News.com reports that Apple has been granted subpoenas in its efforts to determine the identity of the person or persons who leaked information about its upcoming product Asteroid. So we learn for certain that these are upcoming releases, or they would not be "Trade Secrets."
It seems that Apple has the absolute right to pursue and attempt to stop the leaks of proprietary information. Many would probably argue quite aptly that Apple has even the responsibility to do so in order to protect its corporate information. All of that being said, it's a sad day. Not unexpected, just sad. I'll diverge into my story here.
I've been looking for a device just like Asteroid. I probably would have purchased one by now. But I have a pretty good idea that the company that came up with the best interface (so far) for an MP3 player, the company who above all else has great designs is coming out with just what I need. So, instead of plunking down the greenbacks for another company's gear I'm waiting for Apple to release their gear. This pre-announcement is making them more money, not less. Are we to believe Apple thinks nobody outside Cupertino thinks they're working on things like this?
It's somewhat ironic that Microsoft blogger Robert Scoble wrote to Bill Gates last weekend about how to do development of the iPod killer out in the open. I don't think Scoble got it all right, he confuses getting musicians involved with the design in making a consumer player, but he has a lot of great ideas. What if the Darwin folks at apple met the iPod division. There are many examples of open source projects leading to commercial products. One of the big problems lies in how big companies view the competitive landscape. Apple's afraid to let Real Networks program for the iPod. The users could settle the dispute very quickly and likely with a better outcome for both companies in the long run. It won't happen but it would be great if it did.