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Tim Cook says Apple is 'very serious' about doubling down on secrecy

post #1 of 26
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Already known as one of the most secretive companies in the world, Apple plans to become even more protective going forward, the company's chief executive said in an interview on Tuesday.

Apple CEO Tim Cook was interviewed at the opening night of the All Things D conference in California, where AppleInsider was in attendance (live coverage available here). Questioned by journalists Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg, Cook revealed that Apple plans to "double down" on product security and secrecy.

"We're going to double down on secrecy," Cook said Tuesday. "I'm very serious about this. Double down."

Cook's comments come after Apple has seen a number of high-profile product leaks in recent years ahead of their formal unveiling. Most significant was the discovery of an iPhone 4 prototype in a California bar in 2010.

But while Cook indicated that Apple is stepping up its efforts to conceal unannounced products and plans, he also revealed that the company intends to open up on other issues, particularly those related to overseas labor at partners like Foxconn.

Tim Cook


"We put a ton of effort into taking overtime down," Cook said. "It's hard because it's complex. Some people want to do a ton of work, move to a factory and work long hours, and then move home."

The Apple CEO revealed that Apple is now reporting hours for 700,000 people, and it puts out its own labor report. While Apple has filed lawsuits against companies for what company officials feel has been theft of its product designs, Cook said he hopes "people rip us off blindly" when it comes to social accountability.



Visit AppleInsider's D10 archive for more of Cook's comments and ongoing coverage of the conference.
post #2 of 26
It's not like they can do too much more on the 'secrecy' front without resorting to (near) less-than-ethical means. :-/

Anyway... It's a tech company, not the DoD.
"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
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"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
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post #3 of 26

They're not doing a great job so far. It's pretty much common knowledge that Apple will produce a new iPhone, and it will have a screen that is larger, smaller or the same size as the current one. There are also fairly well substantiated rumors (as Apple Insider posts almost daily) that the new iPhone will look similar or different to the current iPhone.

post #4 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post

It's not like they can do too much more on the 'secrecy' front without resorting to (near) less-than-ethical means. :-/
Anyway... It's a tech company, not the DoD.

Require prototype device check ins every 60 minutes to keep testers accountable.

 

More deliberate leaks to link back to potential traitors, as well as harsher, legal consequences.

 

But you're obviously right; Cook should just put less emphasis on secrecy and let the good times roll. They just make high tech toys, so really, in the grand scheme of things, who cares, amirite?

post #5 of 26
Interesting he says this about secrecy the same day those awful iPhone "leaks" came out. May or may not be related but I feel this gives credence to the fabrication of those models
post #6 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drealoth View Post

They're not doing a great job so far. It's pretty much common knowledge that Apple will produce a new iPhone, and it will have a screen that is larger, smaller or the same size as the current one. There are also fairly well substantiated rumors (as Apple Insider posts almost daily) that the new iPhone will look similar or different to the current iPhone.

 

It's common knowledge because they make a new iteration of the iPhone every year. The specifics are unknown besides rumors.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #7 of 26

Secrecy is worth a lot of money, especially when whole industries use Apple as their R&D department. (Would Android—or any Android handset maker—be where it is today without Apple having led the way? Would Microsoft and Amazon be doing what they’re doing?)

 

So, what could Apple do that would cost some money, but be worth it, with regards to secrecy? Plant red herrings! They’ve probably done some of that, but take it to the next level: leak photos and even actual housings/cases for things that don’t even exist! Have a factory do a test run of 500 fake iPhone designs, let a few slip away, and recycle the rest. Order components you don’t need, and sell them later at a loss. Even hire a dozen people full time to make these little clues SEEM to fit together. Make EVERY report about Apple internal plans start to seem like it came from Digitimes... not to be trusted! The competition won’t know what the heck is going on anymore.

 

Then, although real leaks can’t be stopped, nobody will know which are real.

post #8 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drealoth View Post

They're not doing a great job so far. It's pretty much common knowledge that Apple will produce a new iPhone, and it will have a screen that is larger, smaller or the same size as the current one. There are also fairly well substantiated rumors (as Apple Insider posts almost daily) that the new iPhone will look similar or different to the current iPhone.
Everything you say is clearly preposterous, yet has the ring of truth. Your position with DigiTimes seems secure.
post #9 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post

It's not like they can do too much more on the 'secrecy' front without resorting to (near) less-than-ethical means. :-/
Anyway... It's a tech company, not the DoD.

 

Sure they can: they can be more careful about who they add to their board of directors.

post #10 of 26

"Cook revealed that Apple plans to "double down" on product security and secrecy."

