This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Apple's culture of secrecy about its products leaves the world gagging for information. But what is it like to work for one of the world's best known brands? Well, it is not very easy to find out. By DAVID WOODS
avinggonetothetroubleoflaunchiiig its $900 million 'I am a P C ad campaign, Microsoft's marketers must be kicking themselves. Everything it can do, it seems, Apple does better, and lor a fraction of the cost. Its secret weapon? Word of mouth - the power of wbich was demonstrated by tbe launch of the Apple iPad, the wonder-gadget tbat bas already sold more than a million units in the US. The Apple juggernaut appears relentless, even when shghtly suspect as wben tbe new version 4 of tbe iPhone was recently'accidentally' left in a bar in America and just bappened to be picked up by a tech blogger. With Apple and its CEO Steve Jobs still tight-lipped as late as January about the existence of its new touch-screen slate, the rumour mill went into hyperdrive. This btogosphere cbatter alone saw its share price rise by 1 % at the end of last year. Yet some say Apple is still far too dependent on the cult of tbe flamboyant Jobs, wbile it is notoriously reluctant to talk to tbe press. It is difficult to decipber if its 34,300 employees are hiding behind tbe façade of a strong brand, or if tbe company bas built up enough customer loyalty and employee engagement to continue to tbrive if the party ends sometime soon.
By the time CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the iPaü, speculation about li had fuelled a 1% rise m its share pnce
Anonymous Ex-manager aC Apple UK
"I don't think Apple is complacent. Its number one asset is ¡ts brand, and the protection of ¡t goes right up to Steve Jobs, who takes a personal interest in it. This filters down to the recruitment and HR functions. Apple does taik to the press but it is tightly managed. It used to speak openly and this led to confusing messages coming out. So it turned it around to give a more consistent message, which carried more weight. Take the iPad. for instance - the company has been careful about communicating, meaning the world is gagging for more information. I think this is much better than a massive advertising campaign. I find it extraordinary anyone could think Apple has become complacent. When Apple was in dire straights in the 1990s it was the loyalty of customers and staff that carried it through - this passion is engrained in company culture. I have been out of Apple for a year now - but I still have that passion for the company."
Mike Butcher, Editor, TechCrunch Europe
"Apple's modus operandi is to create the best products it can. This obsession with perfection ts led from the top by Steve Jobs. Apple doesn't have an open approach, it has a complete lockdown on communications to the point where staff sign contracts that could land them in court should they speak about Apple products. When the iPhone was being manufactured, only 30 people knew anything about the product and only 10 knew it was a phone. I don't believe Apple is hiding behind a brand façade, but the mystique works well for it. For example, when the iPhone came out. its Apps were not as good as some other smart phones on the market. But the 'reality distortion' works for them - people assume if Apple makes something, it must be good. It IS impossible to know what work-life is like at Apple because it is so secretive. But as an employee |l imagine! it n^ust be great to work for one of the best known brands m the world,"
Apple's income and sales figuras
Net inmiw. \hin' rriunllis lo 20 [»
20 ^ • • 08
islimnttflsales, Ql2010 S i i b n - S11.4bn
June 2010 HR 15
users may print. . However.Copyright of Human Resources (09648380) is the property of Haymarket Business Publications Ltd and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. or email articles for individual use. download.