Book Claims That Apple Makes New employees to Work On Fake Products Until They Can be Trusted

Inside Apple

Apple’s obsession with secrecy is well known. Adam Lashinsky’s new book Inside Apple offers some interesting details into the company’s practices to ensure secrecy.

According to conversations he had with Apple employees, the company puts fresh recruits on dummy projects for a while to test their how trustworthy they are:

For new recruits, the secret keeping begins even before they learn which of these building they’ll be working in. Despite surviving multiple rounds of rigorous interviews, many employees are hired into so-called dummy positions, roles that aren’t explained in detail until after they join the company. The new hires have been welcomed but not yet indoctrinated and aren’t necessarily to be trusted with information as sensitive as their own mission. “They wouldn’t tell me what it was,” remembered a former engineer who had been a graduate student before joining Apple. “I knew it was related to the iPod, but not what the job was.” Others do know but won’t say, a realization that hits the newbies on their first day of work at new-employee orientation.

While Lashinsky was speaking at LinkedIn’s HQ, a former Apple employee corroborated his claims in a Q&A session with the author:

A friend of mine who’s a senior engineer at Apple, he works on — or did work on — fake products I’m sure for the first part of his career, and interviewed for 9 months. It’s intense.

The whole video, around 50 minutes long, is embedded below:

Lashinky’s book, Inside Apple, talks a lot more about Apple’s secretive culture, including a room at 1 Infinite Loop solely dedicated to designing product packaging, and improving the “unboxing” experience.

It is quite possible that some of these so-called fake products that Apple employees work on, end up getting shelved but making employees work on fake projects just because it doesn’t trust them seems a little extreme and unbelievable. It is also difficult to believe that employees some of whom are the brightest minds in the industry will tolerate such things.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments.

[via Fortune, Business Insider]

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  • Doesn’t surprise me one bit.

    • So the loser made a book? Who cares. That set is tacky and I’m sure the book dose not fall far from the tree.

      • Linked In?????? Already looks like bull sh!??.,

  • Amsterpelli

    As long as you are getting paid and don’t mind the work .. who cares? The money spends the same…

  • Apple isn’t the only company to do this. They’re not necessarily fake products, but rather experimental products that may never see the light of day. Either way, the employees are being paid just as usual and if any leaks are found, they’re easily traced to the trial employees.

    • Ya, maybe more of the “lab” kinda product.

  • AT&T rapes me

    Now only if they could catch the guy who keeps loosing the prototype iPhone in bars…

    • Rod


    • Bill Gates


  • Jesse

    This article, most notably the title, is full of terrible grammar and poor sentence structure.

  • marcello


  • marc

    i DO NOT think & i don’t buy the story. after weeks or months of interviews & after taking the pressure when tested on reaction attitude & on straight FWD thinking why scr*wing up on their first day or week. cleaners or maintenance or security guards are more likely to be the ones who can access copyrighted info & data when someone doesn’t log out their computer.
    competitors sending engineers & post-graduated to Apple for unlawful purpose , would take several months b4 actually start seeing real project design & therefore working on a whole pile of “cleaning” tasks for others initially.(all about bits & pieces hardly making sense for it is impossible to understand the project by looking at parts). most projects design (the engineering part) are likely to be outsourced at some other company then reviewed at apple. it’s like directing a orchestra, musicians do already know what to do & the essential skill required is the ability to fit in. (university education). marc

  • marc

    i don’t think & i just don’t buy that story. marc

  • MOY

    Apple is just looking out for it’s interests. Might seem extreme but very much needed. Never know if a spy from samsung tries to infiltrate!