scuttlebutt

Sometimes even Steve Jobs got his Apple news from rumor sites

June 17, 2013
June 17, 2013

Here’s another gem from the emails presented as evidence in the US government’s lawsuit against Apple over e-book pricing:

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That’s Steve Jobs, then Apple’s CEO, writing to Eddy Cue, the executive in charge of iTunes and the App Store, five days before the iPad went on sale. He was linking to this story from AppleInsider, a news site that aggregates rumors about the company: “Apple’s iPad iBookstore offers low-cost e-book self publishing.”

That was apparently news to Jobs. Later in the email exchange, he asked, “Are we going to let anyone self-publish? Does Amazon?” (“Yes and yes,” replied Cue.) You can read the entire thread here (pdf).

Emails unearthed in the e-books trial, which is expected to wrap up arguments this week, have shed light on Jobs’s negotiating style and backbiting among executives at Apple and major book publishers. The exchange about self-publishing is less revelatory but confirms that Jobs, who often mocked Apple rumor blogs (and sometimes sued them), was also a reader of those sites.

Jobs reading AppleInsider may not be altogether surprising, but it’s still fun to imagine him reading—perhaps even nervously reading—rumor blogs in the week before the iPad first went on sale.

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