On 60 Minutes yesterday, viewers were granted unprecedented access to Apple’s hyper-secret design studio. Managed by Jony Ive, Apple’s design studio is where a team of 22 handpicked designers collaborate and bring popular Apple products to life.

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Over the last 18 years, every single Apple product you’ve ever used began as nothing more than a sketch in Jony Ive’s lab. And until yesterday, no one outside of Apple had ever seen what it looked like from the inside. The 60 Minutes profile on Apple is well worth watching in its entirety, but the portion devoted to Apple’s secretive design studio begins at about 4 minutes in. While Apple’s penchant for perfection and iteration is widely known, the video below really drives the point home.

Naturally, access to the studio is severely restricted and subject to immense security. In fact, Tim Cook jokingly told Charlie Rose last night that there’s “probably “more secrecy here than at the CIA.
Speaking to the security which cloaks the design studio, Walter Isaacson noted the following in his Steve Jobs biography a few years back.

[Ive’s design studio] is shielded by tinted windows and a heavy clad, locked door. Just inside is a glass-booth reception desk where two assistants guard access. Even the most high-level Apple employees are not allowed in without special permission.

Another interesting tidbit we learned from 60 Minutes’ profile on Apple yesterday was that the company has 800 engineers working on perfecting the iPhone camera. While it was long known that Apple devotes a tremendous amount of resources towards improving the iPhone’s camera quality, this is the first time Apple has ever disclosed specific information about the composition of its camera team.

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