Maggie Shiels

Do/don't believe the ihype

  • Maggie Shiels
  • 4 Jun 08, 15:07 GMT

Seriously it is just not becoming for grown people to get so so so worked up about a phone.

iPhoneThere is less than a week to go before Apple guru Steve Jobs saunters on stage at the Moscone Conference Centre in downtown San Francisco and puts an end to the frenzy that has ensued for weeks and weeks about the latest edition of the iPhone.

Don't shoot me but I admit that I have added to the hype by reporting on the hype. And here's some more.

The internet is simply awash with real or fake photos, depending on what you want to believe, is the new 3G iPhone. Case makers have already been turning out cases based on these photos apparently.

One fabulous rumour is that the iPhone has already shipped and is waiting under guard, presumably armed and dressed from head to toe in black, at some warehouse in Fremont in the East Bay.

But then that is also countered by another claim that the iPhone is sitting in a factory in Taiwan. Or the rumour that it hasn't even been made because there is a shortage of parts. Quelle Horreur!

There are also claims the new phone will have 3G, won't have GPS, will have GPS, will/won't have Bluetooth, will be thinner, fatter, dearer, cheaper, have more plastic, more chrome, be blacker, no wait red and definitely cooler than any other darned product on the planet.

AppleAnd just in case you are not convinced that the new 3G phone is on its way, stop the presses because the news is that an advert for this much anticipated piece of mobile gadgetry was shot at the Apple store in Manhattan.

Apple blogs were alight with gossip and convinced by their supposition because the iconic cube store had never closed before except for two other times when the company launched the original iPhone and OSX Leopard.

So how does that affect the rumour that Apple admen built a full size replica of an Apple store on the Warner Bros lot to film an advert for the Apple Developers shindig next week?

Oh I nearly forgot my favourite favourite rumour du jour...that Steve Jobs has sworn to never again wear black polo neck sweaters and jeans that don't fit. Sacre bleu what is the world coming to?


  • Comment number 1.

    Apple Developers have been slacking over the past year or so.
    They have become very shallow when it comes to their "improved" products.
    Prior to Windows' Vista OS Apple were creating some ingenius design ideas and improvements for their products, which (in my opinion) kept them one step ahead of Microsoft every time.

    But since the release of Vista, all that apple have come up with was:
    a) OS X Leopard, a flashy version of Tiger
    b) a thinner, more expencive version of the macbook pro
    c) a smaller ipod video

    i'm not impressed with their ability to make smaller cases.

    although they did release the ipod touch, which is one step ahead of microsoft.

    but since then all apple has added was the ability to make calls from it, the iphone.

    frankly i'd like to see a lot more development of ideas and entirely new innovative ideas that differentiated mac from windows.

  • Comment number 2.

    It's good to see that French phrase book I bought you for Christmas has been put to good use ;)

  • Comment number 3.

    So when there's nothing to report on, you report on nothing?

  • Comment number 4.

    I have a question for Maggie, Darren and my fellow readers of this excellent blog:

    "Why is The BBC delivering free, pre-launch copy for the new Apple iPhone; as in Maggie's latest blog post?"

    If I wrote a comment here, which mentioned my company and one of my new products by name, it would quite rightly be removed immediately by your moderators.

    If I wrote a comment here pointing people to a relevant website or article, that too could be removed.

    However, it seems BBC Journalists ARE allowed to write pre-launch publicity pieces for Apple (and other large companies). In fact, your above article even promotes an advert filmed for the iPhone at their Manhattan store. The BBC are promoting adverts, which no one has seen, about a product that has not been officially announced - classic pre-launch promotion.

    It's balanced
    In fairness, I know that Microsoft and other big companies would get free coverage of their new products here too. It's not an 'Apple thing' I appreciate that.

    It's a size thing - right?
    The best I can come up with, is that Apple are such an important tech company that the launch of a new product ACTUALLY BECOMES a legitimate news story in itself?

    I love this blog and Darren, Maggie and Rory's work - I'm just genuinely curious, as I know how strict the BBC have to be about their coverage.

    Thanks again for an excellent blog!

    Jim Connolly

  • Comment number 5.

    It has become a daily ritual for me... log on to the BBC Technology blog and read the latest piece of Apple propoganda.

    Today's fix: There are lots of rumours about the iPhone.


  • Comment number 6.

    You do know that there are phones made by other more reliable companys that offer more features than the iphone for the same or even less money?

  • Comment number 7.


    The rules are, you're only allowed to advertise with the BBC if it's Apple.

    Because they're sooo Sanfransiscocoolwearingjeansandtshirts insteadofsuits.

