Since Apple bloggers have little to no actual communication with the people inside the company, most iReporters get their validation after having already written the news, giving them an unjustified sense of import, which is about to get worse. Rather than report stories based on information, these people often write based on their own fantasies, and then when the actual information comes out—via product announcements, and the like—they pat themselves on the back for getting it right, validating the entire ecosystem of non-information, which is the exact opposite of how things should work.
Yesterday, for example, Apple released a bolder, thicker version of the standard font in its new phone operation system iOS 7. The bloggers had been up in arms because the original choice "Helvetica Neue Light" was far too light to read, in their opinion. And because they had complained about it and Apple changed it, it not only proves that their system of reporting works, but that it therefore should be doubled down on. "The best thing for us to do is to continue to make noise about the remaining issues," wrote Instapaper founder and newly minted Tumblr millionaire Marco Arment on his personal site. That's right: More bloviating.
Up until now, Apple bloggers would dream up products that they wanted: A thinner iPad, a bigger iPhone, an innovative Apple TV. And then when Apple eventually made their announcements, years or months later it would suggest these "reporters" had it right all along. But, something even more nefarious just happened. Apple bloggers complained about an already existent product and Apple went ahead and did the thing they said, which of course means: Apple listened. Never mind that there have been a lot of other complaints about iOS 7 circulating the blogs and that has done nothing to change the state of iOS 7—this means louder opining gets things done.
Further giving credence to this unfortunate turn of events, Arment claims in another post that he has heard "a number of times in the last few years that something I wrote was circulated within Apple or brought up in an internal discussion, usually to support one side of a debate." Even if some Apple executives listen to everything one Apple blogger says—which is highly unlikely since of course fans will tell him that they use his ideas—that doesn't justify an entire news system relying on shouting about designs it doesn't like to change.
Plus, that's not how Apple operates, as Arment has mentioned in another post before (about the moral superiority of Apple fanboys). "Apple’s products say 'no' a lot. No, you can’t have that hardware keyboard or removable battery. No, you can’t install that app. No, you can’t have that feature," he writes. Likely, they'll also say no to all the additional hot air we'll be seeing on the blogs now.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.