Amazing Quora response the question: “How does Apple keep secrets so well?“
Kim Scheinberg (the wife of long-time Apple engineer John Kullmann):
No one has ever reported that, for 18 months, Project Marklar existed only because a self-demoted engineer wanted his son Max to be able to live closer to Max’s grandparents.
One of my earliest friends at Apple, who I knew through the old school Mac blogger community before I got hired (I won’t name him here because he’s still at Apple), was working on this project (housed across the street from Infinite Loop in the same building as the iPod team) when I got hired at Apple in August 2003. He wouldn’t tell me what he was working on when I had lunch with him right after starting, but it wasn’t all that hard to guess if you poked around a bit. A Radar search revealed that a high percentage of his bug reports related to endianness dependencies in the bowels of the OS, which, to any first year computer science student, would suggest that he was inordinately concerned with OS X’s ability to run on processors other than the big endian PowerPC.
That sort of amateur detective work was a big part of what was fun about being a young, low level engineer at Apple.
Years later, Intel OS X actually shipped and my friend was finally able to reveal that it was indeed what he had spent years secretly working on. He moved on to another super secret, tightly locked down project, which I didn’t have much of a guess about until he IM’d me one day to ask me a few Cocoa questions (he was more of a low level, OS-type guy—not really a user-level programmer): could I give him some pointers on how to create a dock-like UI for what sounded like a small, odd-sized screen. He wouldn’t tell me much, but of course that didn’t stop me from wildly speculating. I was pretty sure it was either some sort of set-top console…or a phone.