MG Siegler’s first-hand observations of Apple’s iPhone testing labs

Mon, Jul 19, 2010


Once the Q&A session at Apple’s iPhone 4 press conference ended, Apple invited select members of the press to personally take a tour of Apple’s once secret iPhone testing facilities. MG Siegler of TechCrunch was lucky enough receive such an invite, and drops a few interesting tidbits about what he saw and what he learned.

It was the first time anyone outside of Apple has ever seen them. In fact, most people who work at Apple have never seen them, we were told. The tour was led by Ruben Caballero, Apple’s senior antenna expert (and, incidentally, the man in the news recently thanks to a BusinessWeek story — a story which Apple says is a “crock” and “total bullshit”).

You can tell that Apple is really trying hard to get out ahead of this story when they let outsiders into the hallowed testing grounds that even most Apple employees never get to enter.

On the tour, Siegler noted a few objects on tables that were covered by black cloaks.

When I asked about the black cloaks, Caballero said that “we have a lot of other projects going on.”

At one point we were told that the iPad had been in testing in this facility “for years.” Even more interesting may be that the iPhone 4 specifically had been in testing in these chambers for 2 years. You know that that means. Not only was the iPhone 5 likely in the same room that we were in. But the iPhone 6 may have been around as well.

Seigler divulges a lot more info about Apple’s testing methods over here, and it’s well worth a read as it provides a extremely rare glimpse into the testing processes Apple employes before a product is deemed market ready.


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