How to handle the hype between now and January 27

islate

Is it now news because the WSJ is reporting it?

I read every word of the story that is now exploding on Techmeme — the story that has this quote in it: “An Apple spokesman said the company doesn’t comment on rumors and speculation.”

If you have a pulse and haven’t known for a couple of weeks that Apple has rented a hall to make an announcement about a “tablet device,” then stop reading this post right now. In fact, go back under the rock you’ve been living under for the past few years.

The other day, Louis Gray did a great job recounting the past decade of rumors related to a Mac Tablet (it’s great, even though he left out the history of Rumor #3).

I joked with Louis that he left out the rumors dating back to Alan Kay’s Dynabook or that it was included in the writings of Nostradamus.

That it is now “news” because it has appeared in the Wall Street Journal is what really is amusing. Because the Wall Street Journal article couches it in the same caveat-eese as MacRumors.com: “…say people briefed by the company” being the standard rumor-site lede.

As an arm-chair pundit who has joked about and postulated upon this rumor for the past 3+ years, here’s my advice on how to handle the next few weeks.

1. This is going to be like the two weeks before the Superbowl. Yada, yada, yada. Prediction, prediction, prediction. Advice: Tune out everything about this announcement, including this blog post.

2. If you want to read one thing, and one thing only, about what the iSlate will be, read John Gruber’s post on Daring Fireball called, “The Tablet.” For that matter, don’t ever read anything anyone writes about Apple products except Gruber, who is, in my opinion, the most insightful, intelligent and literate of Appleologists.

3. Get ready for a flood of posts on why the device will fail. Why? Because a marginal tech or marketing writer knows that the surest path to getting lots of incoming links and onto the Techmeme leader-board is a 300+ word essay on why the writer believes he is wiser than Steve Jobs when it comes to developing consumer technology.

4. And you can also spend the time preparing to tell me I’m wrong when I predict for the zillionth time since 2006, the word “tablet” will never pass Steve Jobs’ lips when he unveils this device.

As for the device not shipping until March…Geez, that’s another one of those evergreen rumors:


About Rex Hammock

Founder/ceo of Hammock Inc., the customer media and content company based in Nashville, Tenn. Creator of and head-helper at SmallBusiness.com.
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  • http://gravitationalpull.net/wp/ ampressman

    I guess I believe you that there will a lot of negative posts coming up but so far the hype seems to have infected almost everybody. I was shocked to read, for example, even the usually sober and serious Mark Potts ranting about how the tablet will upend/save newspapers, magazines, television and every other form of media except smoke-signal novels and Semaphore poetry (http://recoveringjournalist.typepad.com/recover…).

    I think there are plenty of cases where all the hype and expectations end up helping Apple by providing free publicity and marketing for a new product. But there are also cases, admittedly only a minority, where the actual announcement fails to meet expectations and the product gets pilloried.

  • http://gravitationalpull.net/wp/ ampressman

    I guess I believe you that there will a lot of negative posts coming up but so far the hype seems to have infected almost everybody. I was shocked to read, for example, even the usually sober and serious Mark Potts ranting about how the tablet will upend/save newspapers, magazines, television and every other form of media except smoke-signal novels and Semaphore poetry (http://recoveringjournalist.typepad.com/recover…).

    I think there are plenty of cases where all the hype and expectations end up helping Apple by providing free publicity and marketing for a new product. But there are also cases, admittedly only a minority, where the actual announcement fails to meet expectations and the product gets pilloried.