The ‘Stealth Case’ to Keep iPhones Secret During Testing Revealed in New Photos

More than six years ago, an Apple engineer mistakenly left an iPhone 4 prototype on a bar stool in a nice German beer garden in Redwood City, California. The rest, as they say, is history.

The random dude who originally found it didn’t really have a clue he’d gotten hold of Apple’s biggest secret at the time as the prototype device was cleverly disguised as an ordinary iPhone 3GS.

Sonny Dickson has shared a few photos of what is being called the “Stealth Case,” which is the case that Apple engineers and others use to hide the new iPhone while it is being tested outside of Apple headquarters. The photos show the case that was used with the iPhone 6s Plus, but it’s expected that Apple uses similar implementations for other iPhone models.

The case is designed to keep the outside of the handset a secret, so no one out there not affiliated with Apple knows what the next iPhone will look like ahead of launch, even while testers use the handset in public. There is security tape along the sides of the case, too, to notify Apple if anyone tries to crack it open and get a peek inside.

“The person writes their initials next to it and any notes about it passing or failing or any other comments. It makes its way through each test/person. It then is finally sent with its ‘passport’ from China to Apple.”

One of the problems with such cases is possible radio interference. That’s exactly what is believed to have happened in Apple’s case, preventing engineers from determining how the iPhone 4 antenna performed in real life.

That mistake cost Apple dearly in terms of bad PR and forced its engineers to get back to the drawing board and redesign the stainless steel frame (which doubles as an antenna) for how people actually hold the phone in their hand.

[via MacRumors]


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