Managing public opinion is an important factor in the success of any big consumer electronics enterprise, and Apple (AAPL) does it better than most — largely by staying out of the picture and letting Steve Jobs speak for the company.
But every once and a while the machinery with which Apple keeps a firm grip on the media shows through, and this is one of those occasions.
Under the heading Great Moments in Public Relations, Valleywag has posted a telling piece of video captured during the U.K. launch of the iPhone.
Benjamin Cohen, a journalist with Britain’s Channel 4, is trying to ask Apple worldwide product marketing chief Phil Schiller a question about the relationship of the iPhone to the iTunes music store when he uses the M word — monopoly. That’s when Schiller’s handlers swoop in and re-establish control of interview. The video speaks for itself.
As Valleywag managing editor Owen Thomas writes:
ADDENDUM: That was harsh. In retrospect, it was probably a mistake to let Owen Thomas, who is paid to be nasty, have the last word. Better to exit with Fake Steve Jobs, who has a good ear for these things: