Steve Jobs On The iPod-Plus-Phone: “Honestly, We Can Do Better, Guys”
Here are a few quotes from Leander Kahney’s book Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple’s Greatest Products. A very insightful book which highlights Apple still has at least one genius at the company after Steve Jobs past away.
Leander Kahney on the development of the iPhone:
After six months of effort, Fadell’s team produced a prototype iPod-plus-phone that worked, more or less. The iPod’s click wheel was used as a dialer, selecting numbers one at a time like an old rotary phone. It could make and receive calls. Scrolling through an address book and selecting a contact to call was—unsurprisingly—its best feature. Apple filed a couple of patents from their experimentation. One of them suggested that the iPod-plus-phone could create text messages with a predictive text system. Jobs, Forstall, Ording and Chaudhri, among others, were named as inventors.
But the P1 had too many limitations. Just dialing a number was a pain, and the device was too limited …“[The P1] had a little screen and this hardware wheel and we were stuck with that . . . but sometimes you have to try things in order to throw it away.”
After six months of work on the iPod-plus-phone P1, Jobs killed the project. “Honestly, we can do better, guys,” he told the team. Fadell was loath to admit defeat. “The multi-touch approach was riskier because no one had tried it and because they weren’t sure they could fit all the necessary hardware into it,” he said.
“We all know this is the one we want to do” Jobs said, referring to the P2. “So let’s make it work.”
Leander also wrote about the thought process behind the iPhone design:
Over in IDg, Jony began, as usual, with the iPhone’s story. As he later explained, it was all about how the user would feel about the device. “When we are at these early stages in design, when we’re trying to establish some of the primary goals—often we’ll talk about the story for the product—we’re talking about perception. We’re talking about how you feel about the product, not in a physical sense, but in a perceptual sense.”
“What that did was make it very clear in our minds that the display was important, and we wanted to develop a product that featured and to the display,” he said. “Some of our early discussions about the iPhone centered on this idea of this infinity pool, this pond, where the display would sort of magically appear.” The team made a point in exploring design ideas to avoid any approaches that would diminish the importance of the display.
Image Credit: Core 77