The iPhone Exists Because Steve Jobs ‘Hated a Guy at Microsoft’
Apparently, though, it is also a product of his hate.
I spoke to Forstall about this challenge Tuesday night after former New York Times tech reporter John Markoff interviewed him onstage during an iPhone 10th anniversary event at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California.
“It began because Steve hated this guy at Microsoft“.
“I will clearly change my mind because there are no fish in the [San Francisco] Bay Area”, Forstall said facetiously, alluding to the fact that the wooer failed.
It wasn’t Bill Gates, noted Forstall, but a Microsoft executive who was the husband of a friend of Jobs’ wife, Laurene Powell Jobs. According to the account in the authorised biography, Steve Jobs, the spur for creating the iPad was his anger at a Microsoft employee who had boasted over dinner that the company had a revolutionary tablet in production. Steve came out with a set of expletives and said, ‘Let’s show them how it’s done.
“First thing is, they’re idiots”.
One criteria Jobs felt strongly about was that his tablet would not require a stylus, and could be used with only fingers.
The team quickly made a decision to work on capacitive rather than resistive screens and to support multi-touch. Of course, the iPhone isn’t a tablet – and Forstall went on that the concept of the device was born one day during lunch when he and Steve noticed everyone else around them using phones.
Early prototypes had more in common with a table than the iPhone (“wouldn’t fit in your bathroom, much less your pocket”), but the engineers kept on noodling away at the capacitive multi touch display until 2004, when Jobs had the idea to shrink it down into a phone. Jobs chose to create several prototypes with multi-touch displays and without a pen.
“An excerpt from the book reads, “‘Again, that came down to a trust issue, ‘ Chaudhri says, ‘that people could trust the device to do what they wanted it to do.
The iPhone, ever since its announcement in 2007, has continuously evolved.
But what it also demonstrates is the law of unintended consequences and those consequences were probably far more damaging to Microsoft than scuppering the software giant’s plans to launch a tablet. Without the iPhone there would be no Apple as we know it today and Forstall played an important roll in the iPhone’s development with 200 patents to his credit.