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Wozniak iPad demo results in firing of Apple engineer

updated 09:40 am EDT, Mon April 26, 2010

Showing wrong model may be to blame

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has admitted partial responsibility for a company engineer being fired sometime after April 3rd, the day of the iPad launch. Just after midnight on the 3rd, Wozniak says he was joined in a lineup by the engineer, "A.J.," who showed him a 3G iPad. A.J. claimed e-mail permission to use the tablet outside of secure areas beginning at midnight, and Wozniak says he took advantage of this to try the iPad version of Numbers for a few minutes.

Wozniak is even said to have spoken with CEO Steve Jobs later at night, who claimed the preview was "no big deal." The firing may have happened anyway, however, because the iPad was a 3G model, and not the Wi-Fi version which so far remains the only one available to the public. "If I'd known it was a 3G model," says Wozniak, "which I didn't, I probably would have saved his job by telling him he can't show it."

The Apple luminary adds that the firing is questionable, given that an engineer responsible for losing a prototype iPhone is still with the company. "I'm sure that Apple HR told the [other] engineer that it was because everyone in that same situation gets fired. Does that jive with this iPhone situation? What am I missing here?"

by MacNN Staff





  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969



    hey Jobs, can I work for Apple? Because I farking know how to keep a g**damned secret. Jeebus. What is up with some people?

  1. sribe

    Joined: Dec 1969


    What's the difference???

    Are you kidding me? One was an accident. One was deliberate.

  1. sammaffei

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The other guy will get fired, just not right now..

    The media focus is too much on Apple right now to fire Gray (the 4th gen iphone mishap drunkard). Firing Gray right now will only serve to demonize Apple in the media's eye (which seems to want to find things wrong with Apple on a daily basis at this point).

    What will happen... In about 2 or 3 months after the new iPhone is released (and the buzz has died down), Gray's division will have a "reorganization" and his position will be eliminated as part of the "shuffle." It will look like nothing more than a company restructuring ala business as usual.

    Hint to Gray, shop that resume around now!

  1. cartoonspin

    Joined: Dec 1969


    HR Issue

    Stop trying to figure out what goes on at Apple. HR issues are complex and usually require patterns of issues before anything happens. By the way, secrecy is in the HR documents that every employee signs.

  1. LenE

    Joined: Dec 1969


    There's a video

    I haven't seen it yet, but apparently he showed quite a few people, and the video went up on a mac fan site.

    Where I work, we have very strict rules about secrecy. Our biggest publicly known program is for Virgin Galactic, but I would be canned in a millisecond if I posted any video showing anything about it. We fly those planes publicly, and anybody can take videos and do whatever they want with them, but as an employee, I have a contractual responsibility to maintain strict secrecy about that program.

    The iPhone fourth generation was in flight testing, if you will, when it was "lost". It was in public, but as far as we know, the engineer who lost it was not posting youtube videos about it. The video of this iPad with 3G was taken behind the curtain, and although it was publicly acknowledged, it was still unreleased, and not available for public scrutiny.

    -- Len

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Feel free to criticize apple

    If you can't criticize Apple for firing a guy, who was showing a device to the company's cofounder and industry legend....then you can't criticize much, now can you?

    Go back to doing what you are told, you good little servant.

    I'll criticize apple for you, what a bunch of tools... The 3g iPad was certainly not a secret, it had been on presale for weeks before this incident. An authorized person, showing the device to Steve Wozniak results in a firing? It seems we have a company on autopilot with no sensible person available to analyze issues as they come up.

    Warning folks, warning...the next time you are in line with Steve Wozniak don't show him your iPad...frankly thats enough, for a complete non-issue that harmed Apple in no way, shape or form.

  1. ggirton

    Joined: Dec 1969


    It would be gracious

    It would be gracious for Woz to hire the guy. (But don't give him access to any secrets, though heh heh)

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Exactly what is so super-sanctimonious secret about the 3G iPad? It's an iPad, with a 3G card. We aren't talking about anything that we all don't already know.

    And if he had permission, he had permission.

  1. Salty

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Is it just me or does that sound stupid? I mean really... that's like firing someone for demoing last year's new iPod touch which looked the exact same as the last one!

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