Pro PR Tip #154: Why 2010 will be like 1984

Just got this doubleplusgood announcement from Apple regarding the company’s press conference tomorrow (September 1):

Apple® will broadcast its September 1 event online using Apple’s industry-leading HTTP Live Streaming, which is based on open standards. Viewing requires either a Mac® running Safari® on Mac OS® X version 10.6 Snow Leopard®, an iPhone® or iPod touch® running iOS 3.0 or higher, or an iPad™. The live broadcast will begin at 10:00 a.m. PDT on September 1, 2010 at

Emphasis mine. Yep, that’s “open” in Apple’s world: It only applies to Apple hardware. Even Safari on a Windows computer doesn’t qualify.

As a PR stunt, it is brilliant. If nothing else it’ll give people a reason to run Safari on their Macs tomorrow. (I haven’t used the app myself in months.)  And it’s a great demo for HTML 5.

But as worded, it reads Orwellian. This is shaping up to be a great case study in how companies lose the trust of the people who cover them. You get a free pass on a certain amount of doublespeak. Apple’s running way beyond that. It’s not an example worth emulating.

(By the way, I’ll be covering the Apple announcement on CNET Live, starting at 9:45 a.m. Pacific time.)


Filed under Bad ideas

5 responses to “Pro PR Tip #154: Why 2010 will be like 1984

  1. Morn

    Ohh nonsense. If it’s an open standard it’s an open standard. Not Apple’s fault if nobody else is using it, and they shouldn’t shy away from new technology just because it’s not been widely adopted by their competitors!!!

    • RosarioM

      Um. Chrome and Firefox both support HTML5. Safari on Windows fully supports HTML5. Open is open. The only amazing thing about Apple is that they can say “open” and “viewing requires a Mac” in the same sentence and there are people like you defending them.

      I swear sometimes it feels like stockholm syndrome… Do you have any idea what Apple is doing to you??

  2. RobRed

    Well I like that Apple is pushing their agenda for the HTML 5 standard. They are using the pulpit they have to continue to emphasize their technology choice. They called it out very specifically to grab attention – Apple once again has succeeded.

  3. TonyTech

    This is just another over-reaction – one way or the other – to something Apple is doing.

    This is just a tech company making a product announcement. Nothing more. But, like anything else Apple does it tends to roil contorted passions.

    To compare a probable announcement of new iPods “Orwellian” is not only overstated but it’s just plain silly.

    We should expect more from a Senior CNET editor.

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