Apple is one of the world's most valuable companies. They've accomplished a brand name that's not only iconic but a household name.
Their lines of smartphones and laptops and desktops, as well as home theater products, have surged into the mainstream and been a dominant force for nearly two decades now.
So much revenue relies on their new products being in high demand that Apple is forced to remain tight-lipped about upcoming product specifications in order to ensure their competitors aren't able to edge them out on competing releases.
Which is why Apple held an internal briefing in front of a crowd of around 100 of their high ranking employees titled, “Stopping Leakers - Keeping Confidential at Apple”.
Unfortunately for Apple their presentation to suggest means of preventing leaks was actually publicly leaked by an unknown leaker.
The presentation was fronted by three members of Apple’s Global Security division: director of global security David Rice, director of worldwide investigations Lee Freedman, and Jenny Hubbert, from the Global Security communications and training team.
Apple's Global Security team is one to awe at, comprised of former members of NSA, the US military, the FBI, and the US Secret Service.
David Rice is heard in the leaked audio discussing events which have occurred in the past such as employees being offered 4 months worth of salary to steal parts to Apple’s newest devices in order for Chinese competitors to beat Apple to the release.
He goes on to recall a time when “We had 8,000 enclosures stolen a long time ago by women putting it in the underwire of their bra” in order to expedite them to their competition first.
Rice says in 2013 Apple had to buy back 29,000 total enclosures ahead of the iPhone 5C announcement in order to “keep it out of every blog on Earth.” The housing enclosure is typically the most valuable part to steal as competitors are dying to know what to build their own products against.
Such a battle against leaks is one Rice notes as an exceptional accomplishment given the company screens upwards of 3 million people a day coming in and out of their overseas factories. In 2016, Rice says Apple produced 65 million housings, with only four stolen: a one in 16 million loss ratio.
Rice is quoted as saying that, “Last year was the first year that Apple campuses leaked more than the supply chain,” Rice says in the audio. “More stuff came out of Apple campuses last year than all of our supply chain combined.”
Apple has several California based ‘campuses’ where products are also manufactured right here in the US. His suggestion is that more leaks come from right here in America than overseas.
Two of the US leakers mentioned include one who worked at Apple’s online store and another who worked on iTunes. Both were secretly leaking information to blogs, and although their intentions are unknown, Rice says of US leakers, “We oftentimes get people who are really excited about our products and they end up finding something to share and they will go out and say, ‘Hey, guess what we did.' Or somebody will ask them a question and instead of just saying, ‘I can't talk about it,’ they will say too much.”
Apple’s Global Security team claims it has been successful in the reduction of leaks, they admit there's still a serious threat of it occurring.
In April, for example, an unverified schematic of the iPhone 8 leaked, and this month, leaks were provided by three alleged Foxconn employees ahead of WWDC with details on products like the HomePod.