Apple's lawyer turns to old school paper when his iPad Pro fails during congressional hearing

Apple's lawyer turns to old school paper when his iPad Pro fails during congressional hearing
Apple general counsel Bruce Sewell was speaking yesterday at the House judiciary committee hearing discussing the stalemate between Apple and the FBI in relation to Syed Farook's Apple iPhone 5c. Unless you've been in a coma or a cave, you probably are aware that Apple has refused to build the "unique" OS required to unlock the terrorist's phone, and retrieve information inside the handset demanded by the feds.

So yesterday, Sewell is talking to members of Congress using an Apple iPad Pro to help him read his speech. All of a sudden, he switches from scrolling on his tablet to scrambling through his three-ring binder. Apple's general counsel was experiencing issues with his tablet, and was looking to find the hard copy of his speech that he had thoughtfully brought with him just for this type of situation.

You can check out the moment when this happened by clicking on the official video of the hearings. The action starts at the 3 hours, 32 minutes and 55 seconds mark. From that moment on, Sewell's iPad Pro was nothing more than a prop. It's a good thing for Apple that its in-house counsel doesn't believe 100% in a paperless society.

source: U.S. House via TheGuardian

Related phones

iPad Pro
  • Display 12.9" 2048 x 2732 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.2 MP front
  • Processor Apple A9X, Dual-core, 2260 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 10307 mAh



1. Johnnokia

Posts: 1158; Member since: May 27, 2012

In business, school, and any job, everyone needs a pen, papers, or hard copy book. No matter what advanced electronic device we have, we can't and we won''t get rid of these at all!

3. o0Exia0o

Posts: 903; Member since: Feb 01, 2013

Agreed, especially for such a high profile case such as this one. You would have to be insane to go in without a hard copy of your materials. I wonder if it was really a problem with the iPad pro or if it didn't just run out of power...

27. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Or maybe he just didn't know how to actually use it? You know, because Apple devices aren't really as simple to use as Apple tries to claim. Because how can they be when they force you to do things ass backwards.

9. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

Right, 'cause toyPad fails, makes every other tablet fail at replacing pen n paper...keep iDreaming, I and students (http://bit. ly/1Hruf8o), lawyers (http://bit. ly/1QIG5yr) and doctors (http://bit. ly/1GkL73J), etc. have already replaced 1000s of paper worth of documents/5-star notebooks/textbooks/binders/handouts/modules/cours​e-packs/slides/lab-reports/etc with a Surface.

13. o0Exia0o

Posts: 903; Member since: Feb 01, 2013

Just because lawyers, doctors and students have replaced totting around big charts, briefcases and backpacks doesn't mean that they have gotten rid of paper hardcopies of important documents. Electronics can fail and any company that is 100% reliant on them can find themselves in a world of trouble if they don't have a hard copy of important documents. Do you really think that the hospital doesn't have a paper file of your medical chart?

17. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

Important data should exist in at least 3 distinct sources, otherwise, it doesn't exist. That is the solution to prevent any loss due to electronics, and every serious business puts that to practice...consider doing the same then you wouldn't need to worry about tech failure.

28. Penny

Posts: 1851; Member since: Feb 04, 2011

Yep, and for many professionals that own a private practice, this is also required. Have the info stored locally, have it backed up onsite, and have it backed up offsite.

30. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Companies that have claimed to have gone paperless, still storage hard copies. Hard copies are never going to completely go away because any legal document that requires a signature will need to be a hard copy. Just because "some" people can do many things without a hard copy, doesn't mean they can do everything without one. if this guy didn't have a hard copy, he'd be in crap creek.

35. lucasrizzo

Posts: 4; Member since: Mar 02, 2016

Legal documents that require a signature need to be a hard copy? I don't think so, sorry. In Brazil, Courts have already abandoned paper. Digital certification, have you heard of that?

18. engineer-1701d unregistered

Hilarious when they're talking about all this private affection and all this technology to help Security yet the documentation feels right in front of their face

19. xq10xa

Posts: 810; Member since: Dec 07, 2010

My work is pretty close to 100% internet and computer based......yet I still find some tasks easier with a notepad and pen.

46. Ruturaj

Posts: 1484; Member since: Oct 16, 2014

I always have to carry notebook to my meeting as well, sadly because I have desktop to work on which is great btw 8 core xeon, 32gig ram and 400gb SSD.

2. Ordinary

Posts: 2454; Member since: Apr 23, 2015

AkoSiKuting "If tablets, then ipad haters gonna hate!!"


Posts: 411; Member since: Sep 29, 2015

Honestly it happens to everyone. I don't even like apple an can admit that. Although will still say that apple is adding to many devices to its portfolio causing problem software. Jobs fid not want that. Sony and Jobs where the future tim seems more like he cates about being a super hero than innovator.

6. blingblingthing

Posts: 962; Member since: Oct 23, 2012

Probably a force close on the app.

7. natypes

Posts: 1110; Member since: Feb 02, 2015

That's my experience with iPads as well. Set them up at work for employees regularly. Many of them have some kind of issue new out of the box. And many fail in the field for us and not due to user error. Batteries die, radios go bad, screens go bad (could be user error, but there's no evidence). Most overrated Apple product produced and that says A LOT.

11. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

You are so full of it. I have never seen that many iPads have that many problems. If iPads were failing at the rate you're talking about, it would have been front page news since 2010. In the case of the situation above, it could have been an app fail or the battery simply died.

