or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › Former Apple marketing manager describes company's 'controlled leaks'
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Former Apple marketing manager describes company's 'controlled leaks'

post #1 of 51
Thread Starter 
As vague "unidentified sources" continue to leak information about Apple's forthcoming tablet device, the company's former marketing manager has revealed supposed secrets on how the Cupertino, Calif., company operates.

John Martellaro provided an analysis for The Mac Observer this week, giving insight into how Monday's leak on the tablet might have been given to The Wall Street Journal. Earlier this week, the paper reported that Apple will unveil its touchscreen tablet this month, and release it for sale in March.

According to Martellaro, the story "had all the earmarks of a controlled leak." As a former senior marketing manager at Apple, he said he was told to leak information in the past.

He said a senior company executive would ask him to release specific information to a trusted person at a major media outlet. Martellaro claims he was asked to "idly mention" the information in a telephone conversation, and to suggest to a reporter that publishing it would be "nice." E-mail correspondence was not allowed.

"The communication is always done in person or on the phone. Never via e-mail," he said. "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."

The Journal's top technology commentator, Walt Mossberg, was bypassed, Martellaro alleged, to allow him to remain "above the fray." In addition, the story was leaked late Monday, after the stock market closed, so no one could suggest there was an attempt to manipulate Wall Street.

Martellaro suggested there are a number of reasons Apple could have chosen to leak the information on Monday. They include, in his words:

to light a fire under a recalcitrant partner
to float the idea of the US$1,000 price point and gauge reaction
to panic/confuse a potential competitor about whom Apple had some knowledge
to whet analyst and observer expectations to make sure the right kind and number of people show up at the (presumed) January 26 event. Apple hates empty seats and demands SRO at these events
While Apple sometimes leaks information to its advantage, it also goes to great lengths to control what is publicly said, and when. Apple's tight-lipped nature was profiled last year by the New York Times, which said the company's veil of secrecy began to take shape around the release of the original Macintosh back in 1984.

One employee said that employees working on secret projects at Apple must "pass through a maze of security doors, swiping their badges again and again and finally entering a numeric code to reach their offices." Once inside the top-secret areas, employees are often monitored by surveillance cameras as they work. Those working with the most sensitive projects are allegedly instructed to "cover up devices with black cloaks when they are working on them, and turn on a red warning light when devices are unmasked so that everyone knows to be extra-careful."

Last month, one report highlighted Apple's supposed "Worldwide Loyalty Team," which are claimed to be a group of moles that spy on people and report directly to co-founder Steve Jobs and Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer. When an employee is suspected of a leak, the source claimed that they are under a "gag order" that involves the confiscation of cell phones and a total blackout of all unmonitored communication.
post #2 of 51
Yeah, but what this guy fails to address is, why Apple is able to do it successfully, and others are not. It's much more than just a yen for secrecy or playing media games.
post #3 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

While Apple sometimes leaks information to its advantage, it also goes to great lengths to control what is publicly said, and when. Apple's tight-lipped nature was profiled last year by the New York Times, which said the company's veil of secrecy began to take shape around the release of the original Macintosh back in 1984.

This comes as no surprise. I am sure the Apple Hype that precedes every new announcement is fuelled to a large degree by the Apple marketing team. The fact that Apple goes to such an extent to guard its new wares makes perfect sense - for one it ups the info stakes considerably, any rumor is now big news, and secondly and definitely most importantly - by controlling the information Apple controls the hype machine. It would be interesting to see some kind of number on the many many millions of dollars worth of free marketing Apple has been handed through endless speculative rumor editorials. I mean, look at us! ;-)
post #4 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Yeah, but what this guy fails to address is, why Apple is able to do it successfully, and others are not. It's much more than just a yen for secrecy or playing media games.


everyone does it

Palm did it with the Pre, so did Verizon about the Pre and the iPhone. a lot of people holding out on the hope that the iPhone comes to Verizon
post #5 of 51
why doesn't AI just copy and paste the ENTIRE source article? I mean, either simply link it or simply copy and paste the whole thing. If AI was a legitimate news outlet, they'd be cited for plagiarism left and right. Stop with the mock "journalism" already!
post #6 of 51
Meh, sounds more or less like any other big company I've worked at with projects they don't want competitors to know about.
post #7 of 51
This is exactly why I would laugh until tears streamed down my face if there was no tablet. Would be a brilliant move to force the hands of all of the potential e-book reader manufacturers, then once all is known to Apple they simply have to refine their options before their next product release. Ingenious. And to think, Ballmer is about to make a complete fool of himself tonight with his keynote. Oh, boy... I can't wait.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

 

Get the lowdown on the coming collapse:  http://www.cbo.gov/publication/45010

Reply

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

 

