Gizmodo’s iPhone Scoop: The Non-Story that Went Huge

by Chris Seibold Apr 29, 2010

The leak of the next generation iPhone goes something like this: iPhone left in bar by Apple employee. Guy finds iPhone. Guy tries to return iPhone to Apple with no luck. Guy sells iPhone to Gizmodo who goes ape sh… err, crazy. Gizmodo publishes photos and details about the "new" iPhone. Apple fans enthralled. Gizmodo publishes name of guy who lost iPhone, internet outrage ensues.

That's the tl;dr version of the story, for a more in depth sensationalistic, occasionally salacious version further reading can be found here, here, here and here.

There are two ways this story is generally read. The first interpretation is like when a creationist talks about the Bible: it is just a straightforward story and everything happened exactly as said. The other common way people read this story is like when a conspiracy theorist looks at the Zapruder tapes. The story is full of holes and implausibility. Literal interpretation or fake-moon-landing version it doesn't really matter. In the end, the folks at Gizmodo haven't answered the most important questions and they've ruined the party.

Wait, wait, that can't be right. Gizmodo just got a scoop that is the tech world's equivalent of Deep Throat, the Pentagon Papers and Monica Lewinsky all at the same time. How could that be a bad thing? Let me introduce you to someone who can teach you a nifty magic trick:



The refilling soda can is a simple, fantastic trick. But now that you know how it is done there is none of the wonderment that goes along with seeing the trick when you have no idea how it is done. What Gizmodo has done is roughly analogous to sharing the secret behind the refilling soda can, they've killed the magic.

Before the prototype was leaked you had months of useless speculation, artist's renditions and murky rumors to look forward to. That is where the fun is when it comes to Apple product speculation. It isn't the actual product that excites people. which always disappoints when compared to the imagination of the internet. It is all the wild guesses and baseless prognostication that makes the waiting period fun.

Apple fans are kind of stuck now, no matter what they come up with people will think they've already seen the next iPhone and be nonplussed. Which is a little bit sad because all they've seen is the least important part of the next generation: the hardware.

Yes, the hardware is exciting and people love the photos, but what makes the iPhone great (or horrible, depending on your perspective) is the software. The stories written by Gizmodo shed no light on the software, and that is one of the key things. Assure yourself of this by imagining your iphone packed in the same phone package as any of the hundreds of iPhone competitors, while it also runs some generic Verizon OS. Which one would you pick? The phone that runs thousands of apps or the phone that looks exactly like the iPhone but runs Blackberry OS? You'd opt for the iPhone every single time because, when you're talking about the iPhone, the least important thing is the hardware.

When all is said and done, Gizmodo got the scoop, but only kinda. Developers with access to iPhone 4.0 know more useful information than the article revealed. The really big questions remain unsolved: How much will it cost? Who will the carriers be? Is it more fun to use than the iPad?

Without any actually useful information coming out of Gizmodo what are we to make of all the hub-bub, Bub? We can tell that journalism isn't Gizmodo's strong suit (Gawker never said it was), People will click just about anything that says that promises to reveal the next generation of the iPhone and that Apple has masterfully cornered the market on hyping up a predictable update. But hey, we didn't need this story to tell us that, that was stuff we knew years ago.




  • I would like to start writing articles and post them like you do, but i just can’t decide which platform to use, between blogger and wordpress. Which 1 would u recommend for a newbie like me? By the way good articles you have!
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