What apple offices look like

How Apple controls the media

Computerbild got it wrong with Apple. A video that showed how the iPhone 6 Plus can be bent was enough. The German magazine will no longer receive test devices and no more product presentations will be loaded, as was reported at the end of September. For the well-known journalist and blogger Richard Gutjahr, such "outbreaks" from Apple are unusual and unnecessary, because most editorial offices would censor themselves anyway.

Nobody plays as subtly as Apple

On Krautreporter.de he reports on Apple's practices when it comes to product launches and sales launches. To do this, he spoke to several journalists in Germany who, however, did not want to be named in order not to fall out of favor. The attempt to direct the reporting in favor of the company does exist in all large corporations. "But hardly any other company plays the game as subtly as Apple. And we media people would not accept that from any other company," said Gutjahr.

"Like an accolade"

The Apple game works according to strict rules. Journalists cannot register for the press conferences; they are selected by the company. According to the blogger, there are no official specifications from Cupertino, but one can assume that "with this selection, very careful attention is paid to the fact that the person concerned has a fundamentally positive attitude towards Apple and also appreciates the value of such an invitation." For many, an Apple invitation is "like an accolade".

Fairground mood

The press conferences, at which new iPads and iPhones are presented, are accordingly staged as a show. Gutjahr speaks of a "fairground mood like in 'Pinocchio', just before everyone turns into donkeys". This is not only the case with Apple, however. Other manufacturers such as Samsung, LG or HTC are now holding real events around product presentations. Journalists are applauded to the audience, appearances by company bosses and product revelations.

Strict Apple Guardian

Apple goes one step further: this would separate journalists from other guests before the show. And when hands-on it is not allowed to put another device next to the new iPhone for comparison. It looks no different at the start of sales. When the first iPad was launched in New York, for example, according to Gutjahr, photographers were only allowed to take pictures of those waiting from a distance. He also reports on PR staff, "who strictly ensure that reporters do not hear anything that does not fit into the staging." For example, that not everyone in the queue is waiting for the long-awaited iPad, but only queues to be able to sell the space.

"Permanent loan equipment"

After the official unveiling, press briefings will follow in the respective countries shortly before sales start. Questions about the group are not welcome here. And every journalist receives "a white bag". Inside: in addition to iTunes credit and an iPhone protective cover, there is also the new device in the editor's "color of choice". As a so-called "permanent loan". This year it was the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus, but with the request to return at least one of the devices.

Not so in Austria

In Austria and probably other countries in which Apple is not represented with its own branch, the whole thing looks a little different. In this country, journalists have not received any test devices from Apple itself for a number of years. The tested iPhones and iPads mostly come from cell phone operators or dealers and are returned with the web standard. Domestic editorial offices are flying under Cupertino's radar - a call due to a critical report is just as unlikely as an invitation to an Apple event. (br, derStandard.at, 02.11.2014)