How the Tech Web Frenzy Gets Apple Wrong

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Apple  (AAPL) does some interesting things that make it unique, frustrating and a great target to write about -- even if understanding is frequently limited.

First, Apple keeps secrets very well. That's a measure to afford customer surprise and delight -- plus maintain a competitive advantage. As a result, observers are excited about every tiny bit of news or rumor as they try to put the jigsaw puzzle pieces into place. When analysis goes astray, sometimes with agenda, the real story is lost.

Second, Apple doesn't allow itself to be maneuvered into technical arguments that could confuse the customer. Write something absolutely wrong about Apple, and you'll get silence, not a rebuttal. That infuriates many writers.

Third, Apple is a charismatic, enigmatic company with colorful employees. They're fun to write about. Observers, from afar, would hope that they could put into political context every personnel change. It often fails.

Finally, Apple is a company that makes delightful products and pleases its customers, but it controls its message very carefully through the media and seldom kowtows to them. The inability to manipulate Apple with their presumed power annoys many tech writers.

Basically, the drama surrounding Apple sells. Apple's opacity ends up turning many technical journalists into gossip columnists. It's all not far removed from the paparazzi who cover the British Royal Family or Hollywood stars, but because we couch our industry in the cloak of technology and acronyms, it's easy to rationalize that it's all a very legit, high-tech affair.

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