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Jobs personally monitoring prototype Apple devices?

updated 12:40 pm EDT, Thu April 22, 2010

Detail emerges following next-gen iPhone scandal

Apple CEO Steve Jobs personally monitors the list of workers allowed to take prototype devices off-campus, according to a former employee. The person adds that anyone approved for the list must also sign an extra confidentiality agreement, above and beyond the one an Apple worker might normally be expected to obey. If accurate, the claim suggests an unusually deep level of involvement for Jobs when it comes to security.

The revelation follows the exposure of a next-generation iPhone prototype, accidentally left behind at a California bar. Apple was forced to acknowledge its legitimacy in order to have it returned. Apple has little choice but to take such devices out in public, since the iPhone's communications technology must be tested against real-world conditions. It is thought, however, that the company may tighten its security even further after the latest incident, which could deflate some of the surprise Apple hopes to orchestrate for this summer.

by MacNN Staff



  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Big brother Steve has got his eye on you...

    With great power comes great responsibility.

    You have to keep your eyes on employees who'd sell their souls for a few extra bucks.

    I somehow doubt that the prototype was purposely lost, but I guess anything is possible. If you take a device out of the test labs and carry it around, there's always a chance of having it being discovered. I think it was wrong of the people that did the expose if they suspected it was a prototype. I'm not a reporter so I have a different perspective on releasing stories. I'd rather have tried to negotiate a deal with Apple getting first dibs on an authorized release story. I'd have tried to return it to the rightful owner and if I couldn't I would have just held on to the device without plastering it all over the net. Since I'm an Apple fanboy I wouldn't want to give competitors any hint of what was coming.

  1. leoofborg

    Joined: Dec 1969


    "by MacNN Staff"

    So no one was brave enough to sign their name to this tripe. 'Additional documentation' when taking out sensitive prototypes is standard operating procedure in the defense industry.

    Probably Apple has some older employees who imposed this structure over at Apple. Why?

    Most of the time, it WORKS.

    Seriously, if you're going to write crapola about the paranoia of the Jobs.One. SIGN YOUR NAME to the story.

  1. Feathers

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Do MacNN writers ever sign a story? I don'y think so. They thrive on Macnnonymity!

  1. fizzy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    way to prove leak

    If news comes out that the guy who lost it got fired, then we know it wasn't an intentional leak. Jobs wouldn't let that go unpunished. But he also would be the only one who could authorize the guy to leave the phone at a bar for a little while.

  1. wrenchy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    What a joke.

    Being secretive in your new product is ok. Leaking bits and pieces of it can be fun too. But this prototype police thing is getting too far. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

    Apple is becoming the company they're trying not to be.

    At Apple, "1984" is starting to look like... 2010.

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    if I had been that engineer...

    ...I'm known to habitually forget where I put my keys and my wallet, but I *always* know where my iPhone is.

    If it was a super-double-top-secret prototype... I'd practically have it chained to my wrist. I don't know how this guy managed to forget about it.

  1. gmsquires

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Did he or didn't he?

    leave the iPhone behind. That is a big question. From what I have been reading about this from less sensational viewpoints/analysis (what little one can derive considering everthing is being filtered through Gizmodo and we have no knowledge from the actual "finder") from the likes of John Gruber and others, the exact nature of how the "finder" came by the prototype is questionable. Did he "find" it on the bar floor?, on the bar stool/seat?, on the bar counter? It is possible it may have been lifted from the engineer's pocket, for all we know. As John Gruber of "Daring Fireball" stated in his blog today, it is rather telling that Gismodo chose to plaster all over the internet information about the Apple engineer who lost the phone, much of which is totally irrelevant to the whole stroy, but conveniently ignores any information on the person who supposedly found it. Inquiring minds would like to know more about this joker.

  1. nicolasd

    Joined: Dec 1969


    1984 my a**

    Let's get one thing straight, "wrenchy," Apple is a private company completely entitled to be as protective and secretive as it likes. No one is entitled to know about what's coming before Apple wants to reveal it: not customers, not employees, not stockholders and certainly not the press.

    "1984" is about an inescapable totalitarian society, devoid of personal freedom. Apple's employees are free to get jobs elsewhere if they don't like company policy. No one's forcing them.

    The fact is, Apple's competitive edge has ALWAYS been innovation. That means as soon as a product is known, Apple's competitors begin copying it relentlessly to erase that edge.

    Apple ONLY succeeds if it can maximize the degree and duration of the element of surprise.

  1. Titanium Man

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Apple's mistake

    They shouldn't have told Gizmodo it was real. They should have just sent in the black helicopters with the strike teams (in black tactical turtlenecks) to recover it. We all know Steve has such teams.

  1. Flying Meat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Locator service?

    Why didn't they just turn on the locator service and THEN call in the black helis and tactical turtle necks (I know. "What are a bunch of old guys gonna do when they get there, anyway?")


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