Encounter with an Apple Employee: Secrecy and Juicy Tablet Hints

Doodledoo

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 31, 2008
108
0
I was reading Jon Gruber's post today about the tablet and its "cone of silence," as he brilliantly puts it, and when he mentioned that certain Apple employees have "fallen off the map," it immediately made me think of what happened this past Sunday at Toronto's Yorkdale Apple Store.

I was there for a Genius Bar appointment, as I attempted to get Snow Leopard installed on my MacBook (Genius' advice: erase, clean install, use CarbonCopyCloner). As anyone who has visited the store can attest, the Bar is in a cramped part of the store at its very back. So, to my side, I had the pleasure of eavesdropping on an interesting conversation.

The store manager had come out to chat with a real-live Apple HQ employee, who I gathered was in town visiting family over the holidays. (He was purchasing a Crucial USB flash drive and some other peripheral, by the way.) But it was the deeper substance of the conversation that was intriguing. When the manager asked him what he was working on, he sarcastically dismissed her with "What are you talking about? Apple doesn't make new products!" She pressed him, and he got a little more serious. "I really can't tell you," he said, at which point she more or less backed off. I got distracted by the Genius, so I missed part of the conversation, but when I tuned back in the guy was mentioning that "if you looked [him] up in the employee registry, [his] entry was faked." (He only identified himself as Jonathan when the manager asked for his name.) He then also mentioned that he was in industrial design down in Cupertino, and had worked on the new iMacs and the Magic Mouse.

After that juicy little tidbit hit my ears, he unfortunately headed off to do whatever other Boxing Day Weekend shopping he was at the mall to do. But that was much more interesting, for me, than getting a Genius to help me with my issue.

Seems to jive quite nicely with Gruber's claims of a "cone of silence" and employees falling "off the face of the Earth," right? And, of course, it strikes me as interesting that someone who worked on design for the newest, display-focused iMac and multitouch-based Magic Mouse would be within the new project's inner circle.

The image of the Apple tablet, in my head, just got a bit more aluminium'ed and smoothly-curved. Thoughts? Anyone have any similar encounters, recent or otherwise?
 

NightGeometry

macrumors regular
Apr 11, 2004
208
103
"if you looked [him] up in the employee registry, [his] entry was faked." (He only identified himself as Jonathan when the manager asked for his name.) He then also mentioned that he was in industrial design down in Cupertino, and had worked on the new iMacs and the Magic Mouse.
Sounds like he was possibly talking about Jonathan Ive, thought I;m not sure why his entry in an employee directory would be faked. Maybe to stop people bothering him? I'd guess he tends mostly work on things that are pre-release, and so there should be little about what he is working on...
 

Doodledoo

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 31, 2008
108
0
Ant to say that thisguy was referring to himself. He said "if you look me up" but I just changed it for context's sake.
 

MikhailT

macrumors 601
Nov 12, 2007
4,332
827
Umm... why don't I believe this story?
It's one of the "my friend's mom's sister's bf's mistress told me" posts. We hear it everyday and now we just got desensitized to those kind of posts. It's just easier to ignore and disbelieve all of them.
 

Doodledoo

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 31, 2008
108
0
I swear, it happened. The store manager was a short black lady with an English accent. Her name was Evon. There was a little cluster of other Apple Store employees listening in, too.

The guy himself was maybe 5'8", with short brown hair and blue eyes; he was very much dressed like a The Gap mannequin.

My Genius' name was Guy Evans. He was either Australian or South African, judging by his accent. He gave me his card.

And think of it this way: if I was making this up, would the guy really not have admitted anything?

Here's what I tweeted when I got home that afternoon: "I was at the Apple Store today and I overheard the store manager eagerly interrogating an industrial designer from Cupertino. Secretive guy.
6:11 PM Dec 27th, 2009 from Tweetie"

That tweet is linked here: https://twitter.com/GaryGerbrandt/status/7103367456

I'm not kidding. It really happened.

