‘The Business’ misleads on ‘iPod music phone’

iPod music phone now on the way from Apple

What does a headline like that tell you? If you saw it in a newspaper or on the ticker of a cable news channel, what would else could you think but that it was confirmed there will be an iPod music phone?

And what if you only got to see the first paragraph of that story and it was this:

After months of speculation, Apple Computers has confirmed it is planning to produce an iPod music phone.

Wow! Apple has confirmed it?! Let’s see this confirmation!

Steve Jobs, chief executive of the iPods-to-Macintosh computers giant, dropped a hint that a new type of iPod music player was on the way when unveiling Apple’s financial results last week.

Wait? It’s not confirmation? It’s just a hint?

“The iPod continues to earn a US market share of over 75% and we are extremely excited about future iPod products in the pipeline,” he said.

That’s the hint? I did not see the words ‘phone’ or ‘now on the way’ anywhere. Jobs says Apple is excited about future products in the pipeline at every single financial results recap.

Later, Apple’s chief financial officer, Peter Oppenheimer, appeared to confirm this: “We don’t think that the phones that are available today make the best music players. We think the iPod is [the best music player]. But over time, that is likely to change, and we are not sitting around doing nothing.”

Peter confirmed what? The only thing he confirmed is that Apple is not sitting around doing nothing. Duh.

And the final paragraph stretches this report beyond belief:

Apple faces major challenges as competitors produce cheaper products forcing the US firm to diversify further. Mobile phonemaker Motorola has already launched a phone, the ROKR, designed to play songs stored on Apple’s iTunes software.

Anyone that didn’t know better would conclude that Motorola was one of those competitors providing major challenges to Apple, when, of course, the ROKR was developed in conjunction with Apple and plays iTunes songs with Apple’s permission.

So, to recap, no one at Apple, especially Steve Jobs, said anything about an iPod music phone, and certainly no one said it was “now on the way.” But obviously they couldn’t run a headline like ‘Apple not sitting around doing nothing’.


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