Get the lowdown on the coming collapse:  http://www.cbo.gov/publication/45010

Reply
post #8 of 51
Tell us something we don't know ...
post #9 of 51
Wonder if the people monitoring the security cameras use them as an opportunity to look down cleavage? Or do they report people who pick their noses while working?
post #10 of 51
Every year this content is pimped somewhere.
80 million iPhones by 2012. That's only 15% of the market.

http://www.iphonethailand.net
Reply
80 million iPhones by 2012. That's only 15% of the market.

http://www.iphonethailand.net
Reply
post #11 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

This is exactly why I would laugh until tears streamed down my face if there was no tablet. Would be a brilliant move to force the hands of all of the potential e-book reader manufacturers, then once all is known to Apple they simply have to refine their options before their next product release. Ingenious. And to think, Ballmer is about to make a complete fool of himself tonight with his keynote. Oh, boy... I can't wait.

i would love it if there were no tablet...would just make a mockery out of ballmer (even bigger one...) after his big courier announcement...
post #12 of 51
If this wasn't a corporation... it would be accused of being a cult. LOL. Total control, surveillance, security. Sworn loyalty to the head Guru. Etc.
post #13 of 51
Not really surprised at all... the hype surrounding this tablet has been off the charts, and I'm sure Apple loves every minute of it.

Question is, can they deliver a product that lives up to all the hype? I'm sure it'll be a quality product, but at this point it sounds more like a content delivery tool. Personally, I'd rather see an Arrandale MacBook Pro with a little more mobile oomph for producing content.
Sent from my iPod Shuffle
Reply
Sent from my iPod Shuffle
Reply
post #14 of 51
This happens with all sorts of companies and the governments all over the planet. See what kind of hype you can get going. Best of all for Apple is it costs nothing for it.

24" iMac, 2 MB Pros, iPad Version 1, 2 x (iPhone 4s), Apple TV 3, a Shuffle and a couple of iTouches somewhere in the house. Spot on wall reserved for an Apple TV of some description. Oh yeah..and...

Reply

24" iMac, 2 MB Pros, iPad Version 1, 2 x (iPhone 4s), Apple TV 3, a Shuffle and a couple of iTouches somewhere in the house. Spot on wall reserved for an Apple TV of some description. Oh yeah..and...

Reply
post #15 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleStud View Post

why doesn't AI just copy and paste the ENTIRE source article? I mean, either simply link it or simply copy and paste the whole thing. If AI was a legitimate news outlet, they'd be cited for plagiarism left and right. Stop with the mock "journalism" already!


There is a link on the original article, also a lot of Mac sites work with each other, link back and forth etc.

Don't worry about it, everyone is getting hit traffic.
The danger is that we sleepwalk into a world where cabals of corporations control not only the mainstream devices and the software on them, but also the entire ecosystem of online services around...
Reply
The danger is that we sleepwalk into a world where cabals of corporations control not only the mainstream devices and the software on them, but also the entire ecosystem of online services around...
Reply
post #16 of 51
Just imagine how many Kindles, Nooks and other e-readers are going unsold due to Apple's successful leak strategy! Lots of people who are interested in buying an e-reader (my wife is one) are holding off to see if Apple is going to come up with something better and more versatile.

I admit to being a Fanatical Moderate. I Disdain the Inane. Vyizderzominymororzizazizdenderizorziz?

Reply

I admit to being a Fanatical Moderate. I Disdain the Inane. Vyizderzominymororzizazizdenderizorziz?

Reply
post #17 of 51
It's called business people. That's how companies operate. Scratch that. That's how organizations operate, even government (which does it to either diffuse population anger or to simply test the waters).

Am I the only one who doesn't see this as all that secret or all that monumental? As I must reiterate, if you have a vision, you can't compromise. Apple's secrecy or Nazi-like hold on it's products, information, and yes, even employees is necessary for it to produce the products it produces. As soon as you start letting others dictate things, yes even the smallest of things, your vision becomes compromised...

And as an aside, I had to look up 'recalcitrant.' Kudos marketing guy.
post #18 of 51
Polar315, I just read your signature "I asked Microsoft what they could do to make Snow Leopard look even better. Then, out comes Windows 7. I'm a Mac and Windows 7 was my idea" lmao, that's hilarious
Sent from my iPod Shuffle
Reply
Sent from my iPod Shuffle
Reply
post #19 of 51
How do Apple janitors do their job?

