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View Full Version : Verizon iPhone Prelaunch Testing: "Acme" Code Name, Text Check-Ins to Ensure Security




MacRumors
May 25, 2011, 12:41 PM
http://images.macrumors.com/im/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/05/25/verizon-iphone-prelaunch-testing-acme-code-name-text-check-ins-to-ensure-security/)


http://images.macrumors.com/article-new/2011/05/verizon_iphone_begins.jpg


TechnoBuffalo shares (http://www.technobuffalo.com/companies/apple/iphone/behind-the-verizon-iphone-veil-of-secrecy/) claimed details of Verizon's internal testing for the iPhone 4, highlighting security measures taken by Apple and the carriers to maintain control over the test units.

According to the report, a small number of Verizon employees were provided with iPhones two weeks before the public debut, using them out in the field to ensure that there were no last-minutes hitches in real-world performance. Staffers receiving iPhones were of course required to sign non-disclosure agreements regarding the new hardware, which the source unsurprisingly describes as being above and beyond what is typically required for unreleased hardware. Those privy to the testing process were also reportedly instructed to never refer to the iPhone by name, instead using the code name "Acme" to refer to the device.

But what is particularly interesting are the security methods reportedly employed to help ensure that the handsets remained in the possession of the testers, a system that required testers to manually report in on their devices every twelve hours.Our source describes a unique protocol requiring staffers to text a secret PIN code to a dedicated phone number every 12 hours. This served as ongoing confirmation that the handset was still in the proper hands. So no PIN code, no functionality.Early field testing in Apple Stores around the country reportedly began as much as six months ahead of the Verizon iPhone's launch, but it was only in the last several weeks before launch that testing opened up beyond engineering staff to a broader, albeit still select, group of Verizon employees. As is par for the course with Apple product releases, the vast majority of Verizon employees were kept in the dark about the iPhone testing and launch plans.

Article Link: Verizon iPhone Prelaunch Testing: "Acme" Code Name, Text Check-Ins to Ensure Security (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/05/25/verizon-iphone-prelaunch-testing-acme-code-name-text-check-ins-to-ensure-security/)



Small White Car
May 25, 2011, 12:47 PM
No surprises here but I still find this kind of 'Apple-secrecy' story fascinating to read every time we hear about one.

Born Again
May 25, 2011, 12:51 PM
Friend goes to his buddy and asks what phone do u have there

Oh it's the ACME

Friend goes - no seriously what is that ?

It's the AcME!



Yah that's believable :)


They should Of called it a Samsung Captivate and no one would suspect a thing! ;)

FSMBP
May 25, 2011, 12:52 PM
It seems surprising because no one would think twice looking about the Verizon iPhone 4 as they would assume it's just an AT&T one.

I mean, Apple could just have it say "AT&T 3G" for the signal bar on their test units & no one would be the wiser.

But, Apple is Apple.

Beaverfish
May 25, 2011, 12:55 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8J2 Safari/6533.18.5)

Hmmm I wonder what the passcode was for. Because apple already have the ability to brick the phone remotely. Apart from the Hot Spot feature the software was identical.

LegendKillerUK
May 25, 2011, 12:56 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8J2 Safari/6533.18.5)

Hmmm I wonder what the passcode was for. Because apple already have the ability to brick the phone remotely. Apart from the Hot Spot feature the software was identical.

How do we know there wasn't an additional bit of code used? After all, it was in testing for 6 months. Then remove the addition and out the door.

MacMan86
May 25, 2011, 12:56 PM
Staffers receiving iPhones were of course required to sign non-disclosure agreements regarding the new hardware, which the source unsurprisingly describes as being above and beyond what is typically required for unreleased hardware.

Really? Obviously I'm not in that area of work but I would have imagined NDA's were fairly standard for this kind of thing...

Sweetfeld28
May 25, 2011, 12:58 PM
I don't see really what the point of hiding a one year old phone, was, but it was a good idea for the check ins.

d0minick
May 25, 2011, 12:58 PM
It strikes me as a very primitive way to keep tabs on the phone. I thought Apple would have something ":apple:different:apple:".

But hey, if it works, it works!

3goldens
May 25, 2011, 01:01 PM
Must be a slow news day!
No new photographs or rumors about the new Iphone 5 from those
reputable case manufactures that Apple always keeps in the information?

