Wired: Customers Still Love Apple

Some news outlets are reporting that Appleis reputation with consumers is wearing thin, but Wired columnist, Leander Kahney, thinks they are wrong. Apple is getting some bad press thanks to Chinese sweatshop claims, quality control issues, and French DRM legislation. Consumers, some reports say, are responding with an anti-Apple backlash.

Mr. Kahney says "In fact, thereis no consumer backlash at all. Appleis firing on all cylinders, and is selling more Macs and iPods than ever."

Apple product sales are doing well. Mac sales are up 20 percent year-over-year, and iPods sales have seen a 200 percent increase.

The backlash, Mr. Kahney says, is a media move. Apple is one of the most influential technology companies, and reporters are just looking for more to write about it - good or bad.

Incidents like the recent discovery that some iPods are manufactured by workers in sub-standard conditions is a black eye for Apple, and should be reported on. Consumers also deserve to know about possible MacBook Pro battery problems, but incidents like these donit necessarily indicate that consumers are ready to jump ship.

Apple also plays the media with its secrecy and invitation only product announcements. Sometimes the exposure works in Appleis favor, and other times it doesnit. "The downside of this oversized press profile is that bad news also gets overplayed," he says.