R.I.P., Apple!

That works smashingly well when the company's products are hugely popular, as they have been for most of the last 13 years. It works great while the company is successful. Why reach out to bloggers and journalists when they're already falling all over each other to say flattering things about you?

But it's a recipe for disaster when things are going badly -- as they are now.

It's uncertain how bad the problem is right now. The iPhone 4 was hugely successful in its early launch, selling 1.7 million units in its first three days of availability last month. Apple's Web site says there's three-week wait for new iPhones. It could be this is just a speed bump for Apple's profit-making juggernaut.

But one day Apple will face a real crisis, and when that day comes, the company will remain silent while public opinion -- including investors and customers -- turns against it.

Mitch Wagner is a freelance technology journalist and social media strategist.

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