Blorzoga
May 25, 2011, 01:10 PM
Sounds like the people in Lost who had to punch in that code every 58 minutes or whatever it was.

acslater017
May 25, 2011, 01:11 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8J2 Safari/6533.18.5)

Hmmm I wonder what the passcode was for. Because apple already have the ability to brick the phone remotely. Apart from the Hot Spot feature the software was identical.

The passcode/sign-in was probably to ensure that even if you didn't KNOW it was lost, it couldn't be used without proper authorization. Rather than having to confirm its loss, contact Apple, send out the signal and hope that it's still on, etc.

That, and I imagine each tester had his/her own personal passcode to ensure that only they could use it, and not any other tester.

ThisIsNotMe
May 25, 2011, 01:13 PM
Next thing you know they are going to be tagging the employees with RFID.

outlawarth
May 25, 2011, 01:14 PM
What this story about Apple’s secrecy proves is that nobody (including the analysts and their trusted sources) really knows anything about future Apple products or release dates. It’s all speculation and wishful thinking.

Thunderhawks
May 25, 2011, 01:18 PM
It strikes me as a very primitive way to keep tabs on the phone. I thought Apple would have something ":apple:different:apple:".

But hey, if it works, it works!

They really just wanted to track them and get the names of the pubs the testers would leave them in!

gmcalpin
May 25, 2011, 01:21 PM
Really? Obviously I'm not in that area of work but I would have imagined NDA's were fairly standard for this kind of thing...
It's saying that they had to sign NDA's above and beyond the normal NDAs they would sign for every unreleased device.

Probably something saying if they get caught leaking something, Steve Jobs can rip their still-beating hearts out of their chest or something like that. :)

nishioka
May 25, 2011, 01:21 PM
Really? Obviously I'm not in that area of work but I would have imagined NDA's were fairly standard for this kind of thing...

No, NDAs are pretty common, the article was referring to the fact that the contents of the NDA seemed to be a bit heavier than usual. Including not referring to the iPhone by name, even in internal dialogues.

quinney
May 25, 2011, 01:24 PM
Acme, huh? Based upon a recommendation from Wile E. Coyote, I have always found Acme to be a reliable supplier.

bushido
May 25, 2011, 01:28 PM
PUSH THE BUTTON

http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a385/dmbeternal/Countdown.jpg

if u dont, SJ is going to hunt ur ass down

landonjh
May 25, 2011, 01:28 PM
Interestingly enough, as a former AT&T employee I can say this, the code name for the original iPhone with AT&T was Acme, and the 3G was Wintergreen. Never did find out what the 3GS or 4 were codenamed.

Rot'nApple
May 25, 2011, 01:29 PM
No PIN Code = Pit Stop to German Bier Garden. :D
/
/
/

Themaeds
May 25, 2011, 01:29 PM
Microsoft just sent me an Xbox 360 to test.....they said to be very quiet about it....

ciTiger
May 25, 2011, 01:30 PM
The best safe guard for their flagship product...

Doctor Q
May 25, 2011, 01:37 PM
If there were performance problems with less than two weeks before the public release, would Verizon really have enough time to do anything about it?

And if an employee missed the 12-hour deadline, what would they do? Send thugs after them?

Themaeds
May 25, 2011, 01:38 PM
If there were performance problems with less than two weeks before the public release, would Verizon really have enough time to do anything about it?

And if an employee missed the 12-hour deadline, what would they do? Send thugs after them?

I am hearing if they missed the deadline they would become the first members of the Human Centipad

MacMan86
May 25, 2011, 01:43 PM
It's saying that they had to sign NDA's above and beyond the normal NDAs they would sign for every unreleased device.

Probably something saying if they get caught leaking something, Steve Jobs can rip their still-beating hearts out of their chest or something like that. :)

No, NDAs are pretty common, the article was referring to the fact that the contents of the NDA seemed to be a bit heavier than usual. Including not referring to the iPhone by name, even in internal dialogues.

Fair enough, thanks

JAT
May 25, 2011, 02:11 PM
But what is particularly interesting are the security methods reportedly employed to help ensure that the handsets remained in the possession of the testers, a system that required testers to manually report in on their devices every twelve hours.
Why the departure from "Can you hear me now?" every minute?

