Framing Effects and Apple
Until I read John Gruber’s latest Daring Fireball on “The Rumor Game,” I was firmly in the “Apple is being Ridiculous” camp, and “Apple is chilling free speech” camp.
The essence of the story is Apple is suing a rumors site because they’re leaking product details. What Gruber points out, and a quick Google search confirms, is that Thinksecret sets not only product expectations, but pricing expectations.
This has deep psychological impact– do you want the $100 coffeemaker, discounted to $50, or the $50 one? What if the $100 coffeemaker was overpriced, and the $50 one is a better value? By presenting a “frame” price, or an expectation that the price is $500 (and Gruber points out that that’s very unlikely), whatever higher price Apple releases is now a higher price. Even if, at say, $899, it’s the cheapest Mac they’ve released. That story would be lost over the expectation that Thinksecret sets.
[Update: There’s another framing effect here, which is that
MarsEdit, which I use to edit the site,
has a bug, which breaks the spell checker for words inside an HTML anchor, making me look, err, “rediculous” and careless. Thanks Sama and Mort.]
[Update 2: I was so wrong. Apple does have a $500 mac. Cool!]