If Apple announces a wearable that's not available until next year...

Victor Agreda Jr
V. Jr|09.08.14

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Victor Agreda Jr
September 8th, 2014
In this article: apple, iwatch, supply chain, tim cook
If Apple announces a wearable that's not available until next year...

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It'll be genius*. In no small part because, as of right now, no one has reported seeing a single millimeter of the device. If Apple shows off what it has been cooking but delays manufacture until later this year, it will also be one of the bigger tactical shifts for Apple during Tim Cook's tenure. Cook is a supply chain wizard, going back to why he was recruited from Compaq, having previously spent years at IBM. The fact that Apple may even be locking up the shipping channels, giving them a physical advantage in actually getting product into stores at the expense of competitors (hi, Samsung!), clearly shows Cook's savvy as a business leader.

The supply chain in China is typically the weakest part of Apple's secret process. Even bringing manufacturing to America can't hide things like a sapphire glass plant, dug up by Mark Gurman some time ago. Yet he, nor MacRumors, AppleInsider -- none of the rumor sites have managed to capture a wire or screen or strap of the rumored wearable. Why? It likely hasn't gone into mass production yet. You can't leak what you aren't making.

Jobs perhaps wouldn't have done this, but that is academic. He certainly had a flair for the dramatic and was able to keep things quiet, for the most part. The reality is what it is, however, and the best way to keep secrets these days is to keep your cards very close. Look at how Swift was kept under wraps for years. No one in the media reported Swift in advance, not even so much as a hint.

Until Apple can build a campus somewhere high in the mountains (or perhaps a helicarrier like S.H.I.E.L.D.), the leaky supply chain will continue to tip its hand. Personally, I'm looking forward to being pleasantly surprised tomorrow.

*Perhaps the only thing that would be more amazing would be hearing the product is ready to ship. It's not unprecedented to have a new product stay secret, as we had almost no supply chain leaks for the original iPhone or iPad. The iPhone was also announced first, then shipped some time later. Once people know what to look for it seems to be harder to keep things secret.

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