updated 03:41 pm EDT, Mon October 22, 2012
Report details tighter security
Apple has reportedly continued to tighten its internal security strategy amid persistent product leaks. Unnamed employees speaking to Ars Technica suggest the company's policies may be severely limiting the scope of product testing as devices and software are in the late stages of development, though most of the leaks are blamed on third-party overseas manufacturers.
One staffer told Ars that Apple's security practices intend to ensure US employees are not the source of the leaks, "but everything comes out of China now."
Despite the observation pointing out the source of most leaks, which typically reveal individual parts rather than assembled and functional devices, some employees claim the company is scaling back its pre-release product testing to avoid any details accidentally slipping from Cupertino. New restrictions are said to have reduced the number of people who can take prototype devices off campus, while shortening the beta testing time for OS X and iOS.
The iPhone 4 was fully revealed ahead of its official unveiling, after an Apple employee accidentally left a late-stage prototype at a bar. The device was later criticized for its antenna performance, leading to speculation that Apple's limits on real-world tests allowed the product to ship to customers before engineers recognized the need for a minor revision to the prototype hardware.
An employee told Ars the limits on off-campus testing are "really disturbing for something you're about to ship millions of."
CEO Tim Cook earlier this year admitted that the company goes to "extreme" levels to protect its product roadmaps, which can inspire customers to wait for upcoming products rather than buying existing devices, though he admitted such procedures will never prevent people from speculating. "I'm not going to spend any energy trying to change that; I'm glad people want the next thing," he added.