California: Patent Case Reveals Apple Secrets


Much more interesting is the unique opportunity to take a look behind the scenes of Apple. Apple has not only been one of the most successful companies in the world for years, but also locked up like no other. The design department is a high-security wing, employees do not tell each other what they're working on, every product is supposed to remain a mystery until the grand launch - as secretive founder Steve Jobs put it.

But now the patent lawsuit against Samsung raises one Apple secret after another and creates some myths out of the world. 100 pages of iPhone and iPad prototype images are now widely available (PDF link) and show how hard Apple designers have struggled to get the final shape of their devices. It is now well known that Apple, like everyone else, also conducts customer surveys instead of giving users, with a hint of arrogance, what they think is right. And that the company in fact already thought about a smaller iPad, as Jobs basically said devices of this size to "stillbirths".

The information comes from the vast amount of material Apple had to hand over to Samsung during the process. Jobs alone has more than 2, 000 e-mails - which the lawyers of the South Koreans still consider too little. Now they are using Samsung as evidence in the process documentation, which are generally open in the US. The sides tried to make the papers generously confidential, but failed to judge Lucy Koh and a request of the news agency Reuters.

Samsung wants to prove with the deliberately placed Apple information that the US rival also keep an eye on the competition and was inspired by other design ideas on the iPhone and iPad. This worked only conditionally. Because the first insights behind the scenes played rather Apple itself in the hands. When Apple designer Christopher Stringer - long hair, light suit - tells the jury how his team juggles "at the kitchen table", it seems like Apple wants to come over: cool. And the countless rejected iPhone prototypes (PDF link) are more likely to be a proof of the restlessness of the designers than a treasure trove of scattered foreign influences. And they offer Stringer the chance to say the beautiful phrase that the designers immediately felt that they were getting the final design for the first iPhone because it was simply the most beautiful.

The aired secrets are the price Apple pays to battle its idea-stealing allegations. And that must have taken the notorious mystery Jobs, because it was clear from the beginning that at least Samsung will get massive insight into Apple's inner life.

