Psst, pass it on: Apple has no secrets

Another leaked iPhone 4G prototype has allegedly been spotted in Asia -- so much for Apple's unhealthy obsession with secrecy

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Allegedly (and we're digging deep into the rabbit-hole of Web rumors here) this device was purchased from a Vietnamese businessman for about $4,000, which represents a 20 percent markdown from what Gizmodo paid. That iPhone model isn't out yet and already its price is dropping like a rock. Ain't capitalism grand?

Now the question becomes, what will Steve do? Will he demand Taoviet return its "stolen" iPhone? Will he send a Vietnamese SWAT team to bust down the doors of Taoviet and confiscate its computers? Will they stop by a street vendor for some delicious jellyfish salad on their way?

Stay tuned, as they say, for further developments.

The phone specs are not the interesting part of this story, in my opinion. What's fascinating to me is what this says about Apple and its desire to have things both ways: to pour millions into convincing consumers that its products have magical "life changing" properties, while attempting to control the entire flow of information about them. You can't both stoke the fires and keep the smoke from getting out. The pressure eventually builds until everything blows up.

Guess what, Apple -- everything just blew up. Your trade secrets aren't secret any more. Get used to it, because in the age of the insatiable Web, this is how it's going to be from now on.

Can't anybody keep a secret nowadays? Tell me something nobody else knows in the comments below, or email it to me: cringe@infoworld.com.

This story, "Psst, pass it on: Apple has no secrets," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read more of Robert X. Cringely's Notes from the Field blog.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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