Apple -- not unlike Sony -- occasionally shuns the big industry tradeshows in favor of talking bout its newest wares on its own time in its own venue. Cupertino does that with mastery just about every year (remember the iPod nano hype back in September 2005?), and its latest foray into "see why we are more special" came with the iPhone - Cingular announcement back in January during the heart of the CES tradeshow in Las Vegas. Per protocol, Apple said "bleh" and wanted to get its game on on its own terms, shunning CES for San Francisco's Moscone Center with the world-imploding iPhone announcement that scores of industry watchers had been intently waiting on for years. If there's one thing you have to give Apple credit for, it's marketing finesse and public timing -- not to mention its knack for generating free publicity. For example, Harvard Business School prof David Yoffie now estimates that the iPhone has generated about $400 million in publicity so far -- with none of that cost coming out of Apple's pockets, to boot -- an "unprecedented" level of attention for a new product introduction. We're pretty sure that's exactly what Steve Jobs was looking for.

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