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Apple Is Giving Away Its Secrets By Litigating

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the letting-the-icat-out-of-the-bag dept.

Businesses 149

An anonymous reader writes "Apple, by going to a jury trial to defend the patents of its most prized products, is allowing competitors and the public to see inside one of the most secretive companies in the world. From the article: 'While in court on Friday, Philip W. Schiller, Apple's senior vice president for worldwide product marketing, pulled the curtain further back when he divulged the company's advertising budgets — often more than $100 million a year for the iPhone alone. Also at the hearing, Scott Forstall, senior vice president for iPhone software, explained that the early iPhone was called "Project Purple." Mr. Forstall said it was built in a highly secure building on Apple's campus. A sign on the back of the building read "Fight Club." Behind the security cameras and locked doors, most employees on the project did not even know what they were working on.'"

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149 comments

These are secrets? (5, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | about a year and a half ago | (#40889027)

So the secret sauce I need to become a multibillion dollar multinational corporation is spend a lot on advertising, give my projects fabulous color names, hang up a fight club poster... Thats all it takes?

Re:These are secrets? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40890017)

Yes.

I mean iYes.

Re:These are secrets? (5, Funny)

gmhowell (26755) | about a year and a half ago | (#40890037)

So the secret sauce I need to become a multibillion dollar multinational corporation is spend a lot on advertising, give my projects fabulous color names, hang up a fight club poster... Thats all it takes?

It's so easy, a caveman could do it.

Re:These are secrets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40890923)

But all it takes is one monkey boy to drag it back to the stone age.

Re:These are secrets? (2)

gmhowell (26755) | about a year and a half ago | (#40891103)

But all it takes is one monkey boy to drag it back to the stone age.

Ballmer is busy at Microsoft right now.

Re:These are secrets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40891297)

And at Nokia.

Re:These are secrets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40891449)

Yep, I'm calling my multibillion dollar company NeXT

Re:These are secrets? (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | about a year and a half ago | (#40890045)

If you have enough money, there is plenty enough to make.

Re:These are secrets? (3, Insightful)

zaphod777 (1755922) | about a year and a half ago | (#40890713)

Tell that to RIM and Nokia, money alone is not enough when you have incompetent leadership.

Re:These are secrets? (1)

GNious (953874) | about a year and a half ago | (#40892601)

The current management at Nokia is plenty competent - they just have ..*puts on tinfoil hat*.. a slightly different target than one might expect.

Re:These are secrets? (1)

zaphod777 (1755922) | about a year and a half ago | (#40892643)

If you mean get the stock price low enough for Microsoft to buy them then they are right on target. But considering their CEO is an ex Microsoft exec I am nit surprised.

Re:These are secrets? (1)

LordLucless (582312) | about a year and a half ago | (#40890063)

So the secret sauce I need to become a multibillion dollar multinational corporation is spend a lot on advertising

You had it in the first one. The rest is meaningless window-dressing.

Re:These are secrets? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40890231)

Tell that to Microsoft. They spent half a billion marketing Windows Phone 7 when it launched, but that didn't seem to help. They spent a fortune marketing Bing, even paying people to use it, but that didn't help either.

Marketing alone is never enough. You have to have the right product at the right time.

Re:These are secrets? (5, Insightful)

Grave (8234) | about a year and a half ago | (#40890273)

Marketing isn't just about how much money you throw at it - your ads have to actually be good. The WP7/Bing ads have been awful.

Re:These are secrets? (4, Interesting)

shentino (1139071) | about a year and a half ago | (#40891405)

It doesn't hurt to have a big enough legal budget to litigate the small fry out of the market.

Re:These are secrets? (4, Interesting)

MrMarket (983874) | about a year and a half ago | (#40891665)

Marketing isn't just about how much money you throw at it - your ads have to actually be good. The WP7/Bing ads have been awful.

The product you're selling also has to be good. "Fool me once..."

