Apple PR Stories March 17, 2016

When the celebrity nudes story broke back in 2014, it was headline news in the mainstream media. The story was that ‘iCloud had been hacked.’ The truth, of course, was a little different. As we suspected at the time, and Apple later confirmed, the ‘hack’ wasn’t really any such thing. A combination of two techniques were used to gain access to the iCloud accounts.

First, phishing: sending emails designed to look like they were from Apple asking the celebrities to login to their accounts, and directing them to a fake website made to look like the real thing. Second, guessing the answers to security questions – something easier to do with celebrities given the amount of biographical information available in the public domain.

That’s not to say Apple was entirely blameless. iCloud did not, at the time, offer two-factor authentication. Given that an iCloud backup is a near-complete copy of all the data stored on an iPhone, that was something which should have been included from the start. But the bottom-line is that iCloud itself wasn’t really hacked in any meaningful sense of the word.

It was this week confirmed that phishing was the approach taken by the main offender in this case. In other words, nothing whatsoever to do with iCloud security. This news hasn’t resulted in a single headline in the mainstream media. The average non-tech person out there still believes ‘iCloud was hacked’ …

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Apple PR Stories April 23, 2015

Randy Ubillos has today announced his retirement from Apple. Ubillos has worked at Apple for over twenty years, leading development on Final Cut Pro and newer versions of iMovie and iPhoto, part of Apple’s iLife suite. Offically, Ubillos was Chief Architect of Photo and Video Applications. Most notably in recent years, Ubillos headed the project to bring some of the latest iMovie concepts back to Apple’s professional software suite. This resulted in Final Cut Pro X.

Ubillos also led development of Apple’s creative pursuits on iOS, with versions of iMovie and iPhoto designed for the touchscreen experiences of the phone and tablet.

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Sylvania HomeKit Light Strip

Apple PR Stories April 16, 2015

Apple has officially named long time director of public relations Steve Dowling as its new Vice President of Communications, as noted on the company’s executive bios webpage. Dowling succeeds former Apple Communications head Katie Cotton, who left Apple in 2014 following Apple CEO Tim Cook choosing to take Apple in a new direction PR-wise. Dowling has led Apple’s Communications division for several months following Cotton’s departure, and he was internally named interim head of PR last October. Following the departure of Cotton, Apple’s PR strategy has been more open, with the company commenting more frequently on various news matters and seeding product review units to more news organizations. Dowling has been seen alongside Cook at various media appearances across the world. Last year, we published an extensive profile of Apple’s PR, Communications, and Marketing department, noting that Dowling would likely become Katie Cotton’s official successor in the near future.

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Apple PR Stories October 2, 2014

Re/code reports today that Apple has chosen longtime Apple PR deputy Steve Dowling to lead Apple’s public relations efforts as interim PR chief. The report notes that Dowling’s role as head of Apple PR is not yet permanent as Apple continues to look for candidates outside of the company.

Sources close to Apple tell Code/red that Dowling was tapped as interim head of public relations last week by CEO Tim Cook. […] Dowling’s appointment has been framed to employees as an interim one and I’m told Apple will continue to evaluate worthy outside candidates if one should pop up. That said, the fact that Cook has officially put Dowling at the top of Apple’s PR organization suggests he could remain there.

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Apple PR Stories September 30, 2014

Computer Bild, Europe’s best-selling computer magazine, has had its PR accreditation pulled after posting a video of one of its journalists bending an iPhone 6 Plus.

The german PR department of the company reacts in a disturbing way: Instead of answering the questions about why the iPhone 6 Plus is so sensitive, a manager called Computer Bild and told us, that Computer Bild will not get any testing devices and no invites to official events any more …

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Apple PR Stories June 9, 2014

Apple looking to externally hire ‘friendlier, more approachable’ PR chief after Katie Cotton’s retirement

(Tim Cook in China with Katie Cotton)

Now that Apple’s PR chief and VP of Corporate Communications Katie Cotton has officially joined the growing group of retiring Apple leadership, Tim Cook is searching for the company’s next VP of Communications. Re/code reports that Apple is looking outside the company, however, rather than promoting someone internally to permanently fill the role.

And though there are at least two well-qualified internal candidates for the job — comms veterans Steve Dowling and Nat Kerris — Apple is also looking outside the company for Cotton’s replacement. Sources in position to know tell Code/red that CEO Tim Cook is overseeing the search, aiming to find some high-profile external candidates for consideration. And he’s paying particular attention to those he believes could put a friendlier, more approachable face on Apple’s public relations efforts.

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