information and suggest that if it were published, that would be nice. No e-mails!"
The communication is always done in person or on the phone. Never via e-mail. That’s so that if there’s ever any dispute about what transpired, there’s no paper trail to contradict either party’s version of the story. Both sides can maintain plausible deniability and simply claim a misunderstanding. That protects Apple and the publication.
Whatever you might think about the ethics of such a manipulative approach to communication â€“ â€œplausible deniabilityâ€! â€“ it gets Apple the results it wants.