The hype and speculation surrounding Apple’s September Apple Watch event was unprecedented, understandably so given Apple’s track record of driving innovation in new product categories. What made the event all the more exciting is that Apple was successfully able to keep important details of the device completely under wraps.

In a broad sense, sure, we knew Apple was likely to introduce a wearable device of some sort. But key details surrounding the device’s capabilities, and even what the design looked like, remained unknown until Tim Cook officially walked up on stage and unveiled the Apple Watch for the first time.

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That said, one has to wonder how Apple was successfully able to keep the Apple Watch design a secret for the entirety of the development process, an impressive feat given the insatiable appetite the tech masses have for Apple rumors and product leaks. After all, employees on the Apple Watch team had to wear the device out in public for field testing.

To that end, The New York Times recently revealed how Apple was able to accomplish that while not tipping its hand.

In an effort to maintain secrecy, engineers testing the watch outside the office even created fake casing[s] that made the Apple device resemble a Samsung watch, one person said.

It’s sort of amusing to imagine the most talented of Apple engineers skipping around town wearing what ostensibly appeared to be clunky Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatches.

In any event, Apple has a long history of field testing mobile devices in disguise. If you recall, the now infamous iPhone 4 prototype that Gizmodo paid a few grand for was dressed up in a modified case to make it resemble an iPhone 3GS. This provided Apple engineers who were responsible for testing and calibrating the device’s cellular functionality the ability to do so in public without arousing the slightest bit of interest or suspicion.

While other tech companies are notorious for openly discussing or even leaking upcoming product plans and key features, Apple keeps its products plans a closely guarded secret; even if it means dressing up an unreleased product to look like a device from a chief competitor.

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