Re:These are secrets? (5, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about a year and a half ago | (#40890573)

Except for the fact that Microsoft's marketing has been routinely pathetic (anyone remember the Vista commercial with Jerry Seinfeld? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ImyK29QLs_A [youtube.com] )

On the other hand Apple's marketing has been rather catchy (I'm a Mac, I'm a PC and the MacBook Air commercial)

The biggest problem with Microsoft is that it tries to come up with improvements after the product is already out in the hands of the masses and makes so little improvements that for most its not worth changing. Apple comes up with a product and makes it desirable, it creates a mass market where there only was a niche market before. Apple didn't invent the MP3 player, it invented the market for the MP3 player other than among geeks. Apple didn't invent the smartphone, it made the consumer smartphone market.

Apple is brilliant in creating a market where there wasn't one before. That, is great marketing.

Re:These are secrets? (5, Interesting)

b4dc0d3r (1268512) | about a year and a half ago | (#40890791)

You're almost there. Apple's initial designs have some fairly serious problems, and then they iron out the bugs. Microsoft on the other hand seems intent to rush something out and play catch-up, but they never spend the kind of effort needed to fine-tune the design. Apple, or at least Steve Jobs, wanted everything to be perfect for the user so they are willing to pay a premium. Microsoft is aiming at the general market, often balancing price vs. design.

iPod was not well-received until the third generation (2003) when a few redesigns were made and iTunes took off.

iPhone had (relatively) abysmal sales until the end of the second generation, after at least one OS upgrade, and the third generation was on the way (3GS), making second generation less expensive.

iPad was done very well, mostly because they were in development, realized the same could be done in a phone, and shelved it while they worked out the iPhone. The market was already there, in the form of subnotebooks such as ASUS EEE. They applied what they learned from the iPod and iPhone and got this one right early.

Apple's marketing is the same way - lots of attention spent on the end user's experience, rather than how much it costs. Just looking at what we've seen already from the trial, Apple continually gets feedback from focus groups, and from various sources it seems they start before the product is out the door. I wouldn't be surprised to see many revisions of advertising before it gets out the door as well, although those are easier to update if it's not hitting the right note.

Apple: worry about design over price, change the product based on user feedback

Microsoft: Know corporations will buy whatever you're selling, eventually, and people will buy consumer goods for compatibility

Different markets, different tactics. It doesn't help that Microsoft's "lost decade" basically left them with barely anything to show for it - a new OS that finally caught up with OS X because it was make-or-break with Vista's debacle, XBOX 360, and advances in its development tools. Microsoft's focus is not on the consumer, and "good enough" is ready for a release. "Good enough" does not exist for Apple, it always needs refinement. Not the mindless UI changes Microsoft has been putting on Vista, Office, and the Xbox dashboard, but addressing actual usability issues.

Re:These are secrets? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40890875)

Apple: worry about design over price, change the product based on perceived user needs

Fixed that for you. I never asked for them to take away the "save as" option. I never asked them to reverse the default mouse orientation in Lion. I never asked them to change the Safari icons to an asinine color combination where I can't tell the difference between enabled and disabled back buttons. I never asked them to take away functionality from my scrollbar. That is just their OS product.

Re:These are secrets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40890851)

The I'm a Mac, I'm a PC commercials were terrible, all the snotty Mac using hipster did was make me want to buy a copy of Windows. And I hate Windows, perhaps for the fanbois and hipsters it worked, but the ads themselves seemed more intent on keeping people in the club than expanding membership.

Re:These are secrets? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40891091)

On the other hand Apple's marketing has been rather catchy (I'm a Mac, I'm a PC and the MacBook Air commercial)

Not [youtube.com] any [youtube.com] more. [youtube.com]

Re:These are secrets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40891667)

Those ads are borderline Onion material. They're so stupid, it's almost as if they were made to poke fun at apple instead of promote it.

Re:These are secrets? (5, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about a year and a half ago | (#40892419)

It's also a matter of timing. NeXT was doing pretty much everything that the first OS X Macs did - in some cases better - up to a decade earlier. But back when NeXT was doing it you couldn't sell the machines at a profit for anything under $5000, $10000 for a decent one. A bit later, Apple was selling more powerful machines around the $1000 mark.

The same thing happened with portable media players. The 1.8" hard drives made mass-market ones possible. Earlier ones had used 2.5" laptop drives (too bulky) or flash (64-128MB - enough for one or two albums) and weren't that appealing. The iPod would have been a disaster if it had been released any earlier, because the technology just wasn't there. If it had been released later, then it's possible that the Nomad would already have had enough mindshare that it would have been hard to compete. Apple entered the market at exactly the right time and advertised the hell out of their product so everyone knew about the iPod, whereas only people who read geek news knew about the Nomad.

Their phones and tablets are a similar story. It's not surprising that everything looks like an iPhone now - the availability of cheap capacitive touchscreens make finger-based touch interfaces popular. We're around the 20th anniversary of Microsoft's first entry into the tablet market, but these machines were huge (remember the size of a battery on a 386 laptop?) and needed a stylus. Being able to interact with the system with your finger - or fingers - is a big shift. Apple jumped in right at the right moment, when a new technology made a new market possible. And, once again, they threw huge amounts of advertising money so people think iPhone-like phone instead of phone-with-capacitive-touchscreen.

Re:These are secrets? (2)

Eskarel (565631) | about a year and a half ago | (#40892497)

Microsoft also announced that WinPhone 7 was obsolete within 4 months of releasing the first decent phones for it, which is why when mine broke I bought an Android to replace it.

Lovely phone, but the fact that it's never going to get any updates to give it the features it's missing is kind of a death knell.

Re:These are secrets? (4, Insightful)

russotto (537200) | about a year and a half ago | (#40890455)

Which indicates another way to become a multibillion dollar multinational corporation: Sell advertising.

Re:These are secrets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40890619)

You had it in the first one. The rest is meaningless window-dressing.

Keep telling yourself that.

Re:These are secrets? (4, Informative)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about a year and a half ago | (#40890131)

I also recommend an ace team of lawyers, to defend yourself against other megacorps who do not appreciate new competition. Megacorporations like Apple...

Re:These are secrets? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40890421)

I recommend an ace team of ninjas.

Sure, they cost a little more, but unlike lawyers they have standards.

Re:These are secrets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40891009)

They are subject to the inverse number of ninjas law, however.

Re:These are secrets? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40890157)

So the secret sauce I need to become a multibillion dollar multinational corporation is spend a lot on advertising, give my projects fabulous color names, hang up a fight club poster... Thats all it takes?

Well, if the I you mean a charismatic CEO/Founder with a cult following.

And if you were able to brand your product in such a way that people identify with it to the point of making it an extension of their personality.

Yes, that's all it takes.

Although, Apple being the market leader and controller, they have become mainstream and subsequently "un-cool". It doesn't help either that Steve Jobs is dead - their cool-break-the-rules-did-it-his-way-anti-big-corporation-stick-it-to-the-man-and-still-became-a-billionaire face of many people's wish.

Apple is losing it's computing for different people image. And as the other companies catch up with the hand held computing gadgets, we'll be seeing some slower times for Apple.

I would consider the billions that Jobs made on Apple as part of their marketing costs. The most effective marketing campaign Apple has ever and will ever have was Steve Jobs' existence.

Re:These are secrets? (3, Funny)

turbidostato (878842) | about a year and a half ago | (#40890391)

"And if you were able to brand your product in such a way that peopleÂidentifyÂwith it to the point of making it an extension of their personality."

You meant iDentify, don't you?

Re:These are secrets? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40890453)

Well, if the I you mean a charismatic CEO/Founder with a cult following.

You mean Bill Gates of course.

Re:These are secrets? (1)

magarity (164372) | about a year and a half ago | (#40890271)

What it really means is that the next time there's a rumor on the internet about Apple working on a new project called "project " it means it will be some new product. The secret is out!!!

Re:These are secrets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40890331)

I wasn't aware purple had been promoted to colour!

Re:These are secrets? (2)

supersat (639745) | about a year and a half ago | (#40890377)

Yes. This is why Project Pink (the Microsoft Kin) broke all sorts of sales records.

