Anybody who follows Apple with any sort of regularity knows that two things:

  1. The company is tight-lipped about plans and products.
  2. Bloggers will go crazy trying to report rumors about anything Apple may do.

That’s two incredibly simple facts that most any Apple watcher/lover knows. Hell most avid web article readers probably even know that.

The one website that doesn’t seem to know that? The New York Times.

Nick Wingfield and Nick Bilton wrote an article yesterday title: “As Tablet Race Heats Up, Apple May Try Smaller Device”. The title isn’t misleading at all because they used the word “may”.

As you start to read the article though, that ‘may’ seems like a distant memory.

Case in point #1:

The company is developing a new tablet with a 7.85-inch screen that is likely to sell for significantly less than the latest $499 iPad, with its 9.7-inch display, according to several people with knowledge of the project who declined to be named discussing confidential plans. The product is expected to be announced this year.

This is just a terribly misleading paragraph. “The company is developing” is an outright incorrect statement, they are reporting on a rumor that they have now stated as fact. They only hedge that statement at the end by sourcing this to “people with knowledge”. So now all the casual readers of The New York Times are certain that Apple is making this device — when the one thing we know about Apple is that they don’t share these details.

If it was just this one statement I would leave well enough alone, but it gets worse.

Case in point #2:

Apple’s plan for a tablet with a smaller screen is part of a textbook business strategy: to lure customers who want different sizes of tablets into the iPad product family, say analysts and technology industry executives.

Again they state as fact that Apple is doing this as part of a textbook strategy that they seem to “know” about — again only hedging that statement at the end by saying this info is from “analysts”. You know, the analysts that are wrong about every prediction they make regarding Apple — yeah those guys.

Case in point #3:

Either way, Apple has warmed to the idea of a seven-inch device.

Really they have, you now have gone from saying that this “may” happen and hedging statements by stating your information is from anonymous (to us) sources, to what, all of sudden knowing that Apple has “warmed” to seven-inch devices? What changed from the title to this line?

I think Bilton is one of the better tech journalists out there, but this article is perpetuating rumors as if they are fact — and that is just egregious reporting.


Posted by Ben Brooks