Apple’s Approach: Treating Celebrities as Everyday Users Since 1976

In today’s discussion on the intersection of celebrity culture and corporate policies, we delve into Apple’s unique stance on celebrity endorsements and giveaways. Unlike many companies that eagerly provide freebies to celebrities to leverage their influence, Apple maintains a different approach.

A recent article on Fast Company highlights how Apple is quite strict when it comes to handing out free products to high-profile figures.

This policy has famously included celebrities such as NBA star Shaquille O’Neal, who shared his repeated, unsuccessful attempts to receive an early iPhone directly from Steve Jobs.

Author and avid Apple user William Gibson expressed his realization that Apple does not operate on the basis of celebrity endorsements, a sentiment echoed by the experiences of others in the limelight. Bradley Frank, a publicist at Rogers & Cowen, also shared his frustration with Apple’s refusal to provide early access to new products for his celebrity clients, especially during high-profile launches like that of the iPhone 4.

Channing Frye, an NBA player for the Phoenix Suns, provided insight into Apple’s marketing genius.

He noted that Apple’s secretive and exclusive marketing strategy only fuels greater desire for their products. Interestingly, Frye mentioned that his cousin works in Apple’s marketing department, yet the veil of secrecy remains tightly drawn, even around family.

So, as you queue up at your local Apple Store this Friday to exchange your hard-earned money for the latest iPad, take a moment to look around.


Joshua is a dedicated writer for TUAW, bringing readers the latest news and insights on all things Apple. With a keen eye for detail, Joshua covers everything from the newest iPhone releases to the latest updates in macOS. His articles are a go-to source for Apple enthusiasts who want to stay informed about their favorite products, including the iPad, Apple Watch, and MacBook. Joshua’s straightforward and engaging writing style makes complex tech topics easy to understand for everyone.