Now anyone who follows technology news knows the Apple rumour phenomenon well. Sometimes they are true, occasionally they have some basis in fact but more often they are completely made up. This week there was a "Greenpeace to protest at iPhone launch" rumour that despite being repeated widely belongs firmly in the 'completely made up' category.
Watching it develop this week was a bit like an amusing version of Chinese whispers online. Last Sunday Zeina gave an interview to the UK newspaper The Sunday Times with this quote about the UK launch:
"The iPhone is a unique product and for us it is a missed opportunity for Apple to combine the innovation of the product with a green performance."
The EETimes then took the same story and headlined it "Greenpeace tries to gatecrash Apple's Euro iPhone party" (nice and attention grabbing headline but in the article nothing about gatecrashing). Next up was MacNN who made it into "Greenpeace to show up at Euro iPhone debut" stating "Greenpeace is planning a rally during Apple's launch of the iPhone in Europe to protest the use of alleged toxic chemicals in the device.." Even Macworld UK reported it.
Hence a great 'Greenpeace to crash iPhone launch' rumour was born despite having zero truth and no one actually checking with us if we ever said it.
Predictably many blogs faithfully reproduced it as if it were true and some used it to do a bit of ranting (about something that wasn't even going to happen) Two fine, amusing examples from Apple iPhone show and myitablet
We watched this spread waiting to see if anyone would actually call us. On Wednesday Zeina got a call from an insistent person claiming to be a journalist from the Daily Telegraph. As "Nicole" would only give her first name and only wanted to us to confirm we would be protesting, we left her guessing. I can almost see the nervous PR types trying to ready themselves at Regent Street tonight for non-existent protesters.
Anyone who has been following our campaign to encourage Apple to be a green leader could probably guess a rally at the launch was not in the style of our campaign. Undoubtedly many people will queue up for a shiny new iPhone. We won't be there but are hoping Steve launches a new version of the iPhone in Europe that's at least as green as some of Apple's competitors.
After all if Apple claims it has "reinvented" the phone shouldn't environmental considerations be at least as important as slim, sexy looks and touch screen?