The Top Secret Apple iPhone Tests

Doing dry runs with Apple's iPhone, the world's most anticipated mobile phone due out at the end of June, has been challenging. Tests of the iPhone had to be done in places frequented by wireless users. Under strict orders to keep the phone under wraps, technicians had to hide or disguise the phone when in […]

Doing dry runs with Apple's iPhone, the world's most anticipated mobile phone due out at the end of June, has been challenging. Tests of the iPhone had to be done in places frequented by wireless users. Under strict orders to keep the phone under wraps, technicians had to hide or disguise the phone when in public.

Most people lucky enough to snag an Apple iPhone probably will be quick to show it off to friends. Not Balsu Thandu. He got an iPhone more than two months ago and has been hiding it from prying eyes ever since.

Thandu is one of about 200 field technicians who have been secretly testing the iPhone and looking for technical glitches for more than 10 weeks and counting. AT&T routinely tests new devices, but the iPhone has been different, Thandu says. The technicians have logged more than 10,000 hours on the phone, including more than 5,000 hours of voice calls and near 5 gigabytes of data usage. Most phones, he says, get about half that much test time.

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Apple, iPhone, Smart Phones