The 11 Biggest Apple Conspiracies
Behind the Screens
Stories about how Apple keeps its secrets come by the bushel-full and in petty and tragic varieties. Here are just a few: Jobs reportedly went bananas when a Wall Street Journal executive sent a tweet via the iPad Jobs was personally showing off to New York media outlets. Shortly after the tweet went out, it disappeared. When Consumer Reports had the audacity to say it couldn't recommend the iPhone 4 until antennae issues were resolved, threads discussing the issue on Mac.com forums vanished. In 2009, a 25-year-old Chinese engineer commited suicide after reporting he'd misplaced an iPhone 4 prototype. Before his suicide, Sun Danyong told friends he had been beaten and his home illegally searched during a probe by Foxconn, the manufacturer he worked for. Some said Apple's extreme secrecy about new products influenced the intensity of Foxconn's investigation of Danyong.
All of Apple's secrecy and paranoia seemed justified after an employee was arrested for selling inside information in a multi-million dollar kickback scheme. Former Apple Inc. employee Paul Devine was charged in 2010 after an internal probe found he was selling product forecasts, specifications and pricing information to manufacturers of iPod and iPhone parts. The manufacturers were using the information in their contract negotiations with Apple and the scheme cost the company more than $2.4 million. In March, Devine pleaded guilty to wire fraud, conspiracy and money laundering and agreed to forfeit $2.25 million of his ill-gotten gains. His sentencing is scheduled for June.
Bobbing for Apps
Porn and politics? There's no app for that. Apple famously removed sexually suggestive apps from its iTunes store after customer complaints, while political cartoonist Mark Fiore's NewsToons app was initially rejected for containing satiric, possibly defamatory content. (The app was later approved after Fiore won the Pulitzer Prize.) As more Americans get their information from their iPhones and iPads, freedom of information watchdogs are questioning Apple's tight, even prudish, content controls.