How Apple uses Jamaica to keep its secrets under wraps

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The Jamaica-branded Apple Watch strap.
Photo: Apple

It’s well known that Apple, like many multinationals, uses a variety of non-U.S. countries to help reduce its tax bill. However, what is less well known is that the company also takes advantage of some interesting pieces of international legal minutiae to keep its future plans secret.

In particular, Apple is a big fan of Jamaica when it comes to filing trademark paperwork about its upcoming products — since Jamaica doesn’t easily provide would-be snoopers with a way to search databases about newly-filed information.

Banks went code-name crazy to keep Apple Pay a secret

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Apple's partners went to extremes to keep news of Cupertino's mobile payments entry quiet.
Apple's partners went to extremes to keep news of Cupertino's mobile payments entry quiet.

Apple goes to some pretty crazy lengths to ensure secrecy for its various projects, and it expects a similar commitment from its partners.

According to a New York Times article, prior to releasing Apple Pay, the key players (which included Apple and banks such as JP Morgan Chase) referred to each other by code-names after rumors of Apple’s interest in mobile payments surfaced in early 2013.

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Apple’s Fetish For Secrecy

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Quora is a fantastic site in which members ask questions of experts in various fields, and for the past year or so, there’s an absolute fantastic thread going asking about how Apple keeps its secrets… and it contains not only some fantastic insight there on what lengths Apple will go to be secretive about new products, but about how information on new products leaks… like, say, the time the Pentagon leaked the 1998 iMac to the world.

Why Apple Will Never Surprise Us With ‘One More Thing’ Ever Again

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The iPad mini, leaked months before it debuts.

Earlier this year, Apple CEO Tim Cook famously said that Cupertino was going to “double down on secrecy” this year. It hasn’t worked. Apple — once a company known for the surprise “one more thing” — had every single detail of the iPhone 5 leaked to the public before the actual event. Can Apple ever get its secrecy back?

Probably not. A new report talking to a number of Apple employees under the condition of anonymity suggests that while Apple HQ is as secretive of new products as ever, Cupertino can do nothing about leaks that come out of the Asian supply chain.

The Secret Rules Every Apple Store Employee Must Abide By [Humor]

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It looks like they're having fun, but Apple's secret rules are nothing to smile about.
It looks like they're having fun, but Apple's secret rules are nothing to smile about.

Any Apple fan would love to know what goes on behind the scenes at their local Apple store, but unfortunately the company’s obsession with secrecy means the only way to do that is to get a job there. It seems like a great place to work; after all, who wouldn’t want to play with Apple devices all day and then tell people why they’re so great?

But did you know that on their days off, every Apple staffer has to workout rigorously to ensure they are strong enough to carry the store’s cash from the tills to the vault? This is just one of the secret rules every retail employee must follow each day. Thanks to the Joy of Tech, we can take a glimpse at some more of them.