Apple Tablet/iPad – Big Media Drinks the Kool Aid

5th January 2010
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The Apple Tablet, I’ll be brief: There is absolutely no proof of its existence. None.

Bloggers and Big Media agree it’s all rumor and yet they are basing their “speculations” on these “rumors” and it’s a bit distressing; have we sunk this low people?! Sure, the iPhone came out under similar secrecy, but is that reason to throw away all journalistic principles? I think not.

Some examples.

John Gruber writes very eloquently on Daring Fireball about the Apple Tablet, citing the fact that nothing’s being said by Apple or people he thinks are working on the project as an admission of the Tablet’s existence.

The Wall Street Journal and New York Times jumped on the bandwagon – the Times going so far as to paraphrase Gruber’s comments as fact. Rumor based on rumor is still rumor. I expect better from these two news sources. Shame shame.

The New Zealand Herald as far back as August 2009 sagely predicted that facts surrounding the Tablet would be hard to get:

“Hard facts are difficult to come by precisely because the company has a long record of shrouding its new products in secrecy until the moment Mr Jobs steps in front of a crowd dressed in his trademark garb of a black polo-neck and jeans to provide a live tutorial in front of an adoring crowd.”

I site I have quickly grown to love, MobiHealthNews, is trusting the Wall Street Journal’s report as fact and I commented to set them straight. Hope I wasn’t too harsh. Check out their site – it’s great for learning more about Mobile Health. The rest of their news articles are top notch.

[Edit: Brisbane Times is drinking the Kool Aid too about Apple Tablet (quoting Wall Street Journal rumor article)]

My Thoughts

No matter what happens Apple is loving all this Kool Aid being splashed around while they beaver away at whatever it is they are announcing 27 January 2010 in California. They are skipping MacWorld for this announcement so this is going to be huge, whatever it is. Or at least just well hyped.

Admittedly the iPhone arrived under this same suspicious lack of facts or proof in 2007, but I submit we all stop drinking the Kool Aid for a moment and realise that quoting rumor is not newsworthy.

If it is a Tablet they are working on I wish them luck. The market has shown it doesn’t know what to do with products that aren’t clear in focus and a Tablet appeals to artists, clinicians, scientists but will it catch on with the general public? Apple can afford for it to only appeal to this small percentage of the US market and still have it be a hit so it’s probably worth the risk.

To media agencies who should know better: Stop reporting rumors as facts. Thank you. Rant over.


Nathaniel Flick

I'm a Front End Web Developer passionate about usability. My primary specialties are HTML5, CSS3, SCSS, LESS, and jQuery and I am very familiar with Foundation and Bootstrap frameworks. I've worked on top of and with WordPress, Shopify, Rails, Python, and frameworks.

2 thoughts on “Apple Tablet/iPad – Big Media Drinks the Kool Aid”

  1. This is what they do. More than anything else Apple knows how to generate a fever-pitch buzz around their products – even products that are nominally secret. And they know that they can't afford to disappoint.

    Either they're presenting an iSlate (or similar), or they have something in the bag that will be so impressive that all the pent up hype can be transferred to the New Idea.

    IMHO that is too risky a strategy. My money is on a Tablet. It fits with their previous innovations, they haven't said no and there doesn't seem to be anything else on the horizon.

    BTW, I like to think there is some 'wisdom of the crowds' at play here. There is so much Apple knowledge floating around that it almost seems inevitable that the 'correct' story should float to the top eventually. Call it memevolution.

  2. In my experience crowds are rarely wise. Apple can do what it wants (and they do it well). I'm just disturbed that mass media has given up doing research in order to appear savvy and get a story out there quick.

    News is incestuous and it's hard to watch.

    Thx for your comments!

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