Apple cherishes secrecy surrounding its products and plans and the company goes to great lengths to maintain it as well. Therefore, the tech giant’s Asian supply chain partners have devised creative names to refer to their big North American customer because they do not want to lose Apple’s business.
Even Apple’s long-term suppliers, Foxconn, TSMC, and Samsung, do not call it by its name
The Wall Street Journal reports that in Aisa the Cupertino tech giant is not mentioned by its name and called “the fruit company”; “Fuji”; “the three-trillion-dollar company”; “the honored North American customer” and “the big A.” The caution is taken over the fear of losing Apple business.
In contrast to Lord Voldemort of the Harry Potter series, the Client Who Must Not Be Named doesn’t cast deadly spells or converse with serpents.
Its powers, nonetheless, are fearsome. It can award—or take away—contracts for electronic parts and services worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
That is why suppliers’ public presentations and even private conversations hardly ever include the name of the company they’re discussing, for fear of offending someone or accidentally revealing competitive information.
The report further details that Apple’s long-term partners like Foxconn (iPhone assembler), TSMC (chip provider), and Samsung (display panels supplier) refrain from calling it by its name. The report states:
- Samsung Electronics Co. uses the nickname LO for “Lovely Opponent”.
- Foxconn Technology groups use the “big A”.
- Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. mostly avoids naming specific customers.
It may seem a little too careful, but suppliers’ fears are not baseless. Previously, the tech giant ended its negotiations with Hyundai and Kia to manufacture Apple car because the South Korean manufacturer could not maintain secrecy related to its talk with the tech giant and had publically announced that it was in touch with Apple for its autonomous EV.