Absolute Secrecy

Why is Apple so darn secretive anyway? Have they gone overboard, especially in light of their recent silence on the whole Google / AT&T / Apple debacle?

And is this good for the consumer?

Share your thoughts below!

-Krishna

About the author

Krishna Sadasivam creates custom comics and illustrations for organizations, magazines and companies. A champion of comics advocacy, Krishna speaks, blogs, and writes articles on illustration and sequential arts techniques and the importance of the comics medium in both education and brand awareness. His clients have included Microsoft, Mashable, Other World Computing and EE Times. His work has been featured on many notable websites, including TechCrunch, Gizmodo and CNET. His portfolio can be found at krishnadraws.com.

  • timelawd

    Don’t see the point to debate this. Everything’s just alright. Good luck.

  • eidolon

    debacle? a little overboard. “recent” silence. normal Apple.

  • http://pc911hawaii.com Daniel Lovejoy

    What disturbs me more than the above mentioned issues, is the fact that a man was so frightened about what would happen to him when he lost the iPhone prototype, he felt suicide was his only option.

  • http://no,thankyou Ben M

    Apple has become a successful company in large part due to their marketing and “surprise” products. Consider the example of chocolate cake.

    Once upon a time, someone invented chocolate cake. As with many inventions, chocolate cake was one part intention and one part accident. The exact details of the invention of chocolate cake have been lost throughout the ages (in other words, I’m making this up as I go along).

    Sometime later, Apple decides that they are going to invent chocolate cake. It doesn’t matter that chocolate cake has already been invented and perfected because this chocolate cake will be Apple chocolate cake. Since Apple has made it’s name through gimmicks and marketing, it must keep the fact that they are inventing chocolate cake a closely guarded secret. If the secret gets out, someone else will invent chocolate cake again instead of Apple.

    Another important reason for secrecy is it creates an atmosphere where people are wondering what they will do next. This psychological condition creates excitement and anticipation. This curious energy builds up in the mind and clouds logic and reason. When Steve holds a big conference to unveil his latest invention, people will be like “omg! steve invented something called ‘chocolate cake’! can you believe it?” The veil of secrecy helps distract people from noticing that it’s just chocolate cake and it was already invented by someone else. Illusionists call this misdirection. Apple calls it marketing and it has been very successful for them. It would be interesting to study why this works so well with Apple consumers and not so well on everyone else…

    I’ve been in close proximity to Macians when news is leaked of some new invention that isn’t really new or inventive. They get all giddy and excited and just must rush out to buy it. The Mac experience is an emotional experience that often ignores logic or reason.

    In short, secrecy is part of the plan. Without secrecy, Apple would have nothing to sell. The reality is that there are hundreds of large companies that can make the same stuff that Apple does and so do more efficiently. The only thing remarkable about Apple products is how successful they have been marketed by offering nothing special. The iPods have never been the best music players, the iPhones are mediocre phones, and Mac OS 10.whatever isn’t even an original operating system.

    Mac / Apple is a cult. I’m not suggesting that there is a devious plan to make it such, but observing what is obvious to me. Once you are in the cult, you could leave, but to be outside the cult is too scary. All successful cults operate in a veil of secrecy with miraculous events acting as re-enforcement of the cult’s appeal.

    In short, absolute secrecy is essential to Apple’s success. They can’t succeed without it.

    The man who killed himself does not serve as evidence to anything except the man didn’t want to live. It also bears noting that this happened in China. They don’t exactly have a stellar record on human rights or morality in general. The country is ruled by a communist regime that takes no prisoners. How does anyone know he actually killed himself? As to the motivations, how is it known that his work performance was even a factor? In a country that doesn’t even have a free press, how could you expect the truth to ever present itself?

    Another reason secrecy is important to Apple is Steve Jobs. Anyone familiar with the Apple story knows that the company goes as Steve does. When Steve was forced out of the company in the 80s, the company nearly failed. When Steve came back, the magician re-invented the cult he founded. It is no secret that he is in questionable health. The company’s future is a big question mark. Will they be able to create the magic that has held their customer base’s attention for so long or will it return to its Steve-less downward spiral? Just as a country run under a dictatorship needs to preserve the image of their dictator, a cult company needs to preserve the secrets of the cult.

    Is it good for the consumer? Who knows. I have a freedom based outlook on life. To me, freedom is the ultimate value. Give me freedom or give me death is a creedo of my life. In that frame of mind, I say that whatever makes the consumer happy is good for the consumer. If they choose and are happy with their choice, it is good.

    There it is in 5000 words or less. :)