Journalists on the whole don’t get a lot of respect from the community at large; in polls as to who you trust we generally rate somewhere around the â€œsecond-hand car dealerâ€ range. I’ve never been able to understand why we’re not trusted and indeed loved.
Anyway I read this alarming statistic on a scrap of paper while I was busy rooting around the bins at the back of Apple’s headquarters the other day. It wasn’t the most interesting thing that I found amidst the pizza boxes half-eaten rats and the wrapping for something called a â€œZuneâ€ however.
That accolade would go to a document dated for the 24th of March which notes a conversation between Steve Jobs and Philip Schiller over the upcoming plans for the iPhone. An awful lot of the document had been shredded and some of it was covered in what appeared to be BBQ sauce but the bottom half was mostly legible:
Jobs: â€œSo the 3G iPhone. That’s the settled final price for an unlocked unit right? Three grand?â€
Schiller: â€œErm.. no sir. It’s the next generation iPhone with faster browsing andâ€¦â€
Jobs: â€œWhy are we releasing it? Have sales slowed? Are we not getting enough column inches as it is?â€
Schiller: â€œWell no not exactly. We probably won’t sell those 10 million we told the street we would â€“ especially as the five year olds building them for us in China have gone on strike again so we’ve run out again. But that’s a positive really â€“ the boys at Foxconn tell me the Dobermans should sort out the workers and the lack of retail units is being seen as a sign that we’re planning something big..â€
Jobs: â€œAnd are we?â€
Schiller: â€œWell the guys in R&D are trying. We’ve gotten the battery life up to a respectable five minutes but there is a downside to that.â€
Schiller: â€œApparently the unit runs hot enough to sterilise.â€
Jobs: â€œSo what’s the problem? We’ll sell it as the ultimate germ-free iPhone!â€
Schiller: â€œNot that kind of sterilise Steve. Although again we’re lucky; apparently Wilson down in R&D didn’t want to have children anywayâ€¦.â€
Jobs: â€œGood good. Give him a promotion to Macbook Pro testing. No sense wasting a golden opportunity.â€
Schiller: â€œBut we need to finalise your speech for the developer’s conference in June. People are expecting the 3G iPhone to be released. What are we going to do?â€
Jobs: â€œI see a long-term strategy here. Firstly go down to R&D and collect up half a dozen cancelled projects. The Tablet Mac. Newton: The Next Generation. The Windows version of OS X. You know the stuff. Anyway leak all of that out to the usual rumour sites. And then on June 9th what we’ll announce isâ€¦â€
Sadly that’s where the document ends; it’s also the point where I had to flee the bins as the creature â€“ apparently dubbed â€œThe Ballmerâ€ by Apple staff â€“ who was eating all the rats turned up. I was lucky to make it out alive â€“ and yet still there’s no praise for the risks journalists take.
Alex Kidman joins APC’s regular contributor team from today offering a satirical view on the state of the tech industry.