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Apple's Strict Security Measures for Pre-Release Hardware


Leaked photo of iPad bolted to table (Source: Engadget)

Business Insider offers some details from one of the first outside developers to work with the original iPad before its debut, describing the steps Apple went through to ensure secrecy. While some of the same details were reported last year, the new account offers a few additional items of interest.
The criteria was that we had to have a room with no windows. They changed the locks on the door.

Three developers and I were the only people allowed to go in the room. Apple needed the names and social security numbers of the people who had access.

Apple needed to be able to drill a hole in the desk and chain the devices to desk. They used those bicycle cables.

They had these custom frames built around them so we couldn't even tell what the iPads looked like. We could plug into them so we could code to them and we could touch the screen and play with that, but we couldn't see the form factor.

Then they took pictures of the wood grain. If any pictures leaked out, they could trace it back to which desk they came from.
While those security measures were obviously quite strict, they were not enough to prevent several photos of the device in testing from leaking out the night before the iPad was unveiled.

Related roundup: iPad Air

Top Rated Comments

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39 months ago
This is a little ridiculous IMO. It's a a toy not a top secret black project with national security implications.
Rating: 94 Votes
39 months ago

This is a little ridiculous IMO. It's a a toy not a top secret black project with national security implications.


It's not a toy... Its a multi-million dollar investment with potential multi-billion-dollar revenue. To a single person its a toy, to the company who makes and sells the product, its the company's revenue stream.
Rating: 51 Votes
39 months ago
I heard they were chained down by iPadlocks.
Rating: 40 Votes
39 months ago

This is a little ridiculous IMO. It's a a toy not a top secret black project with national security implications.


Do your toys make you billions of dollars?
Rating: 31 Votes
39 months ago
"...and then we were told not to tell anyone about the measures I just described as we signed the NDA." ;)
Rating: 25 Votes
39 months ago
and if apple didn't take these measures then pictures and all kinds of details would leak out months prior to release
Rating: 24 Votes
39 months ago
Next step for Apple - chain their employees to chairs permanently.
Rating: 22 Votes
39 months ago
And yet they were able to lose the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S/5 in a bar...
Rating: 15 Votes
39 months ago
Sites like this wouldn't exist without Apple's strict secrecy. How many Intel rumor sites are out there?
Rating: 15 Votes
39 months ago

This is a little ridiculous IMO. It's a a toy not a top secret black project with national security implications.


Actually, corporate espionage is far more pernicious than national espionage. And there is no concept of friendly nations or allies in corporate espionage. With a hot product Apple's right to try to keep a lid on it.
Rating: 11 Votes

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