Apple sources rebut claims staff are being rushed back to work

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Following a claim that Apple is pressing employees to return to work at Apple Park, sources within the company say that it's doing no such thing.

Apple is planning to bring its staff back to its offices when they are able to stop working at home because of the coronavirus. As AppleInsider reported, it is doing so in an orderly way and chiefly waiting until the situation is clearer.

Bloomberg, however, has claimed that Apple is pressing harder to get people back than other technology firms. Sources within Apple are calling this complete nonsense.

The original piece by Mark Gurman has been rebutted by Apple sources via writer John Gruber. Where Gurman's article was headlined "Apple Plans to Return More Staff to Offices in Break from Rivals," Gruber headed his as "Bloomberg Publishes Clickbait in Break from Rivals."

Neither writer names sources with Apple, but unlike Gurman, Gruber quotes a couple of them and the tone of their responses is as indicative as their words. One, for instance, calls Apple Park "a goddamn ghost town" and says that isn't changing soon.

Gurman maintains that Apple managers are telling workers when they're expected back in the offices. There is reportedly a phased plan and it begins in early May, with a second tranche planned for July, and a third one at some point afterwards.

By contrast, Gruber spoke to Apple managers and quotes them as saying no. "There is no real timeline associated with phases two or three yet," they said. That doesn't mean there's no plan, and no intended schedule — but Gruber's sources underline that everything is dependent on how the coronavirus situation develops.

Managers told Gruber that they are under no pressure to get people back by certain dates. Specifically, one source told Gruber that Apple's leadership team is "totally fine with us not returning any time soon."

As evidenced by his reference to clickbait, Gruber accuses Bloomberg of inaccurate reporting and consciously calling Apple's approach different to other firms solely to attract attention. As with every other piece Gruber writes on his Daring Fireball site that mentions Bloomberg, he also includes a footnote referencing that publication's calamitously bad reporting of a fake Chinese spy chip scandal.

This citation refers to the hugely high-profile piece from October 2018 in which Bloomberg claimed that servers from the Super Micro company had Chinese spy chips embedded in them. This was despite every source — from technology firms to the US government to international intelligence agencies — all saying it is not and cannot be true.

It was also despite the same article including the information that the Bloomberg company's own servers from Super Micro had no such spy chip. The writers of that story have been ridiculed for their work, yet promoted within the company.

Bloomberg has yet to respond to Gruber's criticism of Gurman's piece, but then it's 19 months since that "Big Hack" story, and it has yet to respond to that either.


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