Apple community

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The Apple community are people who are interested in Apple Inc. and its products and share information in various media. Generally this has evolved into a proliferation of websites, all involved in online stories and discussions about Apple's products and how to use them, with some specifically speculating on rumors about future product releases. Such stories and discussions may include topics related to physical products like the Macintosh and iOS devices (e.g. the iPhone, iPod, and iPad); software and operating systems, like iOS, OS X, and Final Cut Pro; or even services Apple offers like MobileMe or iCloud. In recent years, a more specific subculture within the Apple community has developed, where some websites will focus almost exclusively on rumors about new Apple products and services. Apple enjoys a cult-like following for its platforms, especially following the massive increase in popularity for the brand brought about by the huge increase in sales for all its products that started around the time the company introduced the original iPod in late 2001. The mass usage of computing devices in everyday life, mixed with Apple's vertical integration of its products,[1] has helped to bring about this increase in popularity, and combined with a tight-lipped corporate policy about future products, helped foster an interest in the company's activities.

History[edit]

The culture of mass discussion about Apple products goes back to when the company started to sell significant numbers of their original computers in the early 1980s. Latterly, the industry of Macintosh rumor speculation, began with a regular column in the now defunct MacWEEK magazine called "Mac the Knife" and written under a pseudonym. This column would often cover topics such as upcoming hardware releases from Apple, as well as new software products and incremental updates with new features. It was written by the MacWeek staff and was sometimes used by companies as an early form of viral marketing to generate buzz around products before they were ready for release. For instance, Macromedia would tout new features in the upgrade to its drawing program when buzz was building for an imminent release of Adobe Illustrator.[citation needed]

Sites and publishers[edit]

The Apple community is made up of several websites which exclusively, or almost exclusively, specialize in Apple products. Some have ceased operation, but a great many continue to run successfully.

In addition to these purely Apple info sites, most other mainstream technology journalism sites, including Ars Technica, Engadget, Gizmodo, CNET, Slashdot and GigaOM, include Apple sections, and many prominent bloggers also talk extensively about Apple products.

AppleInsider[edit]

Screenshot of AppleInsider homepage on April 25, 2008.

Launched in 1998 as a news and rumor website for Apple products and services, appleinsider.com includes a forum for discussion of news stories and other community news.

In the late 1990s Apple successfully sued a John Doe from AppleInsider's boards with the username "Worker Bee" for revealing information on what would eventually become the Apple Pro Mouse. It was a rare case of Apple following through on threats of a suit. The case was settled out of court.[2]

MacOS Rumors[edit]

MacOS Rumors was founded by Ethan C. Allen in 1995. It was obtained by Ryan Meader after a domain expiration within two years of its creation. Originally with Ethan, the site posted most of its rumors based on screenshots and info sent via email from followers. With Ryan at the helm, MacOS Rumors collected content from message boards and usenet posts but later claimed (unsubstantiated) to have developed contacts inside Apple. In the past few years MacOS Rumors has gained a reputation for being inaccurate.[3] Meader had allowed the MacOS Rumors domain name to expire around July 16, 2007, but then renewed the domain for another nine years and announced the addition of a new staff writer.

MacScoop[edit]

Initiated in May 2002 as MacOSXRumors, MacScoop initially focused on Mac OS X but eventually became an outlet for general Apple news and rumors. The site was renamed MacScoop in September 2006, with MacOSXRumors.com remaining focused on Mac OS X.[4] The site's owner is among those who were contacted by Apple lawyers in 2004 after publishing a Mac OS X Tiger related article.[5]

ThinkSecret[edit]

Think Secret appeared in 1999. Apple filed a lawsuit against the company alleging it printed stories containing Apple trade secrets.[6] In December 2007 the lawsuit was settled with no sources being disclosed; however, the site was shut down, finally closing on February 14, 2008.[7]