Woosh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40890549)

Obviously you didn't see the movie or read the admittedly overrated book, or maybe you just aren't very observant. It wasn't a Fight Club poster, it was a sign that read "Fight Club." I expect the reason the sign was there was because the first rule of Fight Club is you do not talk about Fight Club. The second rule of Fight Club is YOU DO NOT TALK ABOUT FIGHT CLUB!

Re:These are secrets? (1)

Locutus (9039) | about a year and a half ago | (#40890771)

that's what I was thinking. Back in 1995 Microsoft spend a few hundred million on Windows 95 and word was going around that they were spending over $500 million on Windows Phone 7 marketing.

I guess it's interesting what they did and how they did it but it only that, interesting.

LoB

Re:These are secrets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40890823)

The secret is having users with blind trust.

From the following link
http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2012/07/26/turns-out-apple-conducts-market-research-after-all/

'One chart lists responses from customers in seven different countries, asking them why they bought an iPhone after considering an Android device. “Trust Apple Brand” emerged as the first or second most popular reason in most regions, including in the U.S and China where 54% of respondents cited it as a factor.'

Re:These are secrets? (1)

donaldm (919619) | about a year and a half ago | (#40891065)

Apple like many software/hardware companies has patents and those patents are there for the world to see. If a so called patent is secret then it is not a patent and should not be defensible unless you can prove industrial espionage. All patents should be able to be understood by peers who normally are people who are equal in such respects as age, education or social class ... etc who with the right tools are able to implement that patent. In the case of software patents the right tools are the human mind and a computer with the appropriate development software, which begs me to wonder how software can be patentable - oh wait! see my "pig" comment below.

The problem with many patents today IMHO is that they are written in "legalese" to such an extent that it takes a lawyer to interpret it though not understand it and a "peer" to implement it after reading the lawyer's so called correct interpretation of it. Many patents are also so broad and vague that most "peers" would start to get a migraine after reading a few lines, so it's no wonder that lawyers are having a field day (think "pigs in a trough" - my apology to pigs) when patents are litigated. Of course it also helps the person/group who are defending the patent(s) if the judge and jury consists of people who are not what I would call "peers".

Want to see patent stupidity, then go to your nearest hardware store and count the number of "Patent Pending" on tools that many would view as obvious.

Re:These are secrets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40891661)

Actually to grow a corporation, there is a secret. Strip you best talent into a new division/product. Works great in a large company, because this really is top tier talent. Convince them to work 60 hours a week. Churn out a great product.

Re:These are secrets? (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about a year and a half ago | (#40892145)

Choosing colors for code names [wikipedia.org] has been done at least since WWII. Apple used to work on an operating system project called Pink [lowendmac.com] which was a disaster. Then there are the Yellow Box and Blue Box monickers they used a couple of years ago. These quaint little details of how Apple works are besides the point however it does show Apple's paranoid tendency towards secrecy. Remember that Foxconn employee who died after losing an iPhone prototype a couple of years back?

Fight Club (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40889081)

Really? How original for 2004 Apple thought you were innovators not lame catch phrases. Starting to believe M$ is just Microsoft now and not as evil.

Patents (2)

michael_rendier (2601249) | about a year and a half ago | (#40890027)

Patents are publicly available documents...any way you go...there's no secrecy there at least...Thank you Google!

Re:Patents (3, Insightful)

LordLucless (582312) | about a year and a half ago | (#40890077)

This story isn't about patents, even though the trials are. The things being exposed is exposing stuff like Apple's development methodology and advertising tactics. I guess it also goes to show that the secret to Apple's success isn't it's technological innovation, but it's marketing budget.

Re:Patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40890167)

I like the part where you make it either/or. It couldn't possibly be a combination of both.

Re:Patents (1)

bhcompy (1877290) | about a year and a half ago | (#40890173)

And that has really never been debated. Apple is an advertising company that sells the products they advertise for.

Re:Patents (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40890627)

Which explains why everybody is busy trying to copy their products, rather than their ads.

Seriously. Were you dropped as a child?

Re:Patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40890979)

Because of the hundreds of millions they spend in advertising and advertising related things, like market research. The product is built specifically for certain advertising demographics.

