Apple hardware teams are battling a new set of challenges owing to strict security guidelines and travel restrictions as the tech giant prepares for the prototyping of the next devices.
New Apple TV, HomePod, iMac, iPhones, and other hardware are due later this year.
According to a report in The Information, core Apple staff has resorted to tracing shapes in the air to describe components they’ve had to leave back in the office.
“Because of travel restrictions, they’ve had to make decisions based on grainy photos of parts sent from Chinese factories, rather than doing so in person,” the report said.
Apple’s hardware teams meet in person at the Cupertino, California-based headquarters to “review upcoming products, often bringing key components of their devices to show colleagues”.
Since most Apple employees are at home owing to the state’s “shelter-in-place” policy, the iPhone maker “faces a unique set of challenges because of its secretive culture, focus on hardware and dependence on Chinese manufacturing”.
The report is based on dozens of interviews The Information conducted in recent days with current and former employees, as well as others who work closely with the company.
Apple is also especially reliant on face-to-face meetings and internal file-sharing and communications software.
Some employees also told The Information that they hope Apple will continue to allow flexible and remote work options after COVID-19.
A recent report in the Wall Street Journal said that Apple workers at home realize that slow home network speeds and confusing security restrictions are impacting their ability to work effectively.
Software developers who were sent home have been complaining about what work they are allowed to perform remotely.
Other employees have been unable to access key internal systems from home due to Apple’s stringent security policies.
Apple on March 6 suggested its employees on the California campuses to work from home as an “extra precaution” eve as new coronavirus cases spread on the west coast in the US.
In an updated statement, Tim Cook said that all of Apple’s offices are moving to flexible work arrangements worldwide outside of Greater China.