Apple has a reputation for being extremely secretive in its day-to-day operations. Sometimes, employees might not even know which specific product they’re working on, one former Apple intern who requested to be referred to as only Brad told Business Insider.
During his time at Apple, Brad spoke with a full-time employee that had worked on the first iPad before it launched in 2010. This employee told Brad that he or she had been working on 9.7-inch displays for one or two years, but had no idea why.
“They didn’t know if it was a big phone or a small laptop,” Brad said. “They had no idea. It wasn’t until the product release where Steve Jobs went on stage and showed the iPad that they realised this is what we worked on for the past two years.”
Brad said he was surprised that Apple’s system of secrecy works so well.
“It’s super crazy that they can make this work, because the different teams are siloed,” Brad said.
Employees are only given information about their projects on a need-to-know basis, which can sometimes make it difficult to collaborate since you can’t always ask your co-workers for advice.
“It makes your day-to-day super hard because sometimes, if you’re working on something and you’re having problems with another team’s code, you can’t go to them for help because you’re not allowed to,” Brad said.
Brad isn’t the first to shed some insight as to how secretive Apple really is when it comes to product development. Back in April, an app developer told Business Insider’s Steven Tweedie about what it was like to visit Apple’s secret Apple Watch lab before the watch officially launched. Developers had to hold up their wrists to prove that they weren’t trying to steal a watch before even going to the bathroom.