July 13, 2024
Is iLounge Being Punished for their Negative Shuffle Review?

Is iLounge Being Punished for their Negative Shuffle Review?

Posted March 16, 2009 at 9:26pm by iClarified
Apple is punishing iLounge for their negative review of the iPod Shuffle according to an editorial published by Jeremy Horwitz.

iLounge's recent iPod Shuffle review brought to light an authentication chip inside the new shuffle's headphones, specifically within the remote control housing. Now "if you want a pair of headphones that will work to control the new iPod shuffle, you will now have to buy something that Apple either makes itself, or approves - this process has already led to needlessly overpriced video cables and chargers, as well as creating problems for many additional types of accessories that you may or may not have ever heard of."

The review also found fault with the value of the new iPod Shuffle calling it "the worst iPod the company has ever released designed not for the value-conscious consumers who originally wanted shuffles"

As a result iLounge is not invited to attend the iPhone software event tomorrow as they typically do...

Apple has now decided to "punish" buzzkillers - journalists who the company doesn't consider friendly enough to its marketing mission. And by "punish," we mean to say that this specific word is used to refer to what happens if someone has said something Apple doesn't approve of. Amongst the topics on the forbidden list: specifics of the Made For iPod and Works With iPhone licensing programs, its undisclosed and unexplained lock-down of video accessories, that bizarre "we have to charge now for software updates" policy, defective products, and so on. The more one talks about such things, the more likely punishment becomes; our first "punishment" was over this little ditty that spread all across the Internet. Multiple Apple sources confirmed this to us, on the record and without any caveats at a trade show, but we shouldn't have discussed it. Riii-ght.

The passive side of "punishment" is denial of access: during a period of punishment, Apple mightn't allow "punished" journalists to come to its events, or respond to their e-mails. The active side of punishment is similarly charming: Apple gives sunnier competitors advantages by supplying them with new hardware before it arrives in stores, and offers them exclusive or semi-exclusive interviews with Apple executives. Thankfully, there are some other securities laws regarding selective disclosure of material information that the company's forced to follow, so the interviews are generally unimportant, but that's another story.

Believe it or not, at some point late last year, we were told specifically that the company was going to be pursuing a "fanboys only" approach - buttering up publications that basically accepted and reprinted the company's statements with little to no challenge. You can probably guess which ones we're talking about: they're the ones that have become the company's unofficial mouthpieces in recent years, either glossing over or praising its least praiseworthy actions, as well as showering all sorts of attention on expensive new Apple products that they would never have purchased on their own for testing. We've made clear to Apple that we're not willing to compromise the integrity of our editorial for preferential treatment, or even plain access. Silly us.

Thus, thanks to our refusal to be leashed by Apple, you won't see us at the iPhone software event tomorrow; we're being "punished" for not sugar-coating our words enough. That's not our style. Like most of our readers, we're just customers, albeit pretty serious customers - every time you see an iPod or iPhone reviewed on iLounge, we've bought it (or, say, eleven of it) ourselves. Our writers hold no Apple stock or interest in how that stock performs; we're just here to provide you with facts and our informed opinions. Apple's upset because we've been telling our readers too much - and constantly taking your side, rather than Apple's, whenever the company is in the wrong. We do this proudly. And we're not going to apologize for it.

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Is iLounge Being Punished for their Negative Shuffle Review?
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Comments (6)
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BRIKZ - March 17, 2009 at 1:36pm
I just registered on your website and forum. Thanks for being honest and actually trying to make journalism respected again.
marty - March 17, 2009 at 6:52am
What are you expecting? If you are saying to your girlfriend you are fat and ugly surely she will be not amused (-; But don't get me wrong...i think it's great and takes guts to be so outspoken but then stand to it and stop whining about that you are not getting the special treatment you maybe deserve.
Telia - March 17, 2009 at 6:04am
I'm getting increasingly frustrated by Apple's media snobbery. They are very quick to denounce any criticism and often fail to address it.
Gustavo - March 17, 2009 at 12:36am
Arg!!! I AM APPLE DO WHAT I SAY!!! They went to far on this one.
Number_41 - March 17, 2009 at 12:30am
guess engadget or gizmodo wont be covering this story hahah
rtcs - March 16, 2009 at 10:24pm
i salute u guys!
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