Almost a month ago, Apple’s next iPhone model was left in a bar and disassembled. Then, videos, pictures, and features were leaked across the Internet. And, again today, another new Apple product was leaked – the iPod Touch with 2-Megapixel Camera. Call me a skeptic but I’m not entirely convinced that Apple doesn’t coordinate and manage these leaks because a leaked secret is one heck of a (free) hype-generating marketing tool.
What happens when leak tactics get leaked? According to Former Apple Senior Marketing Manager John Martellaro, a senior executive will walk into your office and say “We need to release this specific information. John, do you have a trusted friend at a major outlet? If so, call him/her and have a conversation. Idly mention this information and suggest that if it were published, that would be nice. No e-mails!” That way, Apple can maintain the consistent reputation of not talking about unreleased products.
But, assuming Apple is truly dedicated to not releasing details about products before they launch…
How does Apple hunt down leaks? There’s a secret task force called Worldwide Loyalty Team (internally referred to as “Apple Gestapo“). Moles are placed in departments where leaks are suspected and managers aren’t even aware of them. However, from what I’ve read, once they suspect a leak, the “special forces” go into the office, contact the most senior manager in the building, and ask them to coordinate the operation. The special forces then make sure that all enforcement procedures are followed. All employees are instructed to stay at their desks, cell phones are taken, cameras are taken (actually, cameras are not even allowed on Apple campus), and screensavers are activated on all computers while the investigation goes on. There’s no personal privacy during the investigation – so anything on your computer or phone (calls, web searches, texts, etcs) are examined. Beyond that, it’s pretty secretive as to how the suspect is interrogated.
How many Apple products have been leaked? Check out this site to view the greatest Apple product leaks of all time, including iPhone 4th generation and iPad.