Android Central

Dummy cases, hand-delivered prototypes and two designs that never saw the light of day.

The secrecy surrounding the Galaxy S III was crucial in building anticipation ahead of the device's launch, and today Samsung has revealed some details of the phone's top-secret development process. Only a privileged few within Samsung were able to see the device, with design and engineering work taking place within a secured area at Samsung's Seoul HQ. Discussion with outsiders was forbidden, and the phones were apparently locked inside secure boxes for transportation, even within buildings.

Most interesting is the revelation that Samsung fully designed and built three versions of the Galaxy S III to further reduce the chance of the actual design leaking out. That'd certainly explain the appearance (and leaking) of a buttonless S III a few weeks ahead of launch. In today's blgo post, Samsung R&D engineer Woo-Sun Yoon confirmed the use of dummy cases like the one above in field testing, to protect the phone's true exterior from prying eyes.

“We had to make three types of the GALAXY SIII to prevent the design from leaking. And on top of that, whenever any of these had to go out for testing, we put them inside ‘dummy boxes’, which are cases that hide the design of the device, to disguise it. Even if people, inside or out of the campus, saw the device, I doubt they would have known what it was.”

And the security didn't stop once the devices were completed. Samsung says units delivered to mobile operators were transported in person and hand-delivered by its employees, and testing was done under strict supervision. All this resulted in the final design remaining a mystery until just a week before launch, when a Samsung service manual outed what we now know to be the Galaxy S III.

For all Samsung's pre-launch secrecy, it's now being incredibly open when talking about that secrecy. You'll find a full run-down of exactly how the S III was kept under wraps over at the source link.

Source: Samsung Tomorrow


Reader comments

Samsung reveals its top-secret Galaxy S III design process


My thoughts exactly. Samsung must be trying to generate excitement by creating a cloud of secrecy around their designs.

Well, that did work for Apple with the 4s. Judging from sales numbers, seems to have worked for Samsung as well.

I'm more interested in why they did away with the ICS-preferred onscreen softkeys for Back, Home, and Menu and went with static buttons instead.

No. Soft keys consume screen space, sometimes dont work, move position from app to app, dont exist on some apps, even when you need them and are of little use if the app soft locks or freezes. Hardware buttons are consistent and a far better solution. Ive never seen a time when hard buttons are a disadvantage, but soft buttons are often a pain.

I am far from alone in my dislike for soft keys and clearly the biggest manufacturers agree. Any decent app should have a mixture of both to be fully functional, but the hard home keys is always an advantage.

Thank you. And bring back the search button! It's my most used button! Well, maybe second most after the back button. Still, very useful.

I don't have any personal experience with the Galaxy Nexus (or any other phone with only soft buttons) but in my experience with my tablet running either Honeycomb or ICS, if an app would freeze or "soft lock" the soft buttons still worked and allowed me to go home or go to the task switch her aand exit the app.

I do hope you are talking from experience when you cite the negatives of the soft keys. I know that in my personal experience the result was only positive. If I held my tablet in landscape, the buttons were in the bottom left corner. If I held it on portrait, hey look! Still in the bottom left corner! When watching a movie they become unintrusive little dots instead of blinding and distracting lit-up capacitive keys like on my Galaxy S2.

I can't think of a single drawback on my tablet.

i like the soft keys on my GNex.

i think the true benefit of the soft keys will come to fruition when edge to edge screens are available in the future.
imagine this, an edge to edge screen with soft keys with tiny bezels, allowing the phone to have a huge screen while making the footprint of the phone small. that will make the phone a lot smaller and easy to handle with one hand while minimizing the bezels on top/bottom. we can have like a 4.6" screen on a phone that's about as big as the Galaxy S2 or S1. i hate big bezels man.

now that's the future i wanna see.

Actually the design is very good. For such a large phone its very nice to hold and use, WAY better than the One X.

While the One X looks infinite times better than the S3 (and feels much more premium), the S3 is much more ergonomic. Its just much more comfortable to hold and use than the One X. Can't have it all I guess..

Yea i honestly think people would complain regardless physical buttons or not.. you simply can not please everyone ..its a good looking phone and the best thing about it is it doesn't force you to buy it imagine that..

People like you are missing the point (BUT YOU DON'T HAVE TO BUY IT DURRR), just because Samsung could put hard keys on their new phone doesn't mean they should have done it. Google and Android are trying to move away from hard keys, it would have been better for the platform as a whole had Samsung stuck with the direction that Android was going in....

Personally I think they will fork away from the main version of Android pretty soon, then you'll get to choose between buying a Samsung phone and buying an Android phone.

No i didn't miss the point can "people like you" say what they should or should not have done...Android is simply an open source OS as we all know, its Samsung choice to make the phone how they want ..we respond by buying it or not...i personally hate how the took away the ICS folders options/ functionality and for a moment i was considering not buying it...but hey i ordered it anyway ...i cant say they shouldn't have done it but they did ..these people have an R&D team and know what they're doing....everyone is going to find something to cry about the point im making is.. its a good phone.. a button or not doesn't mean its wrong just dont like it.....the galaxy s3 is not a nexus if you want a phone done the google way thats the one....bottom line you have options ...obviously Samsung isnt getting away from hardkeys because i hear they're about to release one with a hard key on sure their machines didnt just malfunction and pop out phones only containing hard

Google is WRONG about soft keys. If anything they will backtrack on it in the future. Wait and see..

I think it's probably safe to say that the majority of people prefer the physical / capacitive buttons. If soft keys are your thing, hey, good for you, but you can get the Nexus for that. Android allows for that choice.

In what way is this an iPhone? Ya, I'll give you Siri, but that is it.
I'd type out the differences, but don't have an hour.
Is anything with one button now an iPhone copy? My tv has a single hard button for power, has a screen, connects to the internet. Guess it must be an iPhone copy.

Um, I was thinking of all the patent litigation where Apple claimed Samsung stole their iPhone design. Somebody's a little sensitive. LOL