 

(whispers) Shhh, but don't tell anybody!

/

/

/

Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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post #11 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post

It's not like they can do too much more on the 'secrecy' front without resorting to (near) less-than-ethical means. :-/
Anyway... It's a tech company, not the DoD.

 

Now that there's more than one option for a lot of their production and suppliers (which is where many of the leaks happen) they have the leverage to say "it doesn't matter if you personally didn't leak it, if it comes out of your company we will take our business elsewhere immediately" and mean it. And that can stop a lot of folks 

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #12 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post
Cook's comments come after Apple has seen a number of high-profile product leaks in recent years ahead of their formal unveiling. Most significant was the discovery of an iPhone 4 prototype in a California bar in 2010.

Someone finding it was more significant than the loss of that same iPhone?

post #13 of 26

Secrecy is most important when it's a whole new market (such as the iPad was) and you want to get a stranglehold before anyone else has a chance to come in. It's also important when entering an existing market, but less so. Hopefully this doubling down means they have another entirely new invention in the works.

post #14 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post

It's not like they can do too much more on the 'secrecy' front without resorting to (near) less-than-ethical means. :-/
Anyway... It's a tech company, not the DoD.

Look at Android before the iPhone was announced. That's what secrecy can do for you. Imagine if Apple had told everyone about everything it was doing with the iPhone and iPad for the years they had it in development. Can you not see how that would hurt Apple?

They can do a lot more but more security and accountability costs money. Frankly I'm impressed that they have such a tight control over it as it is since they can't produce their products in a bubble and their manufacturing takes place in China, not to mention the contracts with companies for specialized components.

I'm not what the DoD has to do with anything. If your the company that all others look toward for the 4 arms of your business and there is plenty of evidence of other companies following your lead or blatantly stealing your IP don't you think they have an obligation to themselves and shareholders to protect themselves as much as possible?

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #15 of 26

Is that the first direct Apple admission that iPhone glass is made by Corning (other than the Isaacson biography)?
 

post #16 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_CA View Post

Someone finding it was more significant than the loss of that same iPhone?

 

I know you're parsing words to diss the article. But in reality, discovery is more significant than the loss. If it was lost as in lost in a small fire (for example), it would not have been as big a deal.

post #17 of 26
should Tim Cook really be gambling with Apple security.../kidding
LOL
post #18 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackbook View Post

Interesting he says this about secrecy the same day those awful iPhone "leaks" came out. May or may not be related but I feel this gives credence to the fabrication of those models

So what if all these "leaks" are controlled and that is why they are awful, they are fakes and intended to keep the focus away from the real product.

post #19 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by GS Turn View Post
So what if all these "leaks" are controlled and that is why they are awful, they are fakes and intended to keep the focus away from the real product.

 

Who says these are awful? People who want them to be 'fake leaks'. 

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply
post #20 of 26

They are currently doing a good job in regards to the Mac Pro.

post #21 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTac View Post
They are currently doing a good job in regards to the Mac Pro.


Yes. We get it.

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply
post #22 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by ankleskater View Post

Is that the first direct Apple admission that iPhone glass is made by Corning (other than the Isaacson biography)?
 

Yes, the first official admission.

Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

 

Now that there's more than one option for a lot of their production and suppliers (which is where many of the leaks happen) they have the leverage to say "it doesn't matter if you personally didn't leak it, if it comes out of your company we will take our business elsewhere immediately" and mean it. And that can stop a lot of folks 

It seems that the suppliers of the various pieces of the case are where the most serious leaks are coming from. These suppliers can do the most damage by letting it out that Apple is redesigning an old product or coming out with something totally new. Apple has been able to control any news of electronic product spec changes much better.

"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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post #23 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by ankleskater View Post

Is that the first direct Apple admission that iPhone glass is made by Corning (other than the Isaacson biography)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post

Yes, the first official admission.

When Apple released that Job Creation page and report months ago they listed Corning and Kentucky.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply
post #24 of 26

Interesting that I just happened to be watching a National Geographic piece on North Korea, their secrecy from the rest of the world, and absolute dictatorial power of one man.  Perhaps Apple should open factories there?

post #25 of 26

This is a bit of a relief. At least *this* key part of Apple's culture is intact. 

 

Steve Jobs is up there somewhere, smiling.  And so am I. 

post #26 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Haggar View Post

Interesting that I just happened to be watching a National Geographic piece on North Korea, their secrecy from the rest of the world, and absolute dictatorial power of one man.  Perhaps Apple should open factories there?

 

You're confusing Human Rights with the policies of a tech company. 

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