You may not see the following correction in the Washington Post, so I am posting it here:
A Sept. 2, 2010 Style story about the release of ABC and Fox TV episodes for rent at 99 cents each on Apple’s revised Apple TV incorrectly assumed the success of the Cupertino, Calif., firm’s new video offering. Last week, Apple quietly removed that rental option from Apple TV and its iTunes Store.
Yes, I feel a little used after hyping that service in my story. But I wasn’t alone–analyst Michael Gartenberg, sitting next to me in the auditorium at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, told me that he thought all the other networks would sign up for Apple’s rentals by the holidays. And things could have been worse: That story was briefly a candidate for the front page before a space crunch in Financial resulting in it moving to Style.
Apple’s reversal–along with two other notable retreats last week, Facebook’s elimination of the Places mobile check-in feature that was supposed to kill Foursquare and the Deals Groupon clone that might have done the same to other daily-deal services–constitutes a useful reminder of the virtues of small-c conservatism in tech reporting. Not every new product or service will upend the world, no matter how incredible it looks in the demo or how big the company behind it; many of them will leave no trace beyond a Wikipedia entry.