Apple ‘gag order’ and the fear factor?

“Drop the word ‘Apple’ into any discussion with any company and the effect is nothing short of remarkable,” Brooke Crothers reports for CNET.

“A recent interview with a fairly big company provides an example as good as any,” Crothers reports. “My question began something like: ‘So, I understand Apple is…’ The response was remarkably consistent with past interviews. I quote from the mid-level manager: ‘I don’t want to lose my job.’ I’ve heard variations on this job security (I-have-absolutely-nothing-to-say) theme related to Apple during the last 12 months or so.
The angst is always palpable. When the interviewees clam up, then quip something like “I like getting a paycheck every month,” with a wry smile, they aren’t joking. And these people don’t even work for Apple.”

Crothers writes that he’s “realized how the Apple question consistently evokes fear (or call it distinct unease) in many interviewees. A sensational claim? Maybe it sounds that way. But I’m calling it as I see it.”

Full article here.


  1. I don’t understand this. What are they not talking about? Are these Windows shops that don’t want to talk about the possibility of their employees using Macs? Or are these competitors whose business might be affected by Apple’s success? Who is not talking and what are they not talking about? What are they afraid of?

  2. The author works in Asia. It’s all about the stupid Fox-Con Engineer who lost the iPhone and was assisted to the ground floor the fast way, out the window.

    Everybody there is scared shitless of even hinting that they are breaking Apple’s NDA.

    Luckily, in North America, we use hit-men who can make it look like a heart attack or accident and we do not have employees in fear for their lives.

  3. “I don’t understand this. What are they not talking about?”

    Read the actual article. These are the hardware companies that have contracts with different computer makers (or other hardware manufacturers). When the talk is about their plans as they relate to others, the responses are often times forthcoming, if somewhat veiled, depending on how much they’re allowed to disclose. The moment anyone brings up their relationship with Apple and projects they’re working on for Apple, they freeze up in fear of Apple’s retaliation if they disclose anything at all. The fear is palpable and consistent across the board, even with some very high-profile companies that work with Apple (I would guess Intel, since the article purposely avoids mentioning names).

    Many companies have NDAs in place to protect intellectual property, trade secrets, road maps, etc. However, Apple’s NDA (and fear thereof) is on a different level altogether. This is what the article is trying to say.

  4. For FUD from C|Net. You can expect more such drive-by trash from them in the coming weeks as their good friend, dark lord and benefactor rolls out Windows 7. Truth be told, C|Net is trying to pry into non-disclosure agreements that Apple has with its suppliers. And those interviewed are simply trying to abide by the terms of their contracts. C|Net cares not whose careers they destroy; they want a story, and they want an angle to do anything they can to hurt Apple. I have no respect for them, and only scorn.

  5. In what job is anyone free of fear of losing something?

    I never talked out of school and no one I know plays these high school games anymore but apparently CNet is public property and accepting private donations.

  6. I think they are talking about the wrath of Jobs, if they inadvertently (or deliberately) leak confidential information before Apple wants it released. But that is the purpose of an NDA; if they are not supposed to talk about it, then they will clam up or potentially lose their jobs. The media goons who want more info and can’t get it, can whine all they want…

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