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

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, May 25, 2011.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001


    TechnoBuffalo shares 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.
    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
  2. Poll Smoker macrumors 6502a

    Poll Smoker

    Jul 20, 2007
  3. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    No surprises here but I still find this kind of 'Apple-secrecy' story fascinating to read every time we hear about one.
  4. Born Again macrumors regular

    May 12, 2011
    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! ;)
  5. FSMBP macrumors 68020


    Jan 22, 2009
    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.
  6. Beaverfish macrumors regular

    Dec 15, 2008
    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.
  7. LegendKillerUK macrumors 6502

    Apr 9, 2010
    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.
  8. MacMan86 macrumors 6502

    Jul 22, 2008
    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...
  9. Sweetfeld28 macrumors 65816


    Feb 10, 2003
    Buckeye Country, O-H
    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.
  10. d0minick macrumors 6502

    Mar 8, 2011
    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!
  11. 3goldens macrumors 68000


    Feb 26, 2008
    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?
  12. Blorzoga macrumors 68030


    May 21, 2010
    Sounds like the people in Lost who had to punch in that code every 58 minutes or whatever it was.
  13. acslater017 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 25, 2006
    San Francisco Bay Area
    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.
  14. ThisIsNotMe macrumors 68000

    Aug 11, 2008
    Next thing you know they are going to be tagging the employees with RFID.
  15. outlawarth macrumors regular

    Mar 20, 2011
    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.
  16. Thunderhawks macrumors 601

    Feb 17, 2009
    They really just wanted to track them and get the names of the pubs the testers would leave them in!
  17. gmcalpin macrumors 6502


    Oct 2, 2008
    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. :)
  18. nishioka macrumors member

    Mar 8, 2011
    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.
  19. quinney macrumors member

    Jul 22, 2007
    Acme, huh? Based upon a recommendation from Wile E. Coyote, I have always found Acme to be a reliable supplier.
  20. bushido Suspended


    Mar 26, 2008


    if u dont, SJ is going to hunt ur ass down
  21. landonjh macrumors newbie


    Dec 25, 2008
    Dallas, TX
    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.
  22. Rot'nApple macrumors 65816


    Dec 27, 2006
    I DID build that!
    No PIN Code = Pit Stop to German Bier Garden. :D
  23. Themaeds macrumors regular

    Feb 4, 2011
    Microsoft just sent me an Xbox 360 to test.....they said to be very quiet about it....
  24. ciTiger macrumors 6502a


    Jan 25, 2011
    Portugal (Porto)
    The best safe guard for their flagship product...
  25. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Los Angeles
    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?

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