Dejian (Ken) Zeng, a NYU student and former Apple iPhone factory worker has just revealed how the Cupertino-based tech company keeps its new iPhone a secret from its employees. Zeng spent six weeks working at a Pegatron-owned iPhone factory in China and has divulged the information to the public. To keep the iPhone 7 a secret while the iPhone 6s was still in production, the new facilities and infrastructure needed were kept under wraps with a big curtain. The workers were then moved out of the facility into a sub-factory building so that the assembly line they worked on could be renovated before they got moved back in.
To prevent theft during the iPhone 6s production process, workers were provided a locker room where they not only changed but also had to leave their phones and all metal objects. From there workers had to swipe key cards, pass a facial recognition test and pass through a metal detector. During the iPhone 7 production process, security was doubled with two metal detector screenings and heightened sensitivity on each — the sensitivity was so high that even miniscule amounts of metal found in bras would set off the alarms.
Speaking on leaks, Zeng hints that maybe it comes from high level managers because regular workers can’t bring their phones in or have any sort of metal but managers can carry their phones. In the past, he says there have been cases of people trying to sneak out phones and thus security has heightened and now check to see that each phone is actually the owner’s and that there is nothing in the gallery taken from the camera.
Finally, security and Apple audits went up between iPhone 6s and iPhone 7 production. Ken said he saw Apple auditors two to three times during the 6s production and that was bumped up to every single day during 7 production. You can read more about Ken’s story here.