Apple's PR Problem

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by ipedro, May 1, 2010.

  1. ipedro macrumors 68040


    Nov 30, 2004
    Toronto, ON
    With Apple becoming mainstream and dominant in the music, phone and mobile computer fields, many are questioning Apple's growing tendency to "abuse" its newfound power.

    Recent PR issues such as unfair App store rejections, removing entire segments of apps, the Flash war and now Police breaking down doors after Apple filed a complaint... these have not been good for Apple's image.

    What can Apple do to fix this PR problem? Is it inherent with being a large company and they're just going to have to live with being seen as the "new Microsoft"?

    Addressing each of those issues:

    Apple does indeed need to control the App store to keep it from becoming a lawless wasteland of crappy apps and potentially unsafe ones. Perhaps there could be a limbo where more experienced users could access apps before they're approved and put in the regular store?

    The Flash war won't go away until Flash does. This could take a while. Steve -- in his open letter -- addressed why Apple doesn't plan on putting Flash on their next generation devices (iPad, iPhone, iPod) but is it enough to prevent the company from looking like a bully and fend off bad publicity?

    Re: Jason Chen. To be fair to Apple, a crime was committed and the DA's job is to prosecute offenders. Even if Apple didn't file a complaint, Gray Powell could have unilaterally done it himself. His reputation has been irreparably damaged and his career at Apple (and post-Apple) has been snuffed. He may keep his job but there's no way Gray's superiors and especially Steve Jobs will ever trust him with a prototype again. Finally, Apple can't set a precedent by letting this slide. Gizmodo simply went beyond journalism here and knowingly exposed trade secrets and broke the law.

    So, how does Apple continue to get the goodwill it received when it was the underdog?
  2. KeriJane macrumors 6502a


    Sep 26, 2009
    What PR Problem?

    Don't worry so much! :)

    The concerns you raise only affect or are even important to a minority of people and even fewer Apple customers / potential Apple customers.

    You can't do anything in life without potentially offending SOMEBODY.

    Apple is that rare gem of a company that continues to take risks. One of those risks is criticism. If they responded to criticism by trying to make everyone happy OSX would be a nightmarish compromise like oh, say, Windows Vista, the iPad would have a dozen ports on the backside, etc...

    Apple doesn't need to make everyone happy or impress everyone with their diplomacy. They need to promote and sell their PRODUCTS and services! They need to meet the needs and desires of their customers and prospects, not the overly-critical peanut gallery.

    The important things to most people interested in buying an Apple product are: Will it do what I want or expect? Will it be as FABULOUS as my last one or as I've been led to believe? How good is Apple's support should I need it?
    I guess there's also people who buy Apple as a status symbol or for reasons of "Green-ness" or whatever. If there's enough of them to make it worthwhile, fine.

    Just don't worry about what "they" say. :D

    Have Fun,
  3. mysterytramp macrumors 65816


    Jul 17, 2008
    There's way, way, way, WAY too much fretting going on over Apple's public image. They haven't gone anywhere near this, and I'm not sure anyone even remembers what a goodwill-depleting scandal that was.

    This, too, shall pass.

  4. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    Are you kidding me? Spying is acceptable. Your government (and maybe even your sports team) does it all of the time.

    Forcing people to write code using a specific application, without confirmation that it will be accepted, and publicly calling other businesses names and deliberately undermining them in public, is unique to Apple.
  5. *LTD* macrumors G4


    Feb 5, 2009
    No. It's unique to business. Not everyone has the cojones to pull all that off, though. But when you're the front runner and you're products are *that good*, rattling a few cages and laying down your own rules is just part of the game.

    It's not for the squeamish.

    You want to talk PR problems?

    Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates was called "evasive and nonresponsive" by a source present at a session in which Gates was questioned on his deposition.[2] He argued over the definitions of words such as "compete", "concerned", "ask", and "we".[3] BusinessWeek reported, "Early rounds of his deposition show him offering obfuscatory answers and saying 'I don't recall' so many times that even the presiding judge had to chuckle. Worse, many of the technology chief's denials and pleas of ignorance have been directly refuted by prosecutors with snippets of E-mail Gates both sent and received."[4] Intel Vice-President Steven McGeady, called as a witness, quoted Paul Maritz, a senior Microsoft vice president as having stated an intention to "extinguish" and "smother" rival Netscape Communications Corporation and to "cut off Netscape's air supply" by giving away a clone of Netscape's flagship product for free. The Microsoft executive denied the allegations.[5]

    A number of videotapes were submitted as evidence by Microsoft during the trial, including one that demonstrated that removing Internet Explorer from Microsoft Windows caused slowdowns and malfunctions in Windows. In the videotaped demonstration of what Microsoft vice president James Allchin's stated to be a seamless segment filmed on one PC, the plaintiff noticed that some icons mysteriously disappear and reappear on the PC's desktop, suggesting that the effects might have been falsified.[6] Allchin admitted that the blame for the tape problems lay with some of his staff "They ended up filming it -- grabbing the wrong screen shot," he said of the incident. Later, Allchin re-ran the demonstration and provided a new videotape, but in so doing Microsoft dropped the claim that Windows is slowed down when Internet Explorer is removed. Mark Murray, a Microsoft spokesperson, berated the government attorneys for "nitpicking on issues like video production."[7] Microsoft submitted a second inaccurate videotape into evidence later the same month as the first. The issue in question was how easy or hard it was for America Online users to download and install Netscape Navigator onto a Windows PC. Microsoft's videotape showed the process as being quick and easy, resulting in the Netscape icon appearing on the user's desktop. The government produced its own videotape of the same process, revealing that Microsoft's videotape had conveniently removed a long and complex part of the procedure and that the Netscape icon was not placed on the desktop, requiring a user to search for it. Brad Chase, a Microsoft vice president, verified the government's tape and conceded that Microsoft's own tape was falsified.[8]

    Abuse of monopoly, lying/presenting false evidence in court, etc.

    Now THAT's a PR problem. One that still haunts Microsoft to this day.
  6. mysterytramp macrumors 65816


    Jul 17, 2008
    Don't be such a troll. If it were acceptable, Dunn would still be at HP and Hunsaker wouldn't be a convicted felon.


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