January 11, 2007
Now that everyone’s suspicions have been confirmed, just how exactly did Apple keep the iPhone so mysterious for so long?
Apple, legendary for the ferocity with which it safeguards new product announcements, had extraordinary challenges in keeping the iPhone under wraps for 30 months. Besides involving Cingular, Google and Yahoo, not to mention the unnamed Asian manufacturer, the project touched nearly every department within Apple itself, Jobs said, more so than in any previous Apple creation.
However, Apple does make it clear to employees and business partners that they will be dismissed and possibly prosecuted for leaking company secrets. Apple has also played the bully role, suing bloggers and other independent journalists for posting purported advance information about unannounced Apple products.
Secrets - along with patents - protect Apple against competitive threats from foreign companies that have become expert at instant cloning of Apple’s products and designs. But secrets also create a major buzz factor.