“For Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs, being a secretive control freak never means having to say you’re sorry. While Jobs mocked Microsoft for years as the software giant struggled to crank out its Vista operating system, Apple’s puckish founder avoids getting the same treatment by keeping the rest of us in the dark about most of his product plans,” Brian Caulfield writes for Forbes.

“Then all of a sudden, Jobs started picking up the ugly habit of making promises–and breaking them. Wednesday’s slip: inviting the press to a March 6 event where Apple will talk about its iPhone, and presumably release the software development kit for the iPhone, something Apple originally said it would do by the end of February,” Caulfield writes.

MacDailyNews Note: March 6th is six days after the end of February. Six days.

Caulfield continues, “Apple seems to have a problem keeping on schedule with the iPhone. Jobs unveiled the smart phone in January 2007, but didn’t begin selling it until June 29, in part because the phone had to get through the very public process of getting clearance from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission. Apple hit that deadline, but had to delay the release of the latest version of Apple’s OS X operating system, Leopard, until October so developers could grunt out the iPhone.”

MacDailyNews Take: What you’ve just described, Brian, is Apple having zero problems keeping on schedule with the iPhone.

Caulfield continues, “So what’s going on? Part of the problem could be that while Apple has pushed into new markets, it spends much less on research and development that its rivals. While Microsoft and Google each spend more than 10% of their sales on research and development, Apple just spends just 2.56%.”

MacDailyNews Take: What you’ve described above, Brian, is a indictment of Microsoft, not Apple. Where’s the innovation at Microsoft? Zune? Vista? Big Ass Tables? Apple —BusinessWeek’s 2007 Most Innovative Company (for third consecutive year!) — gets so much more bang for their buck, it’s a wonder that Microsoft shareholders aren’t marching on Redmond demanding to know where all of that money is really going. What’s Ballmer doing, burning Franklins by the railroad car to heat the buildings?

Caulfield continues, “Jobs could be stretched thin as well. On Monday, Morgan Stanley’s Kathryn Huberty pointed to a jump in Apple’s airplane expenses as a sign the Apple CEO is logging long hours on the Jobs Jet, Apple’s Gulfstream IV. Huberty read it as a bullish sign, hinting that Jobs is trying to hustle up distribution deals for the iPhone and deals with Apple’s suppliers. Missed deadlines, however, also suggest that the strain may be starting to show on Jobs, Apple’s taskmaster.”

MacDailyNews Take: Six days, Brian, six days. Are you really serious?

Caulfield continues, “Jobs, a leader who made innovation seem so effortless for so long may finally be starting to show some pit stains from the effort. For a company for whom seeming cool is everything, that could become a problem.”

As with the excerpts above, nothing of value is in the full article, Think Before You Click™, here.

Talks about showing some pit stains! Caulfield takes the prize by working so hard to fabricate enough poppycock to shame Lincoln Snacks. All of that for six days. Six days. Forbes, if they want to be taken seriously, should go get themselves some real technology writers.

Contacts:
• Brian Caulfield, Forbes.com Senior Technology Writer:
• Forbes Letters to the Editor:

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Judge Bork” and “Mike in Helsinki” for the heads up.]