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Apple-Samsung trial reveals company secrets

A picture taken on October 12, 2011 shows a Samsung phone and an Iphone 4.

Jeff Horwich: One week down in the trial of Apple v. Samsung. Arguments are expected to wrap up this week. The crux of it: Apple claims Samsung copied its designs for the iPhone and iPad. But the trial is also giving us a rare peek into Apple's inner-workings.

Here's Marketplace's Queena Kim.


Queena Kim: For Apple geeks this trial’s like entering Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. Like the chocolate factory, Apple is infamous for its secrecy.

Willy Wonka: No, no, no one must look under there. This is the most secret machine in my entire factory.

During the trial, Apple said it took three years to make the iPhone and it had a code name, “Project Purple.” And the first rule of Project Purple? You don’t talk about Project Purple.

Then there’s Sir Jonathan Ive, who led Apple through 40 prototypes to get to the iPhone right.

John Brownlee: He kind of works in the equivalent of an evil genius super lair.

John Brownlee reports for “The Cult of Mac.” He says the prototpyes could provide competitors with useful information.

Brownlee: We’re basically looking into Johnny Ive's mind and how he’s gone about designing this phone and why he’s designed it the way he has. It’s equivalent to getting access to Leonardo Da Vinci’s notebook

Eric Goldman is the director of the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University. And I asked him:  

Kim: What do you think Steve Jobs would have thought about all this information coming out?

Eric Goldman: I think we know the answer to that.

Goldman says Apple took a calculated risk. If it wins, it could get billions and beat back Samsung. But if Apple loses? It’ll  have nothing to show for revealing how chocolate is made.

I’m Queena Kim for Marketplace.

About the author

Queena Kim covers technology for Marketplace. She lives in the Bay Area.

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