If I earned $12/hour emptying trash cans, you bet I'd sell iTablet photos for $100 a pop.
post #20 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

This is exactly why I would laugh until tears streamed down my face if there was no tablet. Would be a brilliant move to force the hands of all of the potential e-book reader manufacturers, then once all is known to Apple they simply have to refine their options before their next product release. Ingenious. And to think, Ballmer is about to make a complete fool of himself tonight with his keynote. Oh, boy... I can't wait.


not that easy

a lot of iphone OS 3.1 was written before 3 came out and the last 2 months were just to finish up a few features. it takes a long time to design a product and code the OS and software. then it takes months to QA it and get it ready for manufacture and get all the regulatory approvals
post #21 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

This is exactly why I would laugh until tears streamed down my face if there was no tablet. Would be a brilliant move to force the hands of all of the potential e-book reader manufacturers, then once all is known to Apple they simply have to refine their options before their next product release. Ingenious. And to think, Ballmer is about to make a complete fool of himself tonight with his keynote. Oh, boy... I can't wait.

It's too late for that now. I think it's all but assumed today that Apple will release a tablet. If not, their stock price will nosedive and that is far more significant than throwing egg on SB's face.
post #22 of 51
Well if they're wanting to gather information on a $1000.00 price point they can have mine right now....... no way. Actually I'd have to preface that by unless it offers something so totally unique that I can't replicate it by either the iPhone or a MacBook/Pro.
post #23 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kibitzer View Post

Just imagine how many Kindles, Nooks and other e-readers are going unsold due to Apple's successful leak strategy! Lots of people who are interested in buying an e-reader (my wife is one) are holding off to see if Apple is going to come up with something better and more versatile.

This is what I love about Apple. They don't talk "vapor" and not deliver. Their marketing/hype machine is getting word out about the new, cool, hip device that you HAVE to have and then they deliver! Sure you waited on the kindle and other readers, but the new Apple product will be more than worth the wait. You can almost bet on it.
post #24 of 51
deleted

Many of the most important software concepts were invented in the 70s and forgotten in the 80s.

Reply

Many of the most important software concepts were invented in the 70s and forgotten in the 80s.

Reply
post #25 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post

not that easy

a lot of iphone OS 3.1 was written before 3 came out and the last 2 months were just to finish up a few features. it takes a long time to design a product and code the OS and software. then it takes months to QA it and get it ready for manufacture and get all the regulatory approvals

Knowing how Apple is about being way, way ahead of the game, if there are any tablets, they may have a dozen different models already working as prototypes. Then they could pick and choose which versions to roll out based on competing offerings. Mind you, the difficult aspects of the coding may have been worked out far in advance.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

 

Get the lowdown on the coming collapse:  http://www.cbo.gov/publication/45010

Reply

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

 

Get the lowdown on the coming collapse:  http://www.cbo.gov/publication/45010

Reply
post #26 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The Journal's top technology commentator, Walt Mossberg, was bypassed, Martellaro alleged, to allow him to remain "above the fray."

Actually, he was probably left out because he already has one for testing so he can release an article about it the day after Apple announces it.
post #27 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

... Last month, one report highlighted Apple's supposed "Worldwide Loyalty Team," which are claimed to be a group of moles that spy on people and report directly to co-founder Steve Jobs and Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer. When an employee is suspected of a leak, the source claimed that they are under a "gag order" that involves the confiscation of cell phones and a total blackout of all unmonitored communication.

Did you really have to add this nonsense on the end when it has little relevance to the story and has no corroboration at all?

This part of the story has it's source in a badly written fantasy from one of the least reputable computer tech sites on the net. It was just about dead. Why resurrect it yet again when you have nothing to add and it adds nothing to your story?

It's supposed to be "AppleInsider" not "AppleUnsourcedWildRumourSpreadingService."
post #28 of 51
recalcitrant |riˈkalsətrənt|

adjective
having an obstinately uncooperative attitude toward authority or discipline : a class of recalcitrant fifteen-year-olds.

noun
a person with such an attitude.

DERIVATIVES
recalcitrance noun
recalcitrantly adverb

ORIGIN mid 19th cent.: from Latin recalcitrant- kicking out with the heels, from the verb recalcitrare, based on calx, calc- heel.
post #29 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Ballmer is about to make a complete fool of himself tonight with his keynote.

As usual...
OMG here we go again...
Reply
OMG here we go again...
Reply
post #30 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by CdnBook View Post

Not really surprised at all... the hype surrounding this tablet has been off the charts, and I'm sure Apple loves every minute of it.

Question is, can they deliver a product that lives up to all the hype? I'm sure it'll be a quality product, but at this point it sounds more like a content delivery tool. Personally, I'd rather see an Arrandale MacBook Pro with a little more mobile oomph for producing content.

