Apple Designed Its Own Specialized Face Mask for Corporate Staff, Store Employees
Apple's latest launch isn't an upgraded operating system or a splashy new iPhone with, like, six cameras this time. It's the Apple Face Mask.
According to Bloomberg, which first reported the news, Apple designed and created the mask in-house and will begin rolling it out to corporate and retail staff. In typical Apple fashion, the mask has a few specialized features, including a triangular section at the nose and a rounded chin. The nose section is designed to prevent glasses from fogging.
MacRumors has a purported image of the mask, a screenshot taken from what looks to be an Apple staff email:
— MacRumors.com (@MacRumors) September 9, 2020
The mask has adjustable straps and a three-layer construction, and is washable and reusable up to five times. Apple said it tested designs to find the construction with the best filtration capabilities without using materials that would impact the still stretched-thin supply chain for medical PPE.
The company does not appear to have plans to offer the mask to customers, so you can hop out of that Apple Store line now.
Believe it or not, this isn't Apple's first foray into PPE, or even its largest. Apple CEO Tim Cook said in April that the company had already used its supply chain to source 20 million masks for health workers, and was designing and manufacturing its own face shields for medical facilities. Cook said Apple aimed to ship 1 million of the shields in its first week.
Apple is dedicated to supporting the worldwide response to COVID-19. We’ve now sourced over 20M masks through our supply chain. Our design, engineering, operations and packaging teams are also working with suppliers to design, produce and ship face shields for medical workers. pic.twitter.com/3xRqNgMThX
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) April 5, 2020
In addition to the Apple Face Mask, the company will issue store employees some number of see-through masks from ClearMask, selected to help staff communicate better with hearing-impaired customers. Those masks are FDA approved, but were not developed by Apple.
In past weeks, Apple has made the news for picking on a small meal-prep app over its pear logo, potentially sourcing uniforms from forced labor camps, and weathering an assault from "Fortnite" developer Epic Games. The mask launch, which has generated some positive or at least neutral buzz, is a nice change of pace for Apple.