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Tuesday, October 3, 2023


Apple’s use of influence dangerous

In March, Apple engineer Gray Powell lost a prototype iPhone 4G at a bar while celebrating his birthday. The one-off phone was found and picked up by a stranger who identified the object as a disguised iPhone. Upon this discovery, he sold the phone to popular technology website Gizmodo in exchange for cold hard cash — $5,000 to be exact.

Despite the phone being remotely bricked after its disappearance, Gizmodo’s editors and bloggers in no time had released details of the phone as they snapped photos of it and threw them on their website. At the same time, to ensure Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ dirty little secret was going to be exploited in every way possible, Jason Chen, an editor for Gizmodo, presented the phone’s observable features in a video.

Bad move, Jason, bad move.

Police raided Chen’s home Friday with a warrant to seize his computers under the premise that they had been used to commit a felony.

Perhaps Jobs was so upset by Powell misplacing his iPhone that he felt compelled to ask the police to go and trash Chen’s house.

Now, it needs to be acknowledged that Jobs isn’t exactly a doltish individual. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize, based on Gizmodo’s eagerness to publicize one undercover Apple product, that it probably wouldn’t hesitate to do the same again if it had access to any more devices.

Jobs knew that Chen was your average nerd who enjoys making what amounts to allowance money from blogging about technology and gadgetry. As if retrieving the sacred prototype iPhone didn’t settle things enough (Gizmodo did indeed return the phone), the police by way of Apple justified the need to storm Chen’s house with the explanation that he might have been a top-secret, super-crazy intelligence agent who had Jobs on his hit list.

But wait, perhaps we’re all missing the point. Maybe this whole fiasco is simply a marketing ploy fabricated by Apple’s brilliant marketing department. Could we be pulling away from rainbow-colored iPod commercials in favor of epic viral campaigns?

If that truly is the case, then Steve Jobs, you’ve really outdone yourself this time. Maybe the iPad isn’t selling as well as you had hoped, or maybe college students are finally realizing your laptops shouldn’t cost more than their cars.

Whatever the case, one thing is for sure — if Chen wasn’t a fan of Apple products before this happened, he certainly won’t be now.

Newton Liu is a communication junior and may be reached at [email protected]

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