    Trouble is too many people beleive the hype.


    Mr don't own an ipod. Am I missing something?

  • Comment number 8.

    I am looking forward to seeing how Apple can improve my already amazing iPhone.

    And for all the people complaining about the coverage of Apple, please remember the BBC produced TWO 30 minute programmes all about Micro$oft Vista and the big launch day, so count yourselves lucky that this Apple coverage is only on the web, not all over TV.

    Mr "I do own an iPod, yes you ARE missing something"

  • Comment number 9.

    who cares if apple are adding to the rumours about their new iphone.

    i have never liked any of their products, also i don't pay my licence fee so some self professed tech person can go to a big confrence which was a waste of time anyway

  • Comment number 10.

    I can almost forgive the Yanks for thinking it's something special: they're so behind the times they think that push email is clever, and requires something called a "Blackberry". But here in the rest of the world, where the iPhone is equivalent to what we were seeing about three years ago, the hype fills me with despair, particularly when it comes from supposedly technical journalists who should know better.

  • Comment number 11.

    iPhone? No thanks. I don't have any mobile communication devices because I value my privacy too much.

  • Comment number 12.

    digital_elysium beat me to it.

    There are other products out there far better than the Apple offering but you have to wonder why they don't get the same advertising space on the BBC.

  • Comment number 13.

    I think Maggie is missing a point here:

    Very few people in the UK care about the iPhone or, indeed, Apple.

    What we do care about is what all manufacturers are going to offer us - what about Intel's new CPUs, for example? Or the UMPC revolution?

    There's too much recirculated nonsense about a company which is the modern day equivalent of the Emperor's new clothes.

    Let's hear about exciting, fact based stuff - not pipe dreams and supposition.

  • Comment number 14.

    There's always this 'free advertising' argument brought up with an article about Apple. I'd like to point out that the headline on the Technology area today is about IBM using water to cool chips. The other top stories are reporting on Google's new office, and something about BT Vision charging for the iPlayer.

    How exactly would this site work without reference to what companies are up to?

    This blog is a tongue-in-cheek poke at the silliness of the Apple rumours, not an advert.

    It is amusing how there's so much hype around Apple's new iPhone, but also true that it is a ground-breaking product that has lead to many imitations. Apple innovate in the fact that they 'dumb down' technology for use by the masses, making it more fun to use and easily accessible. That makes them a target for the IT geeks who are somehow insulted that your everyday consumer has an allbeit watered-down, but easy to use version of what they've been playing with for a few months already.

    I look forward to seeing what Apple come up with for their new phone, and chuckle at the speculation.

  • Comment number 15.


    So you missed this then?

    *Golf clap*

  • Comment number 16.


    Thanks for pointing that out! It seems amazing that the BBC has just written YET ANOTHER pre-launch publicity piece for Apple's iPhone, just 48 hours after their last one!

    The very fact that these articles are being commented on and blogged about suggests they ARE working to promote the new iPhone - which frankly amazes me.

    I am also surprised and disappointed that no one from the BBC has commented in this blog regarding the questions raised. They are happy to do so on other subjects!

    Jim Connolly

  • Comment number 17.


    I find it slightly ironic Jim that you accuse the BBC of promoting a product when you've been using the said same BBC to promote your own commercial blog and services for some time now.

    But to address the issues at hand.

    Like it or not - some (not all) of Apple's products have a profound impact on some markets.

    In the case of the iPhone - it has a profound and measurable impact on mobile web use, and has dramatically altered perceptions of mobile phone UI and functionality, and has changed the way handset manufacturers and telecoms carriers do business.

    The fact that X or Y phone has X or Y feature is missing the point.

    So far we've written a feature piece - which includes independent analysts commenting on the impact the phone has made, a blog post which is about the hype and hoopla, and a news story.

    It's always difficult balancing commercial interests and editorial judgement, which is why we do discuss these issues a lot.

    In the case of this particular story I'm happy that the tone of coverage and amount of coverage reflects the importance to the mobile market in general, to consumers and to readers of the website/blog itself.

  • Comment number 18.

    Oh - and to put the story in context of today's news agenda.

    You can read about the issue of next-gen networks, the world's fastest supercomputer, Virgin's monitoring of users alongside the Apple launch.

    I think that wide spectrum of stories is balanced and offers readers plenty of choice.

  • Comment number 19.

    Darren, are you seriously telling us that Apple releasing a v2.0 iPhone is worthy of front page news on a publicly funded website?

    Because, like the iPhone 2.0 itself, I'm just not buying that.


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites