Apple's lock on the media...

Tomorrow morning Apple will be hosting a media event to announce their latest changes to the iPod line. The mainstream media has already started chomping at the bit, and the attention will climax following the official announcement.

There's no other company quite like Apple. They have security that rivals defense contractors and there is a whole legion of websites dedicated to gathering inside information and publishing company "secrets." It's not muckraking either, most of these investigators are devout Apple fans with a thirst for any undisclosed information about their favorite company. The most perplexing aspect of Apple's cult-like position in our society is the way the company manages to consistently invoke the press' interest.

It's still unclear exactly what Apple will be introducing at their press event tomorrow, but the mainstream media is already talking. Usually when companies host a media event to launch a new product, the product is the news. For Apple, the event itself becomes news. In today's San Francisco Chronicle, the lead headline on the front page of the Business section reads, "What news awaits the apple faithful?" The article goes on to surface the various rumors that have been percolating on the various apple rumors sites. Even the headline itself, invokes the almost religious zeal that Mac aficionados hold close to their heart.

Two months ago an even greater fury developed surrounding Apple's first foray into the cellular market, and unlike tomorrow's announcement, the iPhone's intimate details had all been revealed when it was announced at this year's Macworld Conference and Expo. What is it about this company that ensures that everything they do will land a sizable amount of press coverage?

Sure, Apple's innovative. The Mac operating system was driven by a GUI long before Windows replaced DOS. The iPod brought digital audio into suburban homes everywhere, but surely their innovation is comparable to that of other companies. Perhaps it's their unparalleled secrecy. Apple prides itself on keeping their new products under lock and key and have demonstrated their willingness to file cease-and-desist orders against rumor sites who obtain privileged information. The company even launched a legal assault to try to route out a mole who revealed information about a product under development.

Whatever it is that makes Apple so attractive to the media, it seems to be working. Apple continues to post record profits and their success is unlikely to falter in the near future. Perhaps other companies should try to model their own strategies after Apple; more than likely more than a few already have, but it's uncertain that any other company would be able to mirror their success.

It's certainly not concrete what tomorrow's announcement will deliver, but the word on the web is that we'll see new products across the iPod line. There's talk that the new devices will run OS X and whispers of wi-fi continue to proliferate. Most interesting are the rumors that the iPod will completely abandon it's reliance on hard drive storage in favor of flash memory solutions. If this is true, I don't anticipate Apple will be able to continue its 60GB model and abandoning these larger capacity iPods would likely prove to be a mistake.

In a few short hours, Apple's latest batch of secrets will be revealed to the world and the anticipation will be over. The media's attention, however, will continue as people react to the new line-up and Apple cashes in on another successful marketing blitz.
About the author

    Josh Wolf first became interested in the power of the press after writing and distributing a screed against his high school's new dress code. Within a short time, the new dress code was abandoned, and ever since then he's been getting his hands dirty deconstructing the media every step of the way. Wolf recently became the longest-incarcerated journalist for contempt of court in U.S. history after he spent 226 days in federal prison for his refusal to cooperate. In Media sphere, Josh shares his daily insights on the developing information landscape and examines how various corporate and governmental actions effect the free press both in the United States and abroad.

     

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