Slow day? (4, Insightful)

gmhowell (26755) | about a year and a half ago | (#40890033)

This a slow day samzenpus? This article is bad, and you should feel bad [youtube.com].

Possibly the worst headline ever. I notice nowhere in the summary or the linked article where Mr. Schiller specifically avoided commenting on the new iPhone due this fall. Don't worry, I'm sure there will be plenty of back and forth between fanboys and fandroids. Slashdot will get pageviews, and my karma will end up in the terlet.

Re:Slow day? (2)

the_B0fh (208483) | about a year and a half ago | (#40890163)

I'm with you. I read through the article, and I want my 2 minutes back. Though, that link to the patent for sawing the woman in half might have been worth it.

The things they "revealed" are just standard shit people do in development work. $100mil for iPhone marketing is chump change - J&J spends billions in marketing annually. Hell, AT&T spent $150mil in marketing the Lumia - so fucking what?

Is Apple using undercover marketing? (0, Troll)

elucido (870205) | about a year and a half ago | (#40890039)

How many of those Apple users lining up to buy the new Iphones are Apple employees or associates paid to stand in line? The amount of people in line is eerily similar with each product launch, how many of these people are the same and what is their association to Apple?

Undercover marketing is real. For all who don't know what it is, here is a video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LcZkbUH-lOc [youtube.com]

Re:Is Apple using undercover marketing? (0)

the_B0fh (208483) | about a year and a half ago | (#40890141)

And they have that many people lining up around the block and having fights over the iPhones on launch dates? Seriously?

Apple doesn't have to copy RIM for that kind of bullshit

Re:Is Apple using undercover marketing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40890655)

having fights over the iPhones

Apple does sponsor fight clubs.

Re:Is Apple using undercover marketing? (0, Flamebait)

Grudge2012 (2662391) | about a year and a half ago | (#40890197)

How many of those Apple users lining up to buy the new Iphones are Apple employees or associates paid to stand in line?

And how many are Samsung designers?

Re:Is Apple using undercover marketing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40892493)

How many of those Apple users lining up to buy the new Iphones are Apple employees or associates paid to stand in line?

And how many are Samsung designers?

I know why he was modded down - Samsung has no designers.

Re:Is Apple using undercover marketing? (3, Informative)

DJCouchyCouch (622482) | about a year and a half ago | (#40890393)

Every new iPhone model sells more than all the previous models combined. That's a heck of a lot of people to pay off for standing in line. I want in.

Re:Is Apple using undercover marketing? (4, Funny)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | about a year and a half ago | (#40890653)

Geeks can make serious money at suburban malls these days. Apple pays me to stand around in front of their store, and Abercrombie and Fitch pays me to stay away from theirs.

Re:Is Apple using undercover marketing? (2)

perpenso (1613749) | about a year and a half ago | (#40890399)

The amount of people in line is eerily similar with each product launch, how many of these people are the same and what is their association to Apple?

Or maybe the same early adopters line up for upgrades each time. No conspiracy theory necessary.

Much like the same people line up to buy [insert appropriate video game franchise name here] at midnight on launch day.

Re:Is Apple using undercover marketing? (2)

garcia (6573) | about a year and a half ago | (#40890417)

Yesterday I was at the Mall of America to let my kid ride some rides while it drizzled outside. I needed a new Invisible Shield for my phone (not realizing that the one that began to peel off, had I gone to a kiosk with it still on the phone, would have been covered by their lifetime warranty) and had one put on there for an additional $5 (saving me 20 minutes of utter frustration and sweat).

After waiting the 30 seconds for the dude to do it for me, I was about to walk away when a young guy and his family came up to me and asked about the product. I told him I had it on my phone for nearly two years and never suffered a scratch--except in the material itself. Two days after peeling it off, I ended up with a scratch in the glass--and thus why I was more than happy to pay the $20 to get another (even though, if I had known better, I wouldn't have had to). He bought one himself right then and there.

