Apple never talks about unreleased products. It’s company policy not to do that, that’s what the press guys say every time you phone up and ask about some random rumor you saw floating around online. “We don’t discuss unreleased or future products.” That’s been the rule for a long time.
Today, Steve Jobs broke that rule and gave us a surprisingly detailed sneak peak at next year’s big thing, the set-top box codenamed ‘iTV’. Why did he do that?
Because if he hadn’t, and today’s speech had only been about color iPods, iTunes 7, and movie downloads, the backlash would have been fierce (simply because the build-up period hype was getting so hysterical). By giving us a good look at the next hot product, Steve Jobs ensured more positive coverage in the media, better future predictions from the analysts, and a certain amount of additional shareholder satisfaction.
And for the first time, he conducted a little bit of rumor control. He told us so much about the iTV (he’s right, they really need a better name), even telling us the price and letting us have a look at the beastie after the show.
The rule has changed. Apple does not discuss future products, except when it is prudent to do so.