16. natypes

Posts: 1110; Member since: Feb 02, 2015

I've got videos to show force closing straight out of the box. I don't just play with one and assume they're all great. I've set up more ipads than you've seen in your life.

22. Jimrod

Posts: 1605; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

I've got an iPad 2 from when it came out, have dropped it on concrete and smashed a corner (not the glass but it's separated from the metal) and it's never failed me - I've even just used it as the source for music at two Hi-Fi shows this month. My wife is a teacher and they have iPads for all the pupils, they've been using them for two years and no issues. You must be really unlucky.

34. natypes

Posts: 1110; Member since: Feb 02, 2015

Great sample you used to conduct your study. Like I said, I knew no one would believe me b/c they believe apple paid articles, so I took videos. I have 3 videos of 3 different ipad 2 air's closing when going into settings and one rebooting itself. And those are just the ones I had the presence of mind to shoot a video of b/c they were already acting up. Had another one would not connect to the apple server or our exchange server through my wifi hotspot. Internet worked fine and all the other 100's of devices (apples included) have worked fine. Connected it to another identical hardware/carrier hotspot and it set up w/o issue. Standing over my co worker when he was trying to show my some exchange stuff on his ipad a couple of weeks ago and he had to keep tapping the screen b/c it wouldn't register his touches good. I don't care who believes it. You're just biased and believe what you want instead of the truth.

25. AlikMalix unregistered

I have an old iPad 3 LTE+Wifi from 2012 (I think) had it since new. I use it for work (I'm a contractor) and I use it at home, lately my 4 year old been using it as a primary device, but I still do a lot of work and play games on it (including real racing 3 and a drafting app to draw and edit blueprints - a $7.99 app that I prefer to use over my $130.00 equivalent on my PC) the only problems I've seen was forceclosong apps when Apple switched to iOS 8 for maybe a couple months in the beginning. And a few UI buttons overlapping due to same early iOS 8 versions. iOS 9 tins very well on that old iPad, I still use graphical apps on it as I like to draw. It's been dropped down the stairs rolling and eventually landed on tiled floor at bottom - the corners are evidence that it's been beaten up, it had spills on it (my kid grew up with it, so yeah). Result- it stil has original non cracked screen (not even chipped) it has never seen a repair shop, it is still our first and only tablet in household. My LTE and wifi work great, the charging USB cable has failed about 2 years ago (replaced by the one from Home Depot for $3). It syncs all my work from my cellphone as it should, it runs 97% of the apps that came out today (albeit some slower than new tablets) - I say 97% because there's only one game that I couldn't install AfterPulse - but if you see that game (it's not on android) you'll see why, but I'm sure there's more apps that weren't seeing to work on iPad 3 - I just haven't ran into any. If your iPads are having so many issues, it's probably because of your own VPN setup and software your company uses. OR. I BET, your emplyees don't give a snot about the iPad's you guys issue them because it's not there and probably are reckless with them in the field - don't effing tell me that they're not - I have a friend who has been issued iPhones at his work - he throws the thing everywhere, it's got spills, and he cracked the screen on first week. Like someone said, if a small sample of iPads like the one you describing, has so much issues - iPads wouldn't be considered the best tablet all these years and still today.

36. natypes

Posts: 1110; Member since: Feb 02, 2015

You're not worth my time but I will say you're wrong on all accounts b/c this was without a vpn or any company software on the device. Brand new out of the box from a carrier. Best tablets? lol by paid comparisons. I'd put my 4 year old Transformer Prime against any iPad.

37. AlikMalix unregistered

I'm not denying that iPads don't have trouble. Nor am I denying that there's a possibility that you received a faulty unit or two. But I'm going by real consensus vs your obiviously biased "experience" - and the real world says - iPads are better than android competition. Whether you have problems with all your iPads or not can also be traced to how good of an IT guy you are when you "set them up". Personally and people I know that own iPads - are extremely happy with their experience. Why don't you guys switch to android tablets or windoes if they're such crap?

38. natypes

Posts: 1110; Member since: Feb 02, 2015

1. B/c the upper management believes the same crap that you do. 2. They are all technologically retarded and call every tablet an iPad.

41. AlikMalix unregistered

Or maybe iPads are more reliable, secure, and is supported by Apple better. Maybe the don't want anything extra on the tablet like bloatware, carriers are, and outdated OS. Wow, if you're smarter then your bosses, why aren't you running your business. Calling people dumber than you (because that's what you're doing) because they done their homework and decided that iPads are better for the business is really biased and pigheaded.

45. natypes

Posts: 1110; Member since: Feb 02, 2015

You're so fuking ignorant it's ridiculous. I never said I worked at a business. My job doesn't reward you for being smart, it rewards you for being here longer. That's not me being bitter, it's a fact. You can't take promotional tests until you've reached certain amount of years here. I'm at the highest level I can possibly be. And, yes, I am a lot smarter than they are. But, once again. there you are thinking you know everything.

43. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

You just gone techiexp. Though we have to admit that iOS wasn't as rock solid as it was before.

8. DnB925Art

Posts: 1168; Member since: May 23, 2013

But, but, "it just works!" The lawyer was just, "using it wrong."

10. SuperAndroid507

Posts: 361; Member since: Jan 06, 2014

Seems like he ran out of battery, that last swipe could have been the last warning before auto shutting off, or something like that.

12. o0Exia0o

Posts: 903; Member since: Feb 01, 2013

That's what I was thinking...

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.