Photo: Daniel Goodman / Business Insider
Apple uses a step-by-step process to design, prototype, and release all of its products, says Adam Lashinsky in his book “Inside Apple.”It’s called the ANPP, or Apple New Product Process. Companies like HP and Xerox used to operate under their own processes, sticking to a playbook when bringing a new product to market, but that’s hardly the case now.
Given the variety of products Apple makes, you might expect the company to allow for a little bit of serendipity to enter the design lifecycle, but Apple is still (quite literally) playing by the book.
When a prototyped product is ready to leave the lab, the process is taken over by an engineering program manager and a global supply manager. The engineering program managers, who are so powerful and revered that they’re known internally as the “EPM mafia,” coordinate the work of the engineers. The supply managers figure out how to acquire the materials to build the device and supervise production.
The product is designed, built, and tested in varying ways, and in the words of a former engineer, there’s an “overt rhythm” to it. Every four to six weeks, the latest prototype comes back to Cupertino for the executives to see and critique. Then it’s back to China to repeat the process, implementing any revisions.