Apple sues former App Store manager over book that spills inside secrets

Apple sues former App Store manager over book that spills insider secrets


Apple's not happy about former Apple employee Tom Sadowski's new book, App Store Confidential.
Apple's not happy about the new book App Store Confidential.
Photo: Murmann Verlag

Apple is suing former German App Store manager Tom Sadowski and his publisher over App Store Confidential, a new book that reveals “business secrets” Apple says Sadowski wasn’t legally allowed to disclose.

Cupertino’s lawyers are asking Sadowski and publisher Murmann Verlag to destroy all manuscripts of the German-language book, and to recall any copies currently in circulation. Apple says the book contains information that is of “considerable economic value” to the company.

App Store Confidential was released in Germany on Tuesday. It offers a behind-the-scenes look at how the App Store works. It also sheds light on the author’s job at Apple, and his experiences meeting with the likes of CEO Tim Cook. The book additionally reveals information on “what dos and don’ts apply when working with Apple.”

Sadowski worked at Apple for a decade in Germany. He started out in 2009 as head of iTunes marketing for Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Later, his role expanded to cover Central and Eastern Europe. Eventually he headed the App Store for Germany, Austria and Switzerland in 2014. Sadowski left Apple in late 2019.

Does App Store Confidential spill secrets?

Apple insists that it has “long supported a free press and supports authors of all kinds.” However, it claims that this book violates guidelines for employees that should not have been broken.

This isn’t the first time Apple has taken steps to stop a book from being published. Back in 2005, Apple leaned on publisher John Wiley & Sons to refrain from publishing an unauthorized biography of Steve Jobs, titled iCon: Steve Jobs, The Greatest Second Act in the History of Business. “It was clear they didn’t want us to publish the book,” Susan Spilka, a spokeswoman at Wiley, said at the time. When Wiley went ahead and published it, Apple reportedly stopped selling any books by the publisher in its retail stores.

Apple also sued the student behind the Think Secret Apple rumor site for allegedly divulging Apple trade secrets.

Cult of Mac has not read App Store Confidential. Therefore, we cannot say whether any of the information it contains proves incendiary. However, if it reveals information covered by a nondisclosure or similar agreement, Apple is within its rights to sue.

The fact that the book is already being published may be problematic, too. That suggests the title could have been worked on while Sadowski was an Apple employee.



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