Reuters examines the extreme level of security that enshrouds major Apple product launches, observing that even Apple employees often aren’t able to get their hands on a new device up until the wee hours before the device actually goes on sale.
This old song and dance is naturally playing on repeat as Apple prepares to launch the iPad this Saturday.
“With its notoriously secretive corporate culture,” Reuters writes, “Apple is loathe to circulate any iPads among retail troops ahead of the debut. Even in-store Apple repair techs — known as “geniuses” — don’t yet know how to fix the gadget.”
Driving the point home, Reuters spoke to one Apple Store employee who recounted how employees weren’t even able to see or hold the original iPhone up until an hour before customer were allowed in. More often than not, Apple Store employees know as much about an upcoming Apple product as the public at large does. In other words – not much.
Apple has even been known to deliver two sets of packages to its line of retail stores, with one package containing an actual product, and the other serving as a decoy in the event that store employees get a bit too curious and want to sneak a peak.
Overall, Apple’s lock and key security measures over new product launches shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone. After all, Apple’s obsession with product secrecy is arguably unmatched in the tech world, and their desire to control the dissemination of information about new products inevitably manifests itself in other ways – like security more appropriate for an ATM pickup than an iPad delivery.
Retail employees are in many ways the public face of Apple, charged with spreading the gospel about the company’s products to tens of millions of shoppers every year. Store staff, including part-time workers, have to sign nondisclosure agreements and can be fired for talking to outsiders.