Could this have been interpreted as undercover marketing? Surely it could have. In fact, it probably would have looked just like that to anyone who walked by who is as paranoid as the typical Slashbot. However, I am genuinely impressed with the product (even though I was HIGHLY skeptical when my wife bought it for me the first time) and I have absolutely NOTHING to do w/the company.

Re:Is Apple using undercover marketing? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40890465)

No, it's mostly product placement in TV shows, movies, and other popular media. Watch the shows popular with the 18-34 crowd and count how many iphones, ipads, macbooks, and apple logos you see in the course of each show. You'll be surprised how large the number is.

Re:Is Apple using undercover marketing? (1)

Plumpaquatsch (2701653) | about a year and a half ago | (#40892611)

No, it's mostly product placement in TV shows, movies, and other popular media. Watch the shows popular with the 18-34 crowd and count how many iphones, ipads, macbooks, and apple logos you see in the course of each show. You'll be surprised how large the number is.

Actually, you'll see pretty few Apple logos.

Re:Is Apple using undercover marketing? (2)

ToasterMonkey (467067) | about a year and a half ago | (#40890545)

How many of those Apple users lining up to buy the new Iphones are Apple employees or associates paid to stand in line? The amount of people in line is eerily similar with each product launch, how many of these people are the same and what is their association to Apple?

Undercover marketing is real. For all who don't know what it is, here is a video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LcZkbUH-lOc [youtube.com]

The man in the video does not appear to be honest.

Why would you pay kids to walk around and eat popcorn and cotton candy when you could just hand out a few free ones?

Same with the "leaners", it sounds too contrived, a poster, coasters, or again, giving away free stuff would be cheaper.

A huge line doesn't make people want to go stand in it. Disney puts a lot of work into hiding long lines to make the wait appear to be shorter.

What is supposed point of secret marketing other than an explanation for the popularity of something you just don't like?

Re:Is Apple using undercover marketing? (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about a year and a half ago | (#40890681)

A huge line doesn't make people want to go stand in it. Disney puts a lot of work into hiding long lines to make the wait appear to be shorter.

A fundamental difference being that in Disney's case, people have already paid for whatever is at the end of the line. People really, really, really hate that scenario.

Re:Is Apple using undercover marketing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40890589)

Disgusting, this only proves that Apple is a fad and a bubble ready to burst, overkill marketing practices, it all makes sense now, but real companies and real brands do not need this kind of shill and hard push work. Maybe they should spend some coin on real engineering and fix thouse kernel crashes in iOS and OSX instead.

Re:Is Apple using undercover marketing? (2)

jbolden (176878) | about a year and a half ago | (#40890777)

Sorry I know too many regular people who get excited by Apple products and do that sort of things. On the annual WWDC when new hardware is often announced there a 1/2 dozen websites live blogging for the people who can't wait till the next day to watch the video.

Re:Is Apple using undercover marketing? (1)

narcc (412956) | about a year and a half ago | (#40890985)

I've been excited about product launches in the past, I can understand that. I can't understand getting excited about a video of a product that I know nothing about, which may or many not exist just because it's rumored to be some unknown new thing from a company which has produced products that I liked in the past.

If you can offer any insight, I'm all ears.

What is this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40890049)

A tour through Willy Wonka's chocolate factory? Where's the sweatshop full of Oompa Loompas?

Re:What is this? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40890319)

A tour through Willy Wonka's chocolate factory? Where's the sweatshop full of Oompa Loompas?

iOompa iLoompas you insensitive clod.

It's a weird corollary of the Streisand Effect. (1)

QilessQi (2044624) | about a year and a half ago | (#40890055)

So, by the way, is patenting something. The moment any big tech company files for a patent, hordes of onlookers start speculating on what's behind it.

Now I know what purple means (4, Insightful)

Meatbucket (2039104) | about a year and a half ago | (#40890057)

So I guess when I code a url in my app to point to the app store for posting a review I finally know what the "purple" means "itms-apps://ax.itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewContentsUserReviews?type=Purple+Software&id="

Yes, it's all a great secret until... (2)

Patent Lover (779809) | about a year and a half ago | (#40890201)

... someone inevitably leaves a prototype on a bar. No other company seems to have this problem. Yawn.

