Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


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!]

2 comments on "Framing Effects and Apple"

  • Ryan Singel says:

    Adam, get back in the Apple is being ridiculous camp.
    Unless Apple knows ThinkSecret is being malicious and making information up, the company has no business suing the website.
    There is nothing malicious in ThinkSecret’s reporting, so far as I can see. It may adversely affect the company, as Gruber points out. That may make it pragmatic for Apple to try to sue, but that does not make it right.

  • sama says:

    I ridicule your ridiculous spelling errors…

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