Scott Forstall Reveals How Apple Started Working On The iPhone Way Back In 2004 As Part Of Project Purple
Proceedings from the Apple vs. Samsung have so far revealed a startling amount of previously classified information. We’ve seen – among other things – iPhone and iPad prototypes from 2006 and earlier, plans for upcoming tablets from Samsung, and the design and thought process that went into iOS devices.
In Friday’s court proceedings where Scott Forstall – Senior Vice President, iOS Software at Apple – was questioned by both Apple and Samsung lawyers about the iPhone, iPad and the operating system that powers them, iOS. Some of the answers Forstall gave to these questions have revealed interesting information in how Apple worked on the iPhone and iPad.
Internally, the iPhone project was known as Project Purple. It started as a result of Apple developing multitouch technologies for a touch-based tablet; executives at Apple believed that they could make a great phone if these technologies were ported to a smaller device. The idea was to develop a phone they would use themselves.
Top executives and a highly selective group of Apple engineers started working on Project Purple around 2003. An entire building at One Infinite Loop, Cupertino was exclusively used for this purpose. It was named the Purple Dorm because, well, people there worked on Project Purple and it smelled like a college dorm of pizza enthusiasts. There was even a Fight Club poster hanged in the dorm because “the first rule of [Purple Project] was to not talk about it outside those doors.” These are, of course, Forstall’s own words.
The highly selective group of Apple “superstar” engineers I mentioned in the previous paragraph were invited to Forstall’s office where they would be informed thus:
“We’re starting a new project. It’s so secret I can’t even tell you what that project is. I can’t tell you who you will work for… What I can tell you is that if you accept this project you… will work nights, you will work weekends, probably for a number of years.”
Because of so much talent being shifted on it, other products had to have their launch dates pushed ahead.
What has been discussed so far in this article is pretty much all the juicy information Forstall revealed in his statements in the witness stand on Friday. As the Apple vs. Samsung case continues, we expect more interesting information to come out of it. We will, of course, cover it all here, so stay tuned to Redmond Pie!