The iPad hits stores Saturday, and Apple store employees are getting extensive coaching on how to sell it to the hordes expected to line up for one. There’s just one problem: They still haven’t touched the thing. “We haven’t seen it; we never do,” one employee tells Reuters. “Every store employee I know, including the managers, they haven’t seen it.” And that includes the techs (aka “geniuses”) who’ll have to repair them should something go wrong.
Apple has been taking with the extreme-secrecy routine ever since the iPhone’s 2007 release. “We did not see or hold an iPhone until an hour before it went on sale,” said one ex-employee. “We didn’t know much more about it than people asking us.” But another says he understands why Apple teases them so. “It drives people crazy,” he said. “but it generates all this interest. It’s human nature.” (Read more iPad stories.)