As rumors swirl around a potential deal between Apple and Google to sell iTunes songs on the popular search site, Apple is secretly been making a deal with much deeper philosophical implications for the company.
Reportedly the pet project of Vice President of Worldwide Marketing and Communications Allison Johnson who came on board earlier this year, Apple will enter into the world of viral marketing – actually working with rumor sites to spread the word about Apple products.
According to sources, Apple will provide hotlinks to the Apple Store for every supposed product a rumor site predicts the company will some day sell. The links will then allow you to get first in line for purchasing the product should Apple ever release it.
Scrolling through a prototype of the site, Johnson said “See, here we have a tablet device, a crank-powered iBook and… um…
“Actually, I don’t know what that is. Looks like tapioca. Anyway, all of these were once speculated as potential Apple products by rumor sites and all will be available for pre-ordering from the Apple Store.”
According to Johnson, the customer’s credit card will not be charged until Apple actually ships the product, which may be never.
The benefit to the company, Johnson says, will be to drive those interested in specific future products to the Apple Store and lock them in for purchase. The company will also be able to gauge interest in potential products.
“If we aren’t actually planning on making that tapioca thing but we see that 400,000 people have pre-ordered it, we might actually sit up collectively and say ‘Hmm. Tapioca…'”
Pausing to look at it again, Johnson said “What the hell is that thing?”
When asked what prompted CEO Steve Jobs conversion on the issue of rumor sites, Johnson seemed confused.
“Steve?” Johnson said. “Why? Does Steve not like rumor sites or something?