The culture of secrecy surrounding Apple has been investigated by the San Jose Mercury News.

The piece looks at the scale of media attention surrounding the company. It claims: "Only Apple has about a dozen Web sites dedicated to spying and speculating on what it will do next."

The piece also looks at the importance to the company of Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who attracts hordes of Macintosh fans to every public speech he ever makes.

Jobs safety Apple's current culture of secrecy came into effect when Jobs regained his position as (then interim) CEO. Company insider sources where either warned, disciplined or fired for sharing information, and Apple began "refusing to comment on unreleased products".

Such secrecy is justified on three counts, the piece explains. First, the need for the company to keep people buying its products; second, the assumption that, if you keep a secret, people will assume there's something good to hide; and last, Apple's proven capacity to take risks, introducing new technologies and driving design in IT forward.

Apple is "much more of an innovator than a standard PC maker", concludes analyst Matt Sargent.