I posted this on Facebook last year, and forgot about it until someone Liked it yesterday. Since today is the day all the journalist reviews of the Apple Watch come out, I thought it would be interesting to present this from a user/developer who has to buy his own Apple hardware. And wait.
It was June 29, 2007. I was a happy Blackberry user. And I was pissed at Apple for creating such a closed phone. I wanted their phone to run Mac software so I could put Frontier on it, and write apps in my scripting language with its object database and great TCP stack. Instead, they said no apps, just make web pages (turns out this was a Jobsian deflection, otherwise known as a lie).
So I decided to sit this one out. Then I got a call from Scoble. He and Patrick, who was still a cute little kid, had waited overnight and were the first people in line at the Palo Alto Apple store. I was in Berkeley. Scoble said if I came with the cash, he would get me an iPhone. I sighed. OK, I guess this is it. So I went to the bank, got the cash, drove down to the valley, and was in the middle of the incredible media frenzy when Scoble and Patrick came out of the store, to the applause of the Apple people. He threw me my phone, while he did TV interviews. I felt a little churlish, but the first thing I did was go across the street to a coffee shop, and set it up.
I never used the Blackberry again.
Reading the reviews of the Apple Watch makes me want to hate the product. I don't like the reporters getting the first shot. I know who they are. They are the people who applaud and cheer at Apple press events. And who won't write anything too real for fear of not getting a review unit next time.
If Apple blacklisted the WSJ reviewer, for example, how long could he keep his job? You can't do good journalism that way. Gotta wonder why there isn't a Columbia Journalism School investigation of that? In this case it isn't just Rolling Stone, it's a whole industry that is being covered with conflicted ethics.
The system reeks. Apple should ship the products and let everyone have a chance to review them at the same time. Including people who don't get invited to their press events.
And any reporter or news org with a sliver of self-respect should return the invites to Apple press events.
PS: I own a fair amount of Apple stock.