EDIT: And no, it wasn't Jonny Ive. I never said it was. This guy was some industrial designer, but not The Jon. He had a North American accent.
 

MikhailT

macrumors 601
Nov 12, 2007
4,332
827
Nobody is going to believe you any more than they believing me on meeting Steve Jobs in the Apple store and how he told me that the tablet will come out for 599$. That's just the reality of being online.

I can easily tweet your story, change it a little bit to make it more believable and it still doesn't change anything. Nobody knows until Jan 26th.
 

Warbrain

macrumors 603
Jun 28, 2004
5,701
287
Chicago, IL
Guys, I don't really want to believe this but I highly doubt the OP is the kind of person to fake a story. And this does provide a bit better overall description of the events than the other ******** we read.
 

MisterMe

macrumors G4
Jul 17, 2002
10,650
28
USA
Guys, I don't really want to believe this but I highly doubt the OP is the kind of person to fake a story. And this does provide a bit better overall description of the events than the other ******** we read.
That is so not the point. The OP may very well be telling the truth as he knows it. However, he cannot vouch for the man at the center of his story.

The OP may not know better. However, most of us do know better. There is simply no way that an Apple executive is going to walk into a store of any kind, identify himself as an Apple executive, and then proceed to spill information about products in development to the employees in a public conversation. Just not going to happen.
 

ThunderSkunk

macrumors 68030
Dec 31, 2007
2,896
2,365
Milwaukee Area
Holy toledo. I just read 17 posts about a questionable story about not learning anything from an unknown guy who didn't say anything.

18!

What the hell do I come to this site for?
 

Lewiji

macrumors newbie
Dec 1, 2007
14
0
Why would this be fake? There's no reason for it to be fake. The guy revealed nothing, as you'd expect. I used to work in an Apple store and corporate guys used to drop in all the time if they were in the area, they like to see how things are going, out of curiosity rather than for work.

I entirely believe the story, because, well, it was worthless.
 

econgeek

macrumors 6502
Oct 8, 2009
337
0
Original poster is probably telling the stone cold truth. The guy in question probably works on mice or keyboards or something.

Hell, if you work for apple and your primary product is USB cables, you can't talk about it, and probably wouldn't in such a situation.

I haven't worked for Apple, but I did work at Microsoft and a variety of tech companies, large and small, and I was always sworn to secrecy... when I was working on windows and when I was working on mundane boring products too.

It would be stupid to blow that in a public place like an apple store just because some random other apple employee asked you.

The mystifying thing is, why the assumption that the only product this guy could be working on that he couldn't talk about would be the tablet.

Think Apple has abandoned iWork or Final Cut or the iLife suite? Likely they haven't, and that means there are software developers walking around who are working on them and absolutely have to be quiet. But when someone says "I cant' talk about what I'm working on" it immediately sounds super glamorous.

Gruber's "cone of silence" just tells me he has no real insight or understanding about the tech industry.
 

greygray

macrumors 68000
Oct 22, 2009
1,848
1
And the fact that the OP hasn't returned since makes me doubt the credibility of this yarn.
 

paulyras

macrumors 6502
Dec 3, 2006
486
3
Singapore
It's prolly John Appleseed... All those apple employees calling him all the time... He's must know everything at this point.
 

Beardown17

macrumors newbie
Jan 21, 2010
4
0
Of course Apple is developing new products. Any indication of what kind of product or mention of a tablet?
 
having a sibling who works for apple, i can confirm that within the realm of all things apple, they are tied to strict NDA's.

for instance, my brother can't discuss anything he may be doing regarding development or anything related to OS updates etc, but he is free to discuss what he is doing in regards to outside contracting work or his actual job.

personally, I hope, dream and wish every day that I can figure out a way to work for apple's design/enclosure engineering group.

but I hosed myself by getting into construction out of college instead of manufacturing.