Re:Yes, it's all a great secret until... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40890357)

Blackberry, HTC, LG, Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, Sony etc have the problem that nobody cares about their prototypes.

Re:Yes, it's all a great secret until... (2)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about a year and a half ago | (#40890575)

One of my friends used to work at Rogers. Rogers and RIM have a deal where any time and unrecognized* BB device ends up on Rogers RIM gets notified immediately. And that can go very badly for whomever has the device because it's almost certainly stolen.

One of my students did a co-op at RIM before that was the case, and I guess this deal with rogers came into being about 3 years ago. He worked there during a transition, where they initially had 'security' that didn't actually care all that much if you walked out with phones that weren't for sale yet for a long time and then it changed, including with the staff getting a stern warning from the CEO that this would no longer be tolerated. I think this is because most of the other companies you mention, including RIM, announced products before selling them, so knowing that the next phone in the pipeline a month in advance wasn't really a problem. Engadget and a few other places actively hunt for these prototypes, but the phones are announced enough in advance of actual sales that it doesn't matter much, including through things like FCC filings.

*unrecognized as in the device isn't on the list of known devices for sale. There are special SIMS that the big phone carriers give to RIM for development devices, so presumably those accounts don't have issues. But they do get some sort of device ID.

Re:Yes, it's all a great secret until... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40890863)

Hmmm I seem to recall that after the iPhone 4 in-a-bar incident, RIM Australia's ad agency tried to "accidentally" "lose" some prototypes but it didn't work out as expected.

Re:Yes, it's all a great secret until... (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about a year and a half ago | (#40890593)

That's because most other companies are pretty open on when they are going to release stuff. With Apple, its an annoying gamble if you are going to buy from them because if you are unlucky you'll end up with a product that 1 month later is obsolete and a better product is out with the exact same price. While other companies have some of the same risks, they usually decrease the price over the course of the product's life, Apple does not until the "big new thing" is out.

Re:Yes, it's all a great secret until... (1)

Plumpaquatsch (2701653) | about a year and a half ago | (#40892633)

That's because most other companies are pretty open on when they are going to release stuff.

So when exactly will the Galaxy S IV be out?

Secrets? (3, Insightful)

whisper_jeff (680366) | about a year and a half ago | (#40890245)

Uh, ok. I admit - I'm an Apple fanboy so I follow Apple news pretty closely but, thus far, nothing secret has been revealed. A large marketing budget for their key products? Uh, duh! A massive and secretive development process behind the iPhone? Seriously, duh! Literally, nothing at all that has been revealed thus far is anything remotely close to a "secret". The closest thing to a secret has been the revelation of specific prototypes but everyone knew there were prototype iPhone designs and most people already had a basic idea of what they looked like - now we have pictures. But the only people who consider any of this a secret are people who don't follow the tech industry at all and anyone who follows Apple surely finds nothing to be a shocking secret thus far.

Total confusion (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year and a half ago | (#40890261)

...most employees on the project did not even know what they were working on

That's supposed to be surprising? I've seen many a project where the engineers, after a period of spec and requirements changes, didn't know what the hell they were working on...and they had to do it anyway. :]

Remember the old days ... (2, Interesting)

WankersRevenge (452399) | about a year and a half ago | (#40890327)

<old man rant>
When Slashdot didn't cover the smart phone wars and we conversed open source and linux, then did a healthy microsoft bashing for good measure. I miss those days.

I get that the editors love the traffic from Apple stories but I find them so damn tiring. Yes, they are a tech leader but does the Slashdot community need to notified about every little quibble? (hey look, a slashdot headline!) If Tim Cook so much as farts, it makes frontpage news here, followed by some idiotic editorial that would be modded flamebait if posted to a story.

Slashdot reminds me of this video ... with Slashdot playing the role of Paranoia. Now, if only we could successfully "stab em".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5bCD8M0EnxA [youtube.com]
</old man rant>

Re:Remember the old days ... (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about a year and a half ago | (#40892033)

<old man rant> When Slashdot didn't cover the smart phone wars and we conversed open source and linux, then did a healthy microsoft bashing for good measure. I miss those days.

