Insider Reveals Apple's "Leaked" Product Plans

Intriguing, and maybe even true, story of how the Wall Street Journal got its scoop

By Jackson West
|  Wednesday, Jan 6, 2010  |  Updated 5:00 PM EDT
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Insider Reveals Apple's "Leaked" Product Plans

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Steve Jobs lets you know that you're getting very, very sleepy. Just relax, and focus on the thing in his hand going tick tock, tick tock...

Apple doesn't make sausage, but if they did, it would probably be delicious, cost a month's pay, and you would be salivating for it months in advance thanks to media hype.

So how does the trickle of information about products -- like the eagerly awaited Apple tablet -- get from within the maddeningly secretive walls of Apple's campus and into the press? Former Apple Senior Marketing Manager John Martellaro explains:

The communication is always done in person or on the phone. Never via e-mail. That's so that if there's ever any dispute about what transpired, there's no paper trail to contradict either party's version of the story. Both sides can maintain plausible deniability and simply claim a misunderstanding. That protects Apple and the publication.

Such intrigue! It's almost as if a bunch of nerds raised on Ian Fleming and Ayn Rand were actually put in positions of economic power.

Apple's deft handling of the press is common knowledge, but the specifics -- from private meetings and phone calls to who gets the byline when the story is published -- still amaze.

And it's one thing when Fake Steve Jobs sagely calls out former Apple employee Kai-Fu Lee for being both puppet and puppet master in a "parody" blog post, entirely another when a former Apple employee breaks the company's code of omerta.

In the end, Apple wants you (and its investors) to know that you can expect to pay $1,000 (too much? too little?) for something that will allow you to read about leaked details of upcoming Apple products in the Journal (after buying a subscription to said Journal).

In full color! And maybe even 3D! Everybody wins! Especially Steve Jobs and Rupert Murdoch.

Jackson West is, maybe shamefully, running OS X on a hackintoshed netbook.

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