Glideslope
May 25, 2011, 03:11 PM
Simply LOVE IT! "Jobs, James Jobs". or more likely, "Cook, James Cook". :apple:

bmwhd
May 25, 2011, 05:13 PM
No, NDAs are pretty common, the article was referring to the fact that the contents of the NDA seemed to be a bit heavier than usual. Including not referring to the iPhone by name, even in internal dialogues.

I can confirm this from my source. He deals with NDAs all the time but was surprised at the teeth in the one he had to sign for the test unit he had.

louis Fashion
May 25, 2011, 07:04 PM
Great! Now what's cook'n for the Verizion iPhone 5?

RaggieSoft
May 25, 2011, 07:50 PM
Acme, huh? Based upon a recommendation from Wile E. Coyote, I have always found Acme to be a reliable supplier.

Now that made my day!! Thank you. :D

Eriamjh1138@DAN
May 25, 2011, 08:33 PM
It's SUPER Genius!
http://www.cartoonspot.net/looney-tunes/images-looney-tunes/wile-coyote-A.jpg

Doctor Q
May 25, 2011, 08:40 PM
Now that the secret about "Acme" is revealed, they'll have to come up with a new code name next time. Perhaps they'll pick "NotAcme".

MacMan86
May 25, 2011, 08:47 PM
Now that the secret about "Acme" is revealed, they'll have to come up with a new code name next time. Perhaps they'll pick "NotAcme".

"Acne"

bmwhd
May 25, 2011, 09:19 PM
Great! Now what's cook'n for the Verizion iPhone 5?

Stand by. What I do know is Fall time frame, single platform for both AT&T and Verizon. But then again, everyone knows that by now :D Oh, and OTA firmware from this source too.

MacMan86
May 25, 2011, 09:27 PM
Stand by. What I do know is Fall time frame, single platform for both AT&T and Verizon. But then again, everyone knows that by now :D Oh, and OTA firmware from this source too.

Care to give any info? Your post history seems to be full of mentions of this 'source' (along with name dropping yourself as an iOS dev at irrelevant times). Are we talking Apple source? Carrier source? Imaginary source?

paintblock
May 25, 2011, 09:39 PM
Because no one would notice the "via iPhone" when you're testing your facebook app and say "Hey, aren't you a Verizon engineer?"

AppleScruff1
May 25, 2011, 09:54 PM
Really? Obviously I'm not in that area of work but I would have imagined NDA's were fairly standard for this kind of thing...

Except that with Apple if you break the NDA you are executed hit man style.

MacMan86
May 25, 2011, 09:57 PM
Except that with Apple if you break the NDA you are executed hit man style.

Ha. Since leaving Apple I've broken the NDA on the odd occasion, I'm still standing.

Wait, there's a knock on my door, back in a minute…

res1233
May 26, 2011, 12:35 AM
No PIN Code = Pit Stop to German Bier Garden. :D
/
/
/

I'm curious. Why do you always put 3 trailing slashes at the end of your comments?

Steelers7510
May 26, 2011, 07:00 AM
So I'm guessing that "I promise not to get hammered in a bar" is now in that NDA that they signed. :rolleyes:

MarximusMG
May 26, 2011, 08:58 AM
If there were performance problems with less than two weeks before the public release, would Verizon really have enough time to do anything about it?


I'm thinking probably not. I thought that was interesting as well.

ilovemyibook
May 26, 2011, 09:57 AM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_0_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8A306 Safari/6531.22.7)

Because no one would notice the "via iPhone" when you're testing your facebook app and say "Hey, aren't you a Verizon engineer?"

If you have an iPod Touch it will say that it's from an iPhone.

bmwhd
May 26, 2011, 10:15 AM
Care to give any info? Your post history seems to be full of mentions of this 'source' (along with name dropping yourself as an iOS dev at irrelevant times). Are we talking Apple source? Carrier source? Imaginary source?

Good morning to you too :rolleyes:

You seem the type that would have been stepping off 20 paces at dawn 150 years ago with just about everyone you met.

If you'd actually read my posts, you'd know that I have an established record of carefully bringing forth information from a well placed VZW contact when I can do so without jeopardizing that person as VZW take their NDAs very seriously. For example - VZW has been known to "suggest" that employees not use social networking to indicate their current location, let alone what they're actually working on.

Anything I've posted has been information I've surmised based on my interaction with this person or as in this case information they shared that has become public knowledge prior to my commenting.

caspersoong
May 27, 2011, 08:06 AM
Why was this leaked at this particular time? Interesting.