It’s not a secret that Apple goes through a variety of different stages when testing a new iPhone, which includes taking the handset out into the real world.
What Apple does try to keep secret is the device itself, at least until it’s ready to announce the handset on a stage. While that hasn’t always worked out, for the most part Apple keeps the rest of the world in the dark while it tests the unit, preparing it for the real world.
Now, by way of MacRumors, 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.
On top of that, there’s a paper passport that goes along with the handset, to keep tabs on quality control testing.
“Each component or product that is tested they document in the page,” said Dickson. “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.”
The iPhone 6s Plus prototype was also engraved with a QR code, so Apple could keep track of the handset as well.
These measures don’t always work, but it’s still interesting to see the lengths Apple will go to try and keep its secrets ahead of announcement. Of course, the biggest instance of a pre-release iPhone being revealed was that of the iPhone 4, back in 2010.
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