I work in the SQA field in SV and have heard stories over recent years of the devolving state of various QA groups within Apple. Our company has had a few people leave to Apple over the years, recently to return to our company after experiencing a QA culture with serious and worsening issues.
One of our best QA engineers had a job interview scheduled at Apple a few weeks ago; by his own admission, and I believe him fully, only to do a bit of spying, and keep his interview skills up to date on the other side of the table. The hiring manager called him the day before the interview to tell him the position had been filled. Co-worker called up the internal recruiter he had been working with to find out what had happened. Apparently after interviewing only one person, a friend of the hiring manager, they hiring manager had found a perfect fit and didn't feel more interviews were necessary. I have a feeling their halls are being filled with that high a level of cronyism. Not to say there isn't plenty of who-you-know in the industry in terms of getting interviews, but typically you still have to compete with others to get the job.
From my own experience with Apple's recruiters, back when it was a more prestigious company to work for in the area, I found myself tossed by the wayside even though enormously qualified. In one exchange, I went through a phone screen and it was obvious my previous experience perfectly mirrored the project for which they were staffing. It's not the type of project that's extremely easy to find people with previous experience in. One of the last questions they asked was my experience with OSX, which was unrelated to the tech in the product. I said I'd only used OSX in an incidental capacity (though plenty of *NIX experience), to which they replied they only hire OSX experts and wished me good luck. I was floored. As if they thought I would be unable to quickly learn the workings of a new, but derivative OS.