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Apple has warned its employees to stop leaking secrets to the press. How do we know? Somebody leaked the memo. Oh, delicious irony!
In days gone by, Apple was well-known for its secretive design team. It’s part of the reason its keynotes and announcements are so popular – it’s much more exciting to see new products unveiled when you know very little about them. Keeping upcoming designs, features, and specifications away from the public has always been something Apple strives to do, but over the past few years, that secrecy has been eroded from the inside.
Take last year’s iPhone launch, for example. Leading up to the event, all kinds of detailed were leaked to the press – and though it’s often difficult to sort the rumors from the truths, over time a picture builds up of what to expect from upcoming products. One Apple user leaked the finished version of iOS 11 several weeks early, which itself contained code signaling details about the iPhone X and its features.
To its credit, Apple usually manages to keep some details under wraps until the big day – but these leaks and rumors generally kill the “wow factor” of an unveiling. Not much came as a surprise last September.
That explains why Apple is cracking down on employees who leak private information. As discovered by Bloomberg, a recent memo stated that 29 employees were caught leaking information last year. All of them were fired, and twelve have been arrested. It’s not just direct employees in the firing line, either – many leaks come from elsewhere in the supply chain, and Apple is punishing those guys too.
As Apple employee Josh Shaffer puts it, “thousands of people work tirelessly for months to deliver each major software release. Seeing it leak is devastating for all of us.” In the memo, Apple reminds its workers that leaks are bad for morale and can help rival companies get a headstart on competing features. It also makes the point that those caught leaking often find it very difficult to find their next job.
While we hope Apple is able to regain a level of secrecy – it’s much more exciting that way! – you’d better believe we’ll still be bringing you all the latest details when somebody inevitably caves and reveals schematics for the next iPhone.