Well, Balmer's to blame... no fun in bashing microsoft any more.

Different market. Not scret sause. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40890385)

Apple's not doing anything spectacular. The company is just creating a product design that differentiates themselves from the competition and marketing it. They have a lot of money to do that. It's not like they really have anything all that unique functionality wise. They are dependant on the same companies Dell, HP, and everybody else is. That is they are dependent on Samsung for hard drives, Atheros/Realtek/Intel/etc for wireless chipsets, Intel/AMD for CPUs, etc. If they actually were to create a new product it would be one thing. They aren't doing that though. They might be the first to market for some items although more frequently than not it seems they really aren't. They are just the first to mass market a particular product.

The portable audio player is a perfect example of this. Apple didn't invent the portable mp3 player. These were around before Apple and another company fought the hard battle to 'legalise' the technology.

They didn't invent the sleek design. There have been other products with few buttons. Palm had devices that were extremely sleek. Even to this day would be considered slim. Like the Palm M500 (though it did have a few buttons- which actually made it better than the crap Apple puts out).

Apple just takes a product and mass markets it and then claims to own the technology/design. It's a load of crap. There are smaller players on the market like ThinkPenguin which have similar products. I'm not saying everything came before Apple. What I'm saying is that Apple's product line isn't that unique. It's not the only company which sells hardware with a non-Microsoft operating system or the only company capable of designing / releasing a sleek stylish design. Humorously there are a lot of "Apple" fanboys who like ThinkPenguin's stuff. Sadly they like it for all the wrong reasons. They should like it because it's freedom friendly. Not because it's stylish, slim, fast, etc.

Re:Different market. Not scret sause. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40890687)

If Apple isn't producing anything spectacular, does that make their financial success more or less impressive?

Re:Different market. Not scret sause. (1)

byornski (1022169) | about a year and a half ago | (#40890739)

If Apple isn't producing anything spectacular, does that make their financial success more or less impressive?

No, I mean yes.

Re:Different market. Not scret sause. (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | about a year and a half ago | (#40891293)

Yes, people are stupid for not liking things for the same reason I do.

japan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40890439)

I thought the original iphone was built for apple by a Japanese company.

Wow... Someone should have told Taiwan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40890513)

Darn, that's a lot of secrecy to protect the plans they purchased from that Taiwan tech trade show.

But it's important people (meaning Apple's cultists) don't know Apple's "innovation" has either been purchased or acquired since Woz left.

Seriously? (2)

RetiredMidn (441788) | about a year and a half ago | (#40890525)

These are the important secrets?

It's more likely that Apple's competitors are going to look at this thin slice of evidence and apply it badly, as has been done so frequently in the past.

I'm more worried about Apple drifting away from its own successful values than I am about somebody else "discovering" them on the basis of this trial's discovery.

Re:Seriously? (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about a year and a half ago | (#40890587)

Agreed. These are the sorts of things any serious competitor knows already, if not exactly they have a good idea about how much apple is spending on things and so on. They will hire former (disgruntled) apple staff, they'll pour over their public books, half of their competitors are also their suppliers so they know component costs, they can hire people from the phone carriers etc.

secrecy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40890699)

I was speaking with a person who used to work for Apple. He said he finally left because not being able to engage in technical discussions with others even the same department was a drag. He said it was like working for the CIA.

minus 3, troll) (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40890787)

Indeci5ion and

Apple is one black project. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40891017)

A sign on the back of the building read “Fight Club.” Behind the security cameras and locked doors, most employees on the project did not even know what they were working on.'"

Standard procedure in all defense projects, compartmentalization and secrecy. Now you should really all know what Apple really is/

How much is paid to astroturfing? (2)

miffo.swe (547642) | about a year and a half ago | (#40892327)

I find it curious Apple spends so much money on advertising yet its pretty seldom i have seen an Apple advert at all. Where does all that money go really? Since not much seems to end up in normal advertising one could suspect it was spent on guerilla marketing or astroturfing as i call it.

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