In the year leading up to the closing of the site, ThinkSecret correctly predicted an aluminium shell iMac, development of a touchscreen based iPod starting in 2006, and the relative BlackBerry-esque form factor of the new iPod Nano. However, there were still some reports that turned out to be false, such as its prediction of the demise of the Mac Mini, when it received an upgrade in mid-2007, albeit with no fanfare.[8]

Macintosh User Groups[edit]

Main article: Macintosh User Group

Macintosh User Groups (MUGs) are a group of people who use Macintosh computers made by Apple Inc. or other manufacturers and who use the Apple Macintosh operating system (OS). These groups are primarily locally situated and meet regularly to discuss Macintosh computers, the Mac OS, software and peripherals that work with these computers. Some groups focus on the older versions of Mac OS, up to Mac OS 9, but the majority now focus on the current version of Mac OS, Mac OS X. This user group began with the formation of the Apple User Group Connection.

Announcments[edit]

A new music streaming service called iTunes Radio, confirmed on June 10, 2013.[9] A lower-cost iPhone in various colors, confirmed on September 10, 2013 with the introduction of the iPhone 5C.[10]

Apple's response[edit]

Apple's official stance on speculation around any future product releases, is that they do not directly comment on such speculation, nor discuss any products, until they are finally released.[citation needed] Historically, Apple has often used legal means, such as cease and desist orders, in order to retain trade secrets, intellectual property, or confidential corporate information. Typically, however, Apple has primarily pursued the leakers of information themselves, rather than any sites containing rumors on their products.[citation needed] Apple's suit against Think Secret in 2005,[11] however, is targeting whether these sites have the right to knowingly publish this protected information.[citation needed] Staff are also required to sign non-disclosure clauses within the company.

During his January 10, 2006 keynote address to the Macworld Conference & Expo in San Francisco, Apple's then CEO Steve Jobs poked fun at the rumors community by pretending to create a "Super Secret Apple Rumors" podcast during his demonstration of new features in GarageBand.[12]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lyons, Daniel (January 28, 2010). "Going Vertical: Apple returns to an old—and potentially lucrative—way of doing business.". Newsweek. Retrieved March 29, 2012. 
  2. ^ Fried, Ina (December 21, 2004). "Apple goes to court to smoke out product leaker". CNet News. Retrieved June 5, 2006. 
  3. ^ Chartier, David (2007-10-05). "Rumor: Apple TV to gain HD content, optical drive". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2014-04-25. 
  4. ^ http://www.macscoop.com/articles/2006/09/20/no-more-confusion-introducing-macscoop No more confusion: introducing MacScoop![dead link]
  5. ^ Markoff, John (March 24, 2005). "Technology; Apple's Legal Drive to Stifle Web Sites Is Fruitless So Far". The New York Times. Retrieved April 21, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Apple Targets Harvard Student For Product 'Leaks'". Information Week. January 13, 2005. Retrieved January 8, 2006. 
  7. ^ Arnold Kim (February 15, 2008). "ThinkSecret.com Now Offline". MacRumors. Retrieved April 24, 2008. 
  8. ^ Jeff Longo (August 7, 2007). "Apple Quietly Updates Mac Minis". MacRumors. Retrieved January 23, 2010. 
  9. ^ Kelion, Leo (June 10, 2013). "Apple reveals iOS 7 design revamp and iTunes Radio". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved August 30, 2013. 
  10. ^ Braga, Matthew (September 10, 2013). "iPhone 5C, iPhone 5S launched as Apple sets sights on broader market". FinancialPost.com. Retrieved September 11, 2013. 
  11. ^ Apple Computer, Inc., v. Nick Deplume, The Deplume Organization LLC, and Does 1-20, case 1-05-CV-033341, Cal. Superior Ct, (Santa Clara), 2005.
  12. ^ Graham, Jefferson (January 10, 2006). "Jobs basks in iPod sales, plugs Macs with Intel chips". USA Today. Retrieved April 24, 2008.