We all know that Apple unveiled its first iPhone on January 9, 2007, by the then CEO, Steve Jobs. But on the third day of the Apple v/s Samsung trial, Scott Forstall, Senior Vice President of iOS, revealed that the actual development of iPhone had started way back in 2004. And since Apple used colors as code-names for its projects, the original iPhone development was dubbed “Project Purple”.
Apple Inc. is believed to be one of the most secretive organisations in the world. Hence, dubbing the iPhone development as ‘Project Purple’ wasn’t enough. Forstall said that Steve Jobs had asked him to hire designers and engineers, from within the company for secrecy purpose.
When interviewing prospective hires, Forstall would tell them, and I quote, “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.”
Once he gathered the team to work on ‘Project Purple’, the team took one of Apple’s Cupertino buildings and locked it down. It was so secretive that it started with a single floor with badge readers and cameras. At times, even workers on the team would have to show their badges five or six times.The team started working nonstop on the iPhone. Due to its 24/7 work nature and faint odor of pizza, the building was known as ‘Purple Dorm’.
Forstall also said of a sign that they had put on the front door of the dorm that read ‘Fight Club’… because the first rule of that ‘Project Purple’ was to not talk about ‘Project Purple’.
Forstall said, “The goal was to create a phone that the Apple employees themselves wanted to carry.” He added that they wanted something that was a great phone.