Apple’s Internal Memo Warning Employees Against Leaking Secrets Gets… Leaked
Composite image by DesignTAXI. Background screenshot via Apple
Details about upcoming Apple products get sneaked out all the time—and they often prove to be accurate. Well ahead of the iPhone X’s launch, for instance, news of its name, design, and price, managed to reach the public’s ears.
While leaked product information keeps fans in high anticipation, it also gives competitors time to develop their own versions of these gadgets. One recent example was when Google unleashed its first-ever Chromebook tablet just before Apple’s 7 March event, which introduced a new iPad. Both products were on the low budget tier, measured at 9.7 inches, and had the same price.
Apple decided that enough was enough. In an internal blog post, it warned staff about divulging confidential information to the media and members of the public, adding that 29 leakers were caught last year and that 12 had been arrested.
Surprisingly (or not), even this memo leaked out. Obtained by Bloomberg, the lengthy note includes quotes by product marketing executive Greg Joswiak, such as:
“We want the chance to tell our customers why the product is great, and not have that done poorly by someone else.”
The statement described that Apple fired an employee who leaked internal meeting details about upcoming software in March. While the framework reached thousands of staff, “[o]ne person betrayed their trust.”
“In many cases, leakers don’t set out to leak,” the blog post read. “Instead, people who work for Apple are often targeted by press, analysts and bloggers who befriend them on professional and social networks… While it may seem flattering to be approached, it’s important to remember that you’re getting played.”
“Leaked information about a new product can negatively impact sales of the current model; give rival companies more time to begin on a competitive response; and lead to fewer sales of that new product when it arrives.”
Apple added that leaks were “completely avoidable” and only exist because an employee hasn’t fully considered the repercussions of their actions. It concluded with a statement from Joswiak, which read, “Everyone comes to Apple to do the best work of their lives… the best way to honor those contributions is by not leaking.”
You can view the full memo via Bloomberg.[via Bloomberg, cover image via Apple]