  1. From the Apple I to the iPad
    Mac, iPod, iPhone, iPad - Apple has transformed entire markets with its innovations and is today the most valuable company in the world. Throughout its history, however, the Steve Jobs-dominated maker has sometimes been on the loose. Once even Microsoft Rescuer was in trouble.
  2. 2016 - Macbook Pro with Touchbar
    In October 2016, Apple will show the latest generation of Macbook Pro. This is even thinner, lighter and more powerful than its predecessor and has a special (optional) delicacy on board: a touch bar instead of the function keys. This is to ensure a more intuitive and faster operation.
  3. 2016 - Watch Series 2
    Also in September 2016, Apple shows the second generation of its smartwatch for the first time. It is now waterproof to 50 meters, has GPS on board and offers a brighter display. A ceramic model now enriches the model range.
  4. 2016 - iPhone 7 and 7 Plus
    Traditionally, Apple introduces the new iPhone generation in September 2016. The iPhone 7 is available as the predecessor in a larger plus version. New is, among other things, the painted headphone jack. Even under the iPhone hood has been improved, the design, however, remains the same.
  5. 2016 - iPad Pro 9.7 "
    Apple's intention with the new iPad Pro is apparently to revive the demand in the recently dormant tablet area. The company uses the classic 9.7-inch form factor and combines it with the high-end features of the introduced in autumn 2015 business device iPad Pro. The successor to the iPad Air 2 now has a new Retina display with True Tone technology, an exceptionally fast A9X chip, a 12-megapixel iSight camera, a 5-megapixel FaceTime HD camera, faster Wi-Fi and supports Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard. With 689 euros for the 32-GB model, the entry barrier is also slightly lower than the 12.9-inch version. However, the fact that the small iPad Pro as claimed by Phil Schiller, "the ultimate upgrade for existing iPad users and replacement device for PC users" is, may be doubted.
  6. 2016 - iPhone SE
    The iPhone SE (Special Edition) is by and large an iPhone 5S with the technology of an iPhone 6s. The 4-inch device is equipped with the 64-bit A9 chip from the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, which promises higher speeds, longer battery life and faster Wi-Fi. In addition, the iPhone SE also has a 12-megapixel iSight camera that supports live photos and videos in 4K, as well as Touch ID with Apple Pay.
  7. 2015 - iPad Pro
    At the same time Apple also introduces the iPad Pro. With the largest member of the iPad family (12.9 inches) Apple wants to appeal in particular professional users. That's why the accessory program for the iPad Pro includes not just a stylus - the Apple Pencil - but also a dockable keyboard called the Smart Keyboard.
  8. 2015 - iPhone 6S and 6S Plus
    On September 9, 2015, Apple introduces the eighth generation of the iPhone. Since September 25, both smartphones are also available in the German market. In terms of size and weight, iPhone 6S and 6S Plus differ only slightly from their predecessors without S addition. In terms of technology, however, Apple lays down significantly: the touchscreens come with higher resolution, the new A8 chipset is according to Apple 25 percent fixer than its predecessor in the iPhone 6, while about 50 percent efficient.
  9. 2015 - Apple Watch
    Since April 24, 2015, there is Apple's Smartwatch. In contrast to the competition, Apple does not rely on the touch screen alone, but also uses a rotary knob, also known as a crown, as it is used to mount mechanical watches. The prices of the watch start at 399 euros.
  10. 2014 - Apple iMac with Retina 5K display
    With the new iMac 27 inch with Retina 5K display Apple screwed the resolution of the screen strongly upwards. At 5120 x 2880 pixels, the display offers seven times the number of pixels compared to Full HD.
  11. 2014 - Apple iPad Air 2
    The new tablet has not only become thinner and more powerful, now there is also Touch ID and a golden version.
  12. 2013 - iPad Air
    The fifth generation iPad with 9.7-inch display has become much slimmer and lighter - that's why the addition "Air".
  13. 2013 - iPhone 5C
    The long-awaited "cheap iPhone" is then not really cheap. In principle, Apple has taken the iPhone 5 and repackaged in colorful plastic housings.
  14. 2013 - iPhone 5S
    Apple has significantly drilled out the technology for the iPhone 5S. So there is the A7 the first 64-bit processor in the iPhone. And with TouchID, there is a fingerprint scanner that allows the iPhone to unlock easily.
  15. 2012 - iPad mini
    The iPhone 5 offers in comparison to its predecessor a larger screen and the wireless technology LTE. With the iOS 6 operating system, Apple replaced the previously permanently installed Google maps with its own map service. But this was in many places less detailed and sometimes also flawed - it hailed criticism from disappointed users. Apple CEO Tim Cook apologized in an open letter and dismissed the responsible manager Scott Forstall.
  16. 2011 - Tim Cook, the new iChef
    The successors to the new CEO Tim Cook (pictured) must now show that they can continue the extraordinary success story of Apple.
  17. 2011 - Steve Jobs dies
