Apple Tries to Block Newspaper Story on Steve Jobs

The life of Steve Jobs, and the life at Apple

  Steve Jobs
Apple reportedly tried to block a lengthy, 4,000-word piece in yesterday's Sunday Times newspaper. In the story (eventually published), Apple and its iconic CEO are described as imperfect entities.

Bryan Appleyard, respected journalist and author, reveals that Apple tried not once, but twice to halt the story, with no luck. Topics covered in the piece range from Jobs’ love life and health status, to the company’s extremely secretive nature.

"Apple hates personality stuff and press intrusion. 'We want to discourage profiles,' an Apple PR tells me stiffly, apparently unaware she is waving a sackful of red rags at a herd of bulls," Appleyard writes. "Another PR rings the editor of this magazine to try to halt publication of this piece."

"A cult of corporate omerta – the mafia code of silence – is ruthlessly enforced, with employees sacked for leaks and careless talk," is how Appleyard paints a picture of life on the campus at 1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino, California. "Executives feed deliberate misinformation into one part of the company so that any leak can be traced back to its source," he adds.

"Workers on sensitive projects have to pass through many layers of security. Once at their desks or benches, they are monitored by cameras and they must cover up devices with black cloaks and turn on red warning lights when they are uncovered," Appleyard goes to disclose. He also sheds some light on a recent incident involving an exploding iPod in Liverpool.

"Ellie Stanborough’s iPod touch went up in a puff of smoke. Her father, Ken, complained, but Apple said he could only have a refund if he promised not to talk. He refused," Appleyard says. "‘They’re putting a restriction on myself, my daughter and Ellie’s mum not to say anything to anyone,’ said Ken. ‘If we inadvertently did say anything… they could take litigation against us. I thought that was absolutely appalling.’ This isn’t the freewheeling, good-times California lifestyle image the company likes to project. It is, rather, that of a much tougher and paranoid operation," the story reads.

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