According to the site's source, select Verizon staffers were entrusted with pre-launch CDMA iPhones two weeks before the official announcement. Four page NDAs (non disclosure agreements) need to be signed and faxed before taking possession of the unreleased handsets.
In order to prevent the device from falling into the hands of an unauthorized individual a unique protocol was developed which required staffers to text a secret PIN to a dedicated phone number every 12 hours. If the PIN wasn't sent in time the phone would have its functionality disabled.
In addition to those who got the privilege to test the device itself, select Apple Store employees were intrusted with field testing Verizon connectivity at retail locations as early as six months before the announcement.
No one was permitted to speak about the Verizon iPhone externally and even internally the word "iPhone" was never uttered; rather, the device was referred to by its codename, "ACME".
Read More [via MacRumors]