Dropping Hints

Both ThinkSecret and Mac Rumours are currently carrying stories that the successor to the iBook, the MacBook, is to be released on Tuesday 9th May. From the talk of marketing materials sent to Apple shops marked “Do not open before 9th May”, this seems pretty conclusive. Time will, of course, tell.

But this is not my point. What is more entertaining is that the aforementioned sites cannot contain their delight because of what ThinkSecret is calling a “coding glitch” on Apple’s site. Visitors to Apple’s iPod web site were being greeted with the text “Home > Hardware > MacBook” rather than the usual content.

I have always had a particularly low opinion of ThinkSecret, for a multitude of reasons and many of which relate to the poor quality of their journalism. I’m evidently not the only one. This time, it’s the suggestion that this “glitch” was anything other than a calculated move by Apple to ramp up expectations in the run-up so that all eyes are on Cupertino on Tuesday. To believe otherwise is, frankly, delusional.

ThinkSecret et al might like to believe that they are sleuths par excellence who can dish the dirt on forthcoming Apple products, but as their patchy records show, much of it turns out to be guesswork. Hell, they had an exclusive last November where “highly reliable sources” “confirmed” that Intel iBooks would be coming in January. Then March. Finally April-May. Maybe third time lucky. We’ll see.

Apple, master of smoke and mirrors, fed them this. Big companies do not make visible coding cockups like that on live web sites. This was deliberate. And Apple loves it. The rumour sites whip up a frenzy, and now we are all on tenterhooks waiting for the news. Expect articles on c|net and ZDNet on Monday. It was just the same when they leaked the Power Mac G5 specs. No, it really wasn’t an accident.

Anyway, MacBooks in black and white on Tuesday. 13.3″ widescreen displays. Intel inside. Should be good!

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