Apple's Work on New Upcoming Products Progressing Normally as Employees Adjust to Telecommuting
Apple's development of upcoming products is progressing as usual despite the fact that Apple employees around the world are working from home, according to a new report today out from Bloomberg.
Apple is still working on new versions of the HomePod, Apple TV, MacBook Pro, budget iPads, Apple Watch, iPhone, and iMac, all of which could be released "as early as later this year" and have been previously rumored for release in 2020. Apple's software updates are also on track and are expected to be debuted in June at a digital version of WWDC.
Along with this information about Apple's product development plans, Bloomberg highlights many of the same telecommuting challenges shared earlier this morning in a report from The Information. Though work is progressing on new products, there have been some minor hardware development setbacks.
Some employees who do work that requires hands-on development are still being allowed into Apple's Silicon Valley offices, but in other parts of the world like Italy, Germany, and Asia, stricter work restrictions have prevented that from happening. Apple has put a heavy emphasis on confidentiality while employees are working from home, letting them know that it's "critical to keep confidential work confidential."
Apple has been allowing engineers to take home early versions of future devices since March, which is normally not allowed, and there is heavy oversight.
Taking home a future product requires the green light from the vice president of an employee's organization. That list of staff with future devices at their homes also is sometimes reviewed by Apple's senior vice presidents, the management team run by Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook.
Apple has also "clamped down" on which employees are able to take home future versions of new software, including iOS 14, which has already leaked. Employees working on iOS 14 and other software updates must also receive approval from Apple's executive team.
Employees at Apple Park, Infinite Loop, and other Bay Area offices could be working at home through at least May 1, as the Bay Area is expected to extend its shelter in place mandate. When other offices around the world reopen will depend on local guidelines.