Apple execs miffed over Toshiba’s 60GB iPod hard drive leak

“Apple executives are reported to be ‘more than a little mad’ Wednesday after published reports that a Toshiba hard drive manager officially confirmed a new 1.8-inch hard drive with a 60GB capacity would soon be in full production and that Apple had committed to buying the drive. The report clearly puts Apple in a difficult position to deny a new, higher-capacity iPod is coming and harks back to a similar screwup by graphics company ATI in 1999, which took a costly toll on its relationship with Apple CEO Steve Jobs,” ThinkSecret reports.

“‘Somebody [at Toshiba] opened their big mouth and either it was taken out of context or was ‘off-the-record’ or this person really did just confirm it all,’ said a hard drive industry analyst familiar with how technology companies work business relationships. ‘There is no good way to handle this now. Toshiba screwed up and it could have major consequences, depending on how upset Steve Jobs is.'”

Full article here.

18 Comments

  1. All Apple had to do is insert a confidentiality agreement in the contract with Toshiba (or whoever) stating that if Toshiba (or whoever) reveals any information before a specificed time then Toshiba (or whoever) will pay Apple a certain amount of dollars. A few millon bucks should soothe Steve’s wrath.

    Of course, unless you capture the bonehead on tape or reveal a memo giving out this information it is difficult to prosecute this sort of case. Also, the “leak” may have come from an Apple employee, too.

    Any company that violates a confidentiality agreement will have lost their reputation as a professional and trustworthy business partner. This may cost them more bucks in the long haul than a simple fine. No doubt some idiot may be looking for new employment.

  2. But if Toshiba is the only game in town making 60GB hard drives that are that small and work well with the current iPod form factors, Apple is kinda screwed if they drop the order, now, aren’t they? And it gives the Toshiba folks some free press and mindshare in connection with the iPod itself. Probably not a move that was entirely “unintended” or truly “accidental” by Toshiba no matter how much they may say otherwise. As The Apple Turns has a nice take on this whole bruhaha, too (http://www.appleturns.com)

  3. You know, even with the leak, there really aren’t that high of a % of people that will bother to read something that will give them this info, so it won’t account for much lost revenue….there are a lot of Mac geeks that I know, and I am the only only that knew it, since I am the only one that reads this stuff….

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