Last Updated: December 27th, 2010

** Note: This article contains my personal speculation. WireFly will neither confirm nor deny what I suggest in this article. Please don’t sue me. **

Last week, WireFly started a contest called “Why Android Can Beat Up Your iPhone.” Contestants had to write an essay explaining why they thought Android devices were superior to the iPhone(s). There would be 5 winners, and their prize would be the Android device of their choice.

Today, they pulled down the contest. Since Wirefly suspiciously refused to comment on the situation, I begin my rampant (but, let's be honest – probably correct) speculation:

Apple is notorious for being an incredibly litigious company. If I had to come up with an analogy for Apple, I’d say they’re like the jacked-up, angry pitbulls that are used for dog fighting. You know – really mean, very particular, and massively overprotective. Because of this, I strongly suspect that Apple was behind this.

As I’ve stated before, I enjoy Apple products, and I think that they truly are the best choice for some people. But… seriously? I’m having trouble articulating how ridiculous it would be if Apple really were behind this.

At least it’s worth a good “lol” and a facepalm. This stuff writes itself.

Update: Based on comments, I feel the need to remind people of the very strong relationship between Apple and AT&T. WireFly may not have any business dealings with Apple, but they are an AT&T dealer.

Aaron Gingrich
Aaron is a geek who has always had a passion for technology. When not working or writing, he can be found spending time with his family, playing a game, or watching a movie.

  • Alex

    Yes, they're litigious.

    No, they are not at the helm of some sort of third world dictatorship and aren't actually capable of restricting freedom of speech

    This is a deeply stupid article and for the sake of your own credibility I'd suggest you pull it.

    • Aaron Gingrich

      Fair enough. Care to share your opinion on why they were forced by somebody else to take down the article?

      • Alex

        Who said they were forced by somebody else to take down the article? Just you, as far as i can tell.

        Apple has no legal grounds to challenge an article like that. Literally none. It doesn't matter how litigious they are.

        Additionally, Wirefly don't sell or advertise iPhones so Apple can't even exert any commercial pressure on them...

        Decisions to pull competitions and articles are made all the time. For all you know the person you were speaking to simply didn't know the answer...

        • Aaron Gingrich

          They told us they were *forced* to, actually.

          Apple has done this sort of thing before. Do I personally think it infringes on free speech and freedom of the press? Yes. That doesn't mean it hasn't happened before and couldn't have happened now. There are a ton of complex laws regarding libel and slander, and corporate law is no simpler. I would assume a law I don't know about has come into play here - or just a threat of legal action in general (going to court is awfully expensive, I doubt WireFly would want to take that course).

        • Alex

          "They told us they were *forced* to, actually"

          Then why didn't you mention this in the article?

          This is what I read:

          "Today, they pulled down the contest. Since Wirefly suspiciously refused to comment on the situation, I begin my rampant (but, lets be honest – probably correct) speculation"

          So they *refused to comment*? But they told you they were *forced* to take it down?

          I'm finding your post more suspicious than the pulled competition, frankly.

  • http://www.beavis.com Beavis

    Hey Alex, learn to read. He didn't say any of what you said he did. Your comment is deeply stupid but alas you can't pull it. It's here for everyone else to see and to laugh at. Thanks.

  • Alex’s Teacher

    Young Alex,
    What the insightful article hints at has nothing to do with freedom of speech and everything to do with power and influence. Paying someone to shut up or withholding something to keep them quiet aren't illegal. It's a question of morality and fair play.

    Who knows why Wirefly shut down their contest?

    Only reason I can see though is that it was critical of 2, maybe 3, powerful things:
    iPhone, of course.
    Apple, as well.
    And, possibly, AT&T.

    My guess is one of the 2 big A's used their weight to silence the criticism -- which is akin to behaving like a "third world dictatorship."

    My vote: Apple.

    • Alex

      He implied legal pressure. There's no grounds for it. None.

      There's no grounds for commercial pressure from apple either. Wirefly don't sell their products.

      So that leaves us with the possibility that Apple or AT&T are now bribing or in some other way coercing a third party - and not even a particularly influential third party - in order to restrict their customers expressing an opinion?

      Are you kidding? Really?

  • S. Jobs

    Of course it was Apple. Most likely applying pressure through AT&T, whose motto these days is "Fear the Fruit."

  • Aaron Gingrich

    Alex - can't reply to the reply of the reply of the reply (it won't let me):

    Thanks for sharing your opinion; your skepticism has been noted :).

  • Phil

    Wow how naive some of us are to how business works. They could very well have got them on using their trademark name "iPhone" in a contest without their permission. I actually had another iPhone vs Android idea and that was the first thing I thought about. If I'm running a contest or somehow profiting from the name outside of journalism then I'm pretty sure they can slap be legally.

  • Aaron Gingrich

    Updated original article to spell things out a bit more (Apple -> AT&T -> Wirefly)

  • Chris

    "Apple has no legal grounds to challenge an article like that. Literally none."

    Agreed... yet that hardly means they WON'T. Suing someone in an attempt to stall them or put them off entirely appears to be a perfectly valid tactic these days. One only has to take a look at the RIAA or MPAA to appreciate that.

    Apple have demonstrated time and time again that they'll do whatever they think it takes to get people to play their game, regardless of the law.

  • brian

    Their facebook page says "don't worry, we still have all the entries". Hopefully that means they contest is still on for the people that entered.