Apple has issued a stark warning to its employees about the dangers of leaking information about upcoming products, such as the iPhone 9, to outsiders.
The warning was made in an internal memo — which ironically has itself been leaked to Bloomberg — and promises that the company is catching leakers “faster than ever”.
The memo goes on to explain the consequences of leaking for an employee. It says that 12 of the 29 leakers it caught in 2017 were arrested, and warned that, as well as losing their jobs at Apple, employees can also face issues getting work elsewhere once they’ve gained a reputation for being unreliable with industry secrets.
Apple as a company has always been notoriously secretive, but its size has meant that it’s never been able to completely prevent leaks from taking place. As well as members of Apple’s 100,000+ strong workforce, leaks have also originated from the company’s supply chain where other companies report on what hardware components Apple has been ordering from them.
What Apple has to lose
The memo also goes into detail about what Apple has to lose when it comes to leaks. Apparently leaked information about an upcoming product can negatively impact upon sales of any model that it’s replacing, and can provide information to rivals to give them a head start in developing competing devices.
Leaks also prevent Apple from taking a commanding role in the messaging surrounding a product. You can imagine how differently the iPhone 7 launch would have gone if rumours hadn’t been swirling for months about whether or not the phone was going to have a headphone jack or not.
It’s unlikely that Apple will ever truly be able to eliminate leaks from its organisation, but the memo is an interesting look at how seriously the company takes the practice.
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