It's quite a feat when a high-profile company releases a new product without the Internet rumor mill getting much more than a whiff of the product's specs. But that's exactly what Samsung pulled off with the launch of its Galaxy S III smartphone, successor to the smash-hit Galaxy S II.
By the time the company's new flagship device launched in London on May 3, a few details had previously leaked, but there were many surprises in store for the launch attendees.
How did Samsung manage to keep the S III under wraps?
Like an unmasked "Scooby Doo" villain explaining his nefarious doings to Shaggy and the gang, Samsung has detailed the security measures it took to protect its new iPhone challenger in a post on the Samsung Tomorrow blog.
According to the post, three different prototypes of the Galaxy S III were designed as final products, meaning many engineering tasks were tirelessly repeated. Prototypes were also moved conspicuously throughout the company in security boxes, even if the phone was simply relocating "across the hallway," reads Samsung's blog. This prevented "passers-by from catching a glimpse."
The post includes an anecdote from Principal Engineer Byung Joon Lee, who explained how he avoided spilling the beans to his young son. Said Lee, per the blog post:
My eldest son is in 6th grade [...] He knew that I had worked on the GALAXY S and S II. So I guess he assumed that I’d do S III also. Every time he saw an article on the internet about the GALAXY S III he’d ask "Dad! You’re making the S III, right?" But all I could say was "I don’t really know."
Not only were employees unable to mention details to family and friends, but they were also prohibited from taking pictures of the smartphone. This led to some difficulty for the designers and technicians when explaining details to other teams working on the product.
"We had to explain the GALAXY S III with all sorts of words. The Procurement Department had to set a price for the GALAXY S III and purchase the materials based on our verbal explanations. It was hard for everyone...," Lee is quoted in the blog post.
Samsung isn't the only company enforcing strict policies of corporate secrecy. Apple takes similar pains to maintain the mystery around its unreleased products. As we recently reported, Quora user Kim Scheinberg, wife of former Apple employee John Kullman, was told by upper management to "forget everything" she knew about one of her husband's top-secret assignments. She also wrote that her home had to be "reconfigured to meet Apple security standards."
Samsung's Galaxy S III is expected to be released in the U.S. sometime within the next several weeks. The phone's new features include a 4.8-inch Super AMOLED display, voice dictation, face detection and much, much more.
Check out the gallery (below) for some of the Galaxy S III's standout features.
[Hat Tip: TechCrunch]