Getting a little technical, there hasn't really been any hype, just a lot of rumors. Apple isn't obligated to fulfill rumors, unless you take the view that most of them were created by Apple.
Please don't be insane.
Reply
Please don't be insane.
Reply
post #31 of 51
Apple tries to distance itself from Microsoft's profit driven, corporate at all costs way of operating but Apple is just as bad. Each app is scrutinized and put under an arduous approval process, each piece of news about under development hardware that is leaked is controlled by the highest levels inside Apple's managerial structure and we are led to believe that Apple is the "free spirit" of computer manufacturing. I love that Apple products all work when you push power (mostly). But let's stop deluding ourselves that Apple isn't as corporate as its nemesis (Microsoft).
post #32 of 51
One item that wasn't mentioned... the decaying bodies still crucified in Roman tradition that line the inner courtyard at 1 Infinite Loop. Apparently, Steve Jobs feels that seeing disemboweled co-workers rotting after being uncovered by the moles acts a deterent to future leaks. In fact, and this is pretty top secret (but you heard it here first)... Apple rids itself of old fruit and vegetables by allowing employees in 'good standing' to throw the moldy fruit at disloyal employees who are locked in stocks.
post #33 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by freethinker View Post

Apple tries to distance itself from Microsoft's profit driven, corporate at all costs way of operating but Apple is just as bad. Each app is scrutinized and put under an arduous approval process, each piece of news about under development hardware that is leaked is controlled by the highest levels inside Apple's managerial structure and we are led to believe that Apple is the "free spirit" of computer manufacturing. I love that Apple products all work when you push power (mostly). But let's stop deluding ourselves that Apple isn't as corporate as its nemesis (Microsoft).

which one of the two dictatorships has products that the consumers want to buy?
which one uses the dictatorial power to create awesome products?
which one uses the dictatorial power as a vendor lock-in because it's too afraid to change and lose business?
post #34 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nebrie View Post

Meh, sounds more or less like any other big company I've worked at with projects they don't want competitors to know about.

It is just nice to have it confirmed instead of all of us bs'ing around about what we think happens.
Hard-Core.
Reply
Hard-Core.
Reply
post #35 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

Getting a little technical, there hasn't really been any hype, just a lot of rumors. Apple isn't obligated to fulfill rumors, unless you take the view that most of them were created by Apple.

I suppose it depends on what your definition of "hype" is. My little dashboard widget dictionary describes it as "a deception carried out for the sake of publicity". When you take the context of the article into account, I think you can safely say there has been a lot of "hype".
Sent from my iPod Shuffle
Reply
Sent from my iPod Shuffle
Reply
post #36 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by FormerARSgm View Post

One item that wasn't mentioned... the decaying bodies still crucified in Roman tradition that line the inner courtyard at 1 Infinite Loop. Apparently, Steve Jobs feels that seeing disemboweled co-workers rotting after being uncovered by the moles acts a deterent to future leaks. In fact, and this is pretty top secret (but you heard it here first)... Apple rids itself of old fruit and vegetables by allowing employees in 'good standing' to throw the moldy fruit at disloyal employees who are locked in stocks.

Apple gave them a job. Being disloyal is not cool or acceptable to me. As long as they are providing you a job, be loyal and there is not a problem. Or am I missing something?
Hard-Core.
Reply
Hard-Core.
Reply
post #37 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by macinthe408 View Post

How do Apple janitors do their job?

If I earned $12/hour emptying trash cans, you bet I'd sell iTablet photos for $100 a pop.

It's basically the same protocol for working on Classified documents for the government, down to the rotating red beacon light. Trash cans are left outside private offices for janitors, you have locking covers for your desk, drawing tables fold up to secure any blueprints. Any prototypes or confidential communication get locked back into the safe.

What is odd is that they have security cameras, as that provides a single point of access to override all these protections.
post #38 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

This is exactly why I would laugh until tears streamed down my face if there was no tablet. Would be a brilliant move to force the hands of all of the potential e-book reader manufacturers, then once all is known to Apple they simply have to refine their options before their next product release. Ingenious. And to think, Ballmer is about to make a complete fool of himself tonight with his keynote. Oh, boy... I can't wait.

While I would laugh too I think this tablet is very real.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
post #39 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

This is exactly why I would laugh until tears streamed down my face if there was no tablet. Would be a brilliant move to force the hands of all of the potential e-book reader manufacturers, then once all is known to Apple they simply have to refine their options before their next product release. Ingenious. And to think, Ballmer is about to make a complete fool of himself tonight with his keynote. Oh, boy... I can't wait.

You just called your own idea ingenious. And your idea is for Apple to not announce a tablet. OK.
post #40 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Porchland View Post

You just called your own idea ingenious. And your idea is for Apple to not announce a tablet. OK.

Spam is a genius.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Discussion
AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › Former Apple marketing manager describes company's 'controlled leaks'