In celebration of the tenth anniversary since the original iPhone went on sale, former Apple executives Scott Forstall, Tony Fadell, and Greg Christie have sat down and offered an exclusive insight into the development process behind the iPhone and how it actually came to be an Apple product.
The exclusive The Wall Street Journal interview and video is the second time that Forstall has appeared in public over the last week to talk about his time with Apple.
For most of us who own an iPhone, it’s fairly easy to guess that Apple will simply like the idea of building a smartphone, applied some engineering resource into its design and development, and then pushed out this phenomenal device to the market. However, Forstall and co. share insight to suggest that it’s slightly more complex than that, with Apple having serious concerns about whether or not the release of an Apple-branded smartphone would significantly impact sales of the extremely popular iPod:
The iPod was selling better and better. It was probably 50 percent of our sales around this time. So we kept asking ourselves, ‘What concerns do we have about the iPod success long term? What will cannibalize iPod’s sales? ‘And one of the biggest concerns was cell phones.
As we now know, that fear wasn’t enough to stop Apple from going to market with an iPhone, but thankfully the company didn’t put Forstall and team to work on an iPod and cellphone mashup with the awful click wheel interface that we’ve seen prototypes of in the past. One thing that’s particularly interesting is how much work and dedication went into the creation of the user-interface that would ultimately ship to market with the original iPhone back in 2007. Forstall recounts a time back in 2005 when Apple co-founder Steve Jobs simply didn’t believe the design prototypes were good enough, with Greg Christie remembering that Jobs had once said: “start showing me something good soon or I’m going to give the project to another team.”
The rest, as they say, is history, which resulted in the original iPhone running iOS (then called iPhone OS) going to market in 2007 with a user-interface and multitouch capability that revolutionized the smartphone industry.
Check out the video for yourself and see what you think about the challenges some of the original iPhone team faced working on the project.
(source: The Wall Street Journal)
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