New Products Previewed by Apple Board Months Before Launch
6 to 18 months before new and refreshed Apple products are released to the public, they are previewed by the Apple board. That's the revelation from Apple chairman Arthur D. Levinson, who spoke Tuesday afternoon at Stanford's Graduate School of Business.
"So how much input does Apple's board have in the creation of its new products?" was a question posed by curious attendees of the event, which featured an on-stage interview with Levinson by Stanford student Vicki Slavina.
According to Levinson, the board doesn't have much input at all in the product creation process, although new products are presented to the board sometimes more than a year before launch. If presented early enough, he says, some board insights are taken into account.
Board members "with expertise" in certain product areas reportedly wield more influence than others. Nonetheless, long-term direction and planning fall under the board's jurisdiction. "Individual product review isn't a top priority," Levinson clarified.
"The board is not there to define product specs," he said. "It's there as a sounding board. It's there as a resource. And ultimately, the board is there to hire and fire the CEO."