Former Senior Market Manager at Apple John Martellaro has a thoughtful post up at the Mac Observer explains how and why Cupertino occasionally leaks information about its own products to major news outlets.
Martellaro notes, “Often Apple has a need to let information out, unofficially. The company has been doing that for years, and it helps preserve Apple’s consistent, official reputation for never talking about unreleased products.”
Apple’s method of leaking product or company news is always done in such a way as to guarantee that no one can accuse them of trying to manipulate stock prices, by making sure the leak goes live after the close of the markets.
In fact, as Martellaro points out: “Controlled leaks are almost always the solution to a problem. In [the case of the Wall Street Journal's article about the Apple tablet], it could have been that Apple needed to release the tablet information early because they wanted:
• to light a fire under a recalcitrant partner
• to float the idea of the US$1,000 price point and gauge reaction
• to panic/confuse a potential competitor about whom Apple had some knowledge
• to whet analyst and observer expectations to make sure the right kind and number of people show up at the (presumed) January 26 event. Apple hates empty seats and demands SRO at these events.”
As if there was even a chance of there being empty seats at the January 27th event. If Martellaro is correct, my guess is they are gauging reaction on the $1,000 price… which does, indeed, seem too high to me, but Apple stock value is up since the leak, so what do I know?