Apple's Product Launch Security Profiled Ahead of iPad Debut


Reuters takes a look at the security surrounding Apple product launches, using iPhone introductions as an example of what Apple retail staff can expect for the iPad's U.S. debut this Saturday. Apple, which is known for its secrecy, will almost certainly be keeping its employees in the dark about the iPad up until the last minute, even for those employees who are expected to fix them.

"We haven't seen it; we never do" before a product is launched, said one employee, who asked not to be identified because workers are barred from speaking with the media. "Every store employee I know, including the managers, they haven't seen it."

With its notoriously secretive corporate culture, Apple is loathe to circulate any iPads among retail troops ahead of the debut. Even in-store Apple repair techs -- known as "geniuses" -- don't yet know how to fix the gadget.

Looking back to the iPhone launch, the report notes that at at least one store, Apple shipped two pallets for the launch with one serving as a decoy to deter anyone tempted to try to sneak a peek at the new devices. Store managers were also directed to personally guard the iPhones during the night before their debut as another layer of security.

Despite all of the promotion for the iPad viewable on Apple's site, the company has kept a very close veil around the actual device, with only a select few developers receiving access to devices for development and testing purposes in advance of the tablet's launch, and even in those few cases the development models have been subject to relatively tight security standards.

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