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iPhone, a masterpiece of secrecy

30 months of absolute silence. The period with which Apple succeeded in keeping the development of the iPod secret was so long. Two and a half years during which not a photo, not an indiscretion that were not those generated by speculations based on logic, not a voice with specifications or features leaked on the Internet. A very long time, so long to seem incredible that even a company like Apple, very accustomed to the matter, has succeeded in the enterprise. Especially due to the fact that alliances and strategies have been built around iPhones involving partners such as Google, Yahoo and Cingular that have dozens of top managers and millions of customers. Not to mention a large patrol of Asian suppliers.

To explain how the company was possible an article published by Fortune that retraces the history of the iPhone with the intention of explaining the system with which Cupertino has operated to close any possible leak.

The first step was to prevent anyone, including the closest partners, like Google and Yahoo from seeing the phone. Never during development was the device shown during meetings with developers. To help them create the software without seeing the phone or interface, "screen" software known as "stacks" was created.

Even Cingular, with whom a pact was signed two years ago, has never seen, except a few weeks ago, the telephone. To allow the development of relations Cupertino led to cellular meetings with a temporary home, a provision that was also used during Apple's internal meetings.

Who could not not know everything about the phone, including its external appearance, was the very small handpiece of which the summit of Apple is composed. In this case, to avoid any risk, Jobs has imposed the strictest secrecy even with his closest relatives.

Schiller says, for example, that neither his children nor his wife knew the merit of the increasingly frequent and long meetings that were held as Macworld approached. "In the morning when I came out to come to the keynote * Schiller says * my son told me: Dad, can we now know what you're working on?"

Finally, Apple brought the iPhone to Macworld, Fortune explains, at a time when the presentation to the FCC, the Federal Communications Commission, the American body that must approve every radio transmitter, was close. At the very moment when the mobile phone ended up in the hands of the FCC, in fact, nothing of it would have been more secret.