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Screen shot 2010-01-06 at 4.24.30 PMTwo days ago, I wrote a speculative piece wondering if Apple hadn’t leaked some of the information about its forthcoming tablet device to the Wall Street Journal itself. I based this on a number of curiosities in the post, the timing of it, as well as the history between the secretive company and the publication. Today, The Mac Observer suspects the same thing happened. Only they have a much better reason to believe: The author used to be in charge of doing just that for Apple.

John Martellaro, now a senior editor at The Mac Observer, was formerly a Senior Marketing Manager at Apple. As he writes in his post:

Often Apple has a need to let information out, unofficially. The company has been doing that for years, and it helps preserve Apple’s consistent, official reputation for never talking about unreleased products. I know, because when I was a Senior Marketing Manager at Apple, I was instructed to do some controlled leaks.

Lest you be suspicious of Martellaro’s claim, he did indeed hold that role at Apple (here’s some Apple developer documentation tied to him in 2001), and it’s hard to imagine he would have any reason to make up such a thing. In fact, it’s been widely believed for a long while that Apple does this from time to time.

And Martellaro goes into more details. Apparently, senior execs used to come to his team and say they need to get information out there. They were never allowed to email it to anyone, it always had to be on the phone or in person, so there was no paper trail.

He also notes that stock manipulation never factors in (one would hope not), though I suppose one could argue that if Apple did in fact leak the Jobs’ liver transplant information to the WSJ on a Friday night a few months ago, it was a form of manipulation, because they were making sure the stock wouldn’t tank on the news.

Martellaro sums up his post: “That’s how Apple does controlled leaks, and the WSJ article from yesterday was a classic example.” So there you go.

[photo: flickr/photo denbow]

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