Sudden Impact: Apple's Great Asteroid Hoax
If you've been following the legal ruckus surrounding Apple's "Asteroid leak" case, you know what happened: Someone leaked details of Asteroid, a breakout box for use with GarageBand, and some websites published the info. Apple then subpoenaed their email records to discover the identity of the leaker, and the websites went to court to protect their journalistic integrity.
Whether you think rumor mongers have journalistic integrity or not (include me among them if you wish), the courts sided with them for two reasons: Apple hadn't exhausted their options before issuing the subpoena, and the courts have ruled that these "reporters" are journalists.
All of that is fine and legally proper, but there's a fact that everyone seems to be overlooking - after over two years, Apple hasn't released a breakout box for use with GarageBand.
The company has transitioned its Macs to Intel CPUs, introduced a plethora of new iPods, and even created a speaker system for the iPod, yet they haven't released Asteroid.
Sound suspicious? It should. If this was an important project, you'd think Apple would have gone ahead with it even after the "trade secret" of its existence was made known. You'd think they would have rushed to market to take advantage of the buzz.
If Asteroid were a viable product, you'd think Apple would at the very least want to get it out the door before a competitor - now fully aware for Apple's planned GarageBand breakout box - would beat them to the punch.
Since it hasn't happened, it's time to reveal the truth: Apple never intended to release "Asteroid" to market.
Apple used to have a decent relationship with rumor mongers, such as Mac the Knife, and use them to send up trial balloons. Then Steve Jobs came back, and the company developed a real disdain for rumors.
What if, rather than creating Asteroid as a real product, the aim of the Asteroid Project was to destroy the rumor sites? All Apple would have to do is assign a few people to developing a semi-viable product be sure to include a "mole" on the team, and have this individual deliberately leak project information to the sites Apple wanted to put out of business.
How would that scenario be any different from the one reported over the past two years?
After all, Apple wouldn't have to make any attempt to determine the identity of the leaker if it were a plant. All they'd have to do is prove that Apple Insider, PowerPage, and the rest had received their information from this individual - and that's why they needed to subpoena email records.
I hate to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but the scenario of Apple using Trade Secret law, a dummy project, and its own mole to take out the rumor sites is every bit as feasible as Asteroid being important enough for Apple to sue over the leaks yet unimportant enough that the product never see the light of day.
Okay, who am I kidding? It's more likely.
And it did hit these sites like an asteroid, which explains the name of the project.
- Anne Onymus
- Link: Apple Asteroid Mock-Up, Gizmodo, 2004.11.23
- Link: Apple developing FireWire audio interface for GarageBand, Apple Insider, 2004.11.23
- Link: Apple Asteroid, was eMagic EMI?, Engadget, 2004.11.24
Recent Rumor Mills
- iPhone 3D: Stereo Photography and 3D Movies for the Rest of Us, 2012.05.22. Until now, stereo photography and 3D movies required expensive dedicated equipment. With the iPhone 3D, Apple will make it available to the masses.
- Driver Cell Phone Ban Only the Beginning, 2011.12.14. The NTSB wants states to ban texting and talking on the phone while driving, but what about the other 90% of traffic fatalities?
- Buffalo Mouse Runs with Rumor Mill Concept, 2010.08.24. We thought the idea of a clickwheel mouse was off the wall when we presented it in 2004, but Buffalo Japan just introduced its own clickwheel mouse.
- More in the Rumor Mill index.
Links for the Day
- Mac of the Day: Power Mac 9500, introduced 1995.05.01. The first PCI Power Mac has 6 slots, speeds of 120 and 132 MHz.
- June 18 in LEM history: 99: Is the iMac passé? - 01: Not all Mac-heads are lefties - Pitfalls of Freenets - 03: Impressions of a low-end eMac - 04: iTunes Europe: Where are the indies? - 07: Tiger users will be able to run up-to-date apps - 08: Old Mac restoration
- Support Low End Mac
Recent Content on Low End Mac
- World Book Encyclopedia 2012 DVD, Tommy Thomas, Reviews, 2013.03.05. "You may be asking yourself, in an age of Wikipedia and instant information, is World Book still relevant?"
- Vintage Computer Festival SouthEast, April 20-21, 2013, Simon Royal, Mac Spectrum, 2013.02.25. Old Apple gear and old PCs.
- iMessage: The Ultimate Messaging Service?, Simon Royal, Mac Spectrum, 2013.02.21. In most ways, Apple's iMessage is far superior to BlackBerry Messenger.
- More links in our archive.
- Best Mac mini Deals
- Best 13" MacBook Pro Deals
- Best Intel iMac Deals
- Best iPod touch Deals
- Best iPhone Deals
- Best iPod nano Deals
- Best iPod classic Deals
- Best Apple TV Prices
- More deals in our archive.
Low End Mac Reader Specials
Cult of Mac
Shrine of Apple
The Mac Observer
Accelerate Your Mac
The Vintage Mac Museum
Mac Driver Museum
System 6 Heaven
System 7 Today
the pickle's Low-End Mac FAQ