    One of the saddest days in the history of Apple: Steve Jobs dies on October 5, 2011 in Palo Alto, California as a result of his protracted cancer. The death of Steve Jobs takes the iPhone maker not only his longtime boss and founder, but also a technology visionary and uncompromising perfectionist. Steve Jobs was Apple, Apple was Steve Jobs.
  18. 2010 - iPad
    Steve Jobs presents in January 2010 the tablet computer iPad. This device also proves to be a complete success.
  19. 2008 - MacBook Air
    In 2008, Apple complements its product line with the MacBook Air, the lightest and thinnest Mac notebook. It continues to set design standards to this day; the new device category of ultrabooks is a response to that.
  20. 2007 - iPhone
    In 2007, Steve Jobs announced an Internet-based mobile phone, the iPhone, in addition to the new iPod touch. The iPhone should change the entire mobile market, it becomes the prototype for all modern touchscreen smartphones and Cash Cow for Apple. At the beginning of 2012, the iPhone will contribute about 50 percent of the Group's revenue.
  21. 2001 - the first Apple Store
    In 2001, Apple also opened its first retail store (here the Apple Store in Hamburg). With the Apple Store, the company addresses consumers directly.
  22. 2000 - Mac OS X
    The new operating system Mac OS X, based on the NeXTStep software, proves to be the basis for further success (here a box shot of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard). It is based on Unix and the new user interface Aqua. Mac OS X will continue to be revised in the following years and has now reached version 10.8 (Mountain Lion); The mobile system iOS for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad is based on it.
  23. 1997 - Steve Jobs returns
    Surprisingly, Apple takes over in December 1996 founded by Steve Jobs company NeXT for about 430 million US dollars. The operating system NeXTStep should be the basis for the subsequent generation of the Apple operating system (Mac OS X). More importantly, Steve Jobs was back. In September 1997, Jobs takes over the helm again and initiates the turnaround.
  24. 1986 - Pixar & NeXT
    With the money from the sale of the Apple shares, Steve Jobs in 1986 bought Starwars creator George Lucas for ten million US dollars from its computer graphics department, which is liberated from Lucasfilm. The company is later renamed Pixar and achieves worldwide success with films such as Toy Story or Cars. At the same time Jobs founded the computer company NeXT.
  25. 1984 - Apple Macintosh
    In 1984, the Apple Macintosh comes on the market, a milestone in the history of personal computers. Never before has a computer been so easy to use. And with $ 2, 495, the first Mac is not a bargain, but significantly cheaper than the Apple Lisa.
  26. 1983 - Apple Lisa
    The model Lisa (pictured Lisa II) 1983 is the first commercial computer from Apple with graphical icons, menus and windows. But the business success is missing. The price of almost $ 10, 000 is far too high to keep up with the lower-priced IBM PC.
  27. 1979 - Xerox
    In 1979, Xerox acquired even before the actual IPO Apple shares for the equivalent of one million US dollars. For this job in the legendary research center Xerox PARC Jobs can inspect the secret project Alto, a computer with a graphical user interface and mouse. This will be based on the design principle of Apple computers in the future.
  28. 1977 - Apple II
    In 1977, Apple Computer introduced the Apple II. It costs $ 1, 298, accepts a television screen and is the first full-fledged personal computer. The Apple II is designed as an open system and has eight free slots for custom extensions. The model is becoming a blockbuster, not least through the program VisiCalc, the first spreadsheet for a microcomputer.
  29. The Apple logo
    Ron Wayne, the third Apple founder, designs the first Apple logo depicting Sir Isaac Newton under an apple tree. The drawing in the style of a baroque engraving alludes to the discovery of gravity with the help of an apple. However, the design is quickly discarded and replaced with the famous rain-color logo.
  30. The final Apple logo
    The today known logo of Apple with the bitten apple. It probably goes back to an advertisement for the first product, the Apple I, the company with the slogan "Byte into an Apple" advertised.
  31. 1976 - Founding of Apple Computer
    Together with Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne founded Steve Jobs on April 1, 1976 Apple Computer. Seed capital is the proceeds of Steve Jobs VW Bulli ($ 1, 500) and Steve Wozniak's calculator ($ 250).

At the same time, however, this does not go so well with the course of today's CEO Tim Cook, whom the Apple founder handed over to the group shortly before his death. In his close year at Apple's peak, Cook has made it clear he stands for more openness. The company responded to allegations of poor working conditions in China by joining an independent testing organization and published the list of its suppliers.

Only in future products, since the new openness is still on - even in the courtroom refused marketing director Phil Schiller an answer to a question by the Samsung lawyers for the design of the expected next autumn iPhone. So you do not continue to know whether the surfaced images of a supposed iPhone 5 are real. (Dpa / tc)