Posts Tagged ‘engadget’

The iPhone Walks Into a Bar Debacle – Could it be Planned?

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

As you’ve likely heard from multiple news sources, a prototype of the next generation iPhone 4G was recently discovered at a German beer house in Redwood City, California, apparently left there by an Apple employee following a night of drunken reverie. After an interesting journey, the device eventually ended up with the folks at Gizmodo, and it is now believed to be the real deal; the media frenzy over this has been intense to say the least.

Although this event was in all likelihood an honest and hilarious mistake, part of me wonders if the whole thing could have been planned. It doesn’t sound crazy to imagine Steve listening to his Archduke of Psychology’s instructions that, in light of Apple’s recent Machiavellian power plays, a few touches of perceived vulnerability might go a long way towards humanizing the company and quelling the nascent fires of rebellion brewing throughout the populace.

It can be argued that an event like this breaks Apple’s control of the news cycle for the product, but if you consider this as a planned tactical maneuver the point becomes moot (as it still would be a “controlled” leak). Something about it just seems too picture perfect: employees birthday, pictures of him drinking in the phone, the device left right on the bar stool in plain site, etc. It is an interesting way to generate buzz for the upcoming product, lighten the tense mood regarding Apple, and see how the public reacts to potential features for the next gen device without being officially married to them.

I’m not trying to be a conspiracy theorist, but I think it’s prudent to consider any news involving Apple as a potential strategic ploy. Also, the fact that the employee who lost the phone is still alive, and still apparently working at Apple, is an interesting point given Apple’s history regarding leaks. That being said, I think the situation probably was in fact unintentional, but it’s an interesting thought experiment to consider alternate possibilities.

That’s my two cents. I’m curious what everyone else thinks regarding this, so please feel free to post some comments; thanks!