Ninjawords

Apple's curious PR problem

August 7, 2009: 7:37 AM ET
Senior VP Phil Schiller. Image: Apple Inc.

Senior VP Phil Schiller. Image: Apple Inc.

The tech press is buzzing this week with the news that a senior Apple (AAPL) vice president took the time to e-mail a blogger.

The senior VP was Phil Schiller, one of Steve Jobs' top lieutenants. The blogger was Daring Fireball's John Gruber, one of Apple's staunchest defenders. The issue was Apple's apparent censorship of an iPhone dictionary called Ninjawords that included some four letter words you won't find in Webster's Collegiate.

But this isn't really about a bawdy dictionary. It's about a public relations problem that has already triggered a federal investigation and now threatens to spin out of control.

The problem is that Apple Inc. has two faces, and the mask that hides the side that's not so nice has started to slip.

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