Apple's 10 Dirty Little Secrets

Posted by - Thursday, August 9th, 2012

All eyes are on Apple as the embittered legal battle with Samsung ensues.

The company has garnered its fair share of attention lately amid the patent wars and the rumored September release of the iPhone 5.

The company itself has been tight-lipped about the project, even though the press has been buzzing with speculations about screen size, width, and the revamped dock connector.

And that's not all the company is mum about. Over the years, outside sources have gotten wind of very little from the development rooms.

But with the trial, more things are coming to light. And Apple enthusiasts are now getting a peek into the mind of the company.

CNN has delved into the specifics of the trial and come up with some interesting facts. Here are ten things you probably never knew about Apple:

1. The iPhone could have been the iCar

Apple showed the world a new way of listening to music with the iPod. Once that innovation took off like wildfire, the company knew it had to maintain momentum. But the answer wasn't always the iPhone.

Phil Schiller, senior vice president, said:

“There were many things that led to the iPhone at Apple. Apple employees tossed around ideas like making a camera, a car, and other 'crazy stuff.'”

2. They considered a 7-inch iPad

The Samsung Galaxy tablet is 7 inches. Compared to the iPad's 9.7 inches, that might seem small, but apparently not to company officials.

The trial revealed an email from senior vice president of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue to CEO Tim Cook, in which Cue praised the idea of a smaller screen. And the idea even has the company founder's mark of approval.

From the email:

“I believe there will be a 7” market and we should do one. I expressed this to Steve several times since Thanksgiving and he seemed very receptive the last time.”

Maybe a smaller iPad will be on its way soon.

3. The “Purple Project” manager was Tyler Durden

Scott Forstall, Apple's senior vice president of iOS software, was put in charge of the creation of the iPhone's user interface, dubbed the “Purple Project.”

The project was incredibly secretive, with the team instructed to forfeit their nights and weekends. They worked in a separate, secure area, and even went so far as to put a sign at the location that said “Fight Club,” a reference to the Chuck Palahniuk novel and Brad Pitt movie of the same name.

Their most important rule was just like that of the movie:

“The first rule of 'Fight Club' is you don't talk about 'Fight Club.'”

4. Zoom wasn't always so easy

“Purple Project” manager Forstall was responsible for the the double-tap Web page zoom function.

He became annoyed with the prototype, pinching the screen repeatedly to get pages bigger and smaller. Eventually, and lucky for all iPhone users out there, his annoyance turned into innovation.

5. The iPhone could have looked a lot different

Apple came out with a number of iPhone prototypes in determining what was best for the company and consumers. And they all looked like completely different phones.

One idea was similar to the iPhone 4, though with significant differences. The design was rectangular, but with angular, sharp edges.

Another was octagonal, and a third went a completely different way with a very rounded back. Then there was an ogee style, with a thicker top and a very thin bottom, and there was a tall, skinny version. There was even one that was like a giant iPod Mini, with angular edges and rounded sides in aluminum casing. But finally, the rectangular, round-edged design won out.

6. Apple designers are like family

At least in the way they work together. Rather than working in separate cubicles or a conference room, they all sit around a kitchen table and sketch out their ideas together.

Then they bounce the ideas off one another, and though many, many ideas get thrown out or set aside, there are also plenty of options to choose from.

7. The cases come at customer request

After all we've learned so far, there's no denying it – Apple takes pride in its well thought-out design. And consumers like it too, but they also don't want to have to replace their shiny new phone.

A survey done by the company revealed that 78% of users get cases. Protecting their phones is pretty important.

8. Apple tells you what you want

Apple doesn't take customer feedback. It just isn't a part of company policy.

Instead, as Schiller said in court:

“We never go and ask the customer 'what features do you want in the next product?' It's not the customer's job to know. We accumulate that information ourselves.”

9. The iPad cost more to market than the iPhone – way more

Apple revealed information about its marketing costs, and it turns out the iPhone was just cheaper. With the birth of the iPhone in 2008, the company spent $97.5 million on ads. But in 2010, it spent $149.5 million to advertise the iPad.

10. The iPad had prototypes, too

And one of these rough prototypes had very much the same design as the current, except for one pretty important thing – there was no home button.

Another was pretty big in comparison. The white prototype was very thick and looked more like a laptop than a tablet.

And a third prototype took a leaf out of Microsoft's book and attached a kickstand to the back. Perhaps a built-in stand would have been nice, but it also would have taken away from the sleek, portable quality of the finished iPad.

No, I don't have any exciting information about the next iPhone or revelations about a new big innovation. But it's pretty interesting to have a chance to glance into the highly secretive, incredibly profitable tech company.


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