Apple v Samsung trial – the five big secrets revealed when executives took the stand

already uncovered a trove of fascinating material, including prototype pictures of an early version of the iPhone.

But things got a little more interesting last week when Apple executives Phil Schiller and Scott Forstall took the stand.

Schiller, Apple’s head of worldwide marketing, and Forstall, head of iOS software, are two of the most powerful executives in the company – and they were both instrumental in creating the iPhone and iPad.

While some of the detail around the creation of the iPhone has already been unearthed, Schiller and Forstall revealed some fascinating – and previously unreleased – tidbits and statistics about the iPhone itself and the inner workings at Apple.

It’s not often tech fans get to take a look at what really happens inside the world’s largest computer company. Here are five key secrets we learned over the weekend:

1. Shock horror – security is incredible

We all know the security at Apple is some of the tightest in the industry, but Forstall said on Friday that when the company created the iPhone, it ramped up a little.

The team building the phone took over one floor of a building in the Cupertino campus. Staff were scanned by badge readers and cameras – but in some cases, members had to show their badges even five or six times before gaining access.

2. That seven-inch tablet may just be real

Remember those rumours about Apple building a seven-inch tablet? Well, they may just be true.

One email brought up in court shows Apple vice president Eddy Cue told Tim Cook, Forstall and Schiller that he had been using a Samsung Galaxy, and noted the 7” market would heat up – “and we should do one”.

“I expressed this to Steve several times since Thanksgiving and he seemed very receptive the last time,” he said.

This is a fascinating revelation, considering Jobs is often quoted as saying the company would steer clear of the 7” form factor.

It breathes new life into the speculation Apple will release a 7” version of the iPad soon – perhaps as soon as next month.

3. The hiring process

Apple was so keen that no one hear anything about the iPhone, that when Forstall was first briefed on putting together a team he was expressly told no one from outside the company could join.

And in his pitch to team members, Forstall certainly didn’t hold back any punches about the workload: “You are going to have to give up nights and weekends probably for a couple of years,” he said.

“We’re starting another project,” he told members in his office. “It’s so secret I cannot tell you what the project is.”

4. Some key advertising statistics

Some interesting statistics on marketing – Schiller said Apple spent:

$US97.5 million on iPhone ads in 2008 – in the United States alone.

That number then reached $US149 million in 2009 and $US173 million in 2010.

Marketing on the iPad reached $US149 million in 2010.

5. Samsung may actually be hurting Apple sales

It’s hard to believe, given Apple’s financial track record, but Samsung may actually be costing the company some money.

Schiller said on the stand last week that some customers are choosing to buy a Samsung product, because they actually think it may be an Apple product.

“I absolutely believe it has had an impact on our sales,” Schiller said.

With record-breaking quarters, it’s hard to believe. But given the lacklustre reception to Apple’s financials last month, maybe it’s not such a crazy idea.

This article first appeared at SmartCompany.

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