What has been in the News for Apple Lately

The week that passed was memorable indeed. From emails inviting all iPhone users to bring down AT&T, to the legions of faithful owners of Apple products, and to the mysterious Board of Directors of Apple, the stuff that has been attributed to them continues to amaze everyone. Apple is already so big that it has joined Microsoft in being one of IT world’s big, fat, and juicy targets. But stories such as the following three rumors have, at one time or another, been attested to be valid fact.

iPhone users to bring AT&T down

As a means of exacting revenge over AT&T providing insufficient bandwidth to iPhone users, an e-mail, said to originate from the depths of Apple’s engineering laboratories, was sent to thousands of owners of the slick smartphone. The e-mail urged all iPhone users to overwhelm AT&T’s network by running network heavy apps that will flood AT&T with thousands of simultaneous connection requests such that the phone company’s network servers will simply give up. Called Operation Chokehold, the plan of involving thousands of iPhone owners was meant to tell AT&T that people are fed up with the measly bandwidth and the insults the giant phone company has been saying to those complaining about the inadequacy of the network.

Well, such a plan, no matter how sweet revenge may sound, may backfire once those 911 calls will not push through because of network failure. The event of a massive network failure is far-fetched though and the chance of it ever happening will only take place once a critical mass of users, probably in the millions, all agree to drown AT&T’s network by doing what the alleged email proposes.

Folks who worry about 911 calls failing to reach the emergency network need not worry though. The network has been designed to prioritize 911 calls such that a failure of the 911 system brought this way is indeed remote.

iPhone Users Willing to Accept Shortcomings

Another crazy idea that floated down from the rumor mill is the idea that all iPhone users are Apple apologists who accept and defend all of iPhones weaknesses both in design and functionality. Although the rumor may have a glimmer of truth, iPhone users are certainly proud of the fact that their phone is one of the better designed mobile devices out there, and yes, they are aware that imperfections do exist but are in no way glossing over it.

iPhone users are smart people. They know the score when they see one despite the seeming fanatical behavior other people see in them. Owners of the smartphone are not exhibiting the Stockholm syndrome and are completely in touch with reality.

What iPhone want others to see though is that their phone is indeed a slick product with a sleek interface, yet has imperfections that they know exist and hope will be improved by Apple some day.

Apple’s Board are just Overpaid

Executive compensation has been in the news these days what with millions of dollars of bonuses they receive. Although a profitable company, the Board of Directors of Apple has been the recipient of a nasty rumor that the Board is just sitting around doing nothing. While it is true that Apple is one of the top three US companies that gives out the highest pay per board meeting, a recent article written by Wall Street’s Douglas McIntyre has been belittling the role of the Board as mere defenders of Apple’s Steve Jobs who do not help guide the company, let alone contribute in any way to how the company is run.

Well, McIntyre’s article is funny because he acknowledges that Apple is essentially a one man operation run admirably by Steve Jobs. With such products such as the iPod, the iPhone, and the latest Mac models all developed under his watch, all the Board has done was to sanitize the stock options backdating scandal that hit the press some time ago. McIntyre chides the Board for not properly disclosing the state of Job’s cancer, which is a potential killer. Being a publicly traded company, the Board, according to McIntryre, should have been more circumspect about giving the public information regarding Steve Jobs’ wellbeing.

Well, all of McIntyre’s allegations deserve a fair shake but saying that the Board has been contributing nothing to Apple’s operations and management seems funny given McIntyre’s Wall Street background. A writer of his credentials should know that the Board is expected not to interfere with the operations of the company. But what is most telling in McIntyre’s article is what he did not write. Apple is one of the world’s best performing companies whose share values more than doubled in 2009. What Apple’s Board of Directors get in payment is derived from stock options whose value, very understandably, has grown more valuable given Apple’s performance in the stock market.

McIntyre has beef against Apple. This is not the first crazy article he has written about the tech company. In June, he speculated whether the buying spree of iPhones using credit cards might cause the United States to go into another recession.

Apple is not like one of those huge banks that nearly brought the world economy into a standstill. Anything written about the huge amounts of money management and board alike are making are valid especially when American taxpayer money has been used to revive them. But when people start complaining about Board compensation for a very profitable company, all it proves is that maybe, just maybe, the writer is simply jealous of Apple and or Steve Jobs.

Apple, like Microsoft, is a big, juicy target that is fair game for everyone. These companies are run by smart people who know their market very well such that incredible money is being made. Anyone who has an itch to scratch against these companies is free to do so but it would not do them any good if what they are saying already border on the incredible. What has been said about Apple the past week are just pure histrionics, nothing else.

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