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Original iPhone engineer apologizes to users, saying it was only "an OK phone"

Posted: , by Michael H.

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Original iPhone engineer apologizes to users, saying it was only
Hindsight may be 20/20, and apparently in the past 7 years, Bob Borchers, who was part of the original iPhone team at Apple, has come to realize that Apple had its priorities backwards when designing the original iPhone. Borchers even went so far as to apologize to those who owned the original iPhone, saying that the device was only "an OK phone".

To be clear, Borcher isn't saying that the device was terrible, just that the focus by Apple wasn't where it should have been. He says that in the early days designing the phone, the "value propositions" that Apple focused on (in order) were: "a revolutionary phone, the best iPod ever and the Internet in your pocket". However, Borcher has come to realize that Apple oversold the phone part of the equation and should have reversed the order of those value propositions, because the real revolutionary aspect of the device was in the web browsing experience compared to other smartphones of the day. 

Of course, Apple did seem to realize its mistake soon enough, because the iPhone 3G shifted the focus to apps and having the Internet in your pocket. Still, it is always interesting to hear how the original designers look back on the process. 

source: Trusted Reviews via BGR

44 Comments
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posted on 26 Feb 2014, 12:31 2

1. XperiaFanZone (Posts: 1472; Member since: 21 Sep 2012)


Interesting.

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 13:05 5

13. Finalflash (Posts: 1908; Member since: 23 Jul 2013)


Yea, interesting in the fact that they weren't afraid to push the limits and deliver insane value to the customers. After Jobs' death its literally been "how slow can we go to fully milk these fools and when is the right time to copy others".

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 21:40 3

42. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6737; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


yep and they copy the design from SONY

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 14:17 11

25. Ashoaib (Posts: 2429; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)


Still iphone is an OK phone....

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 21:24 1

38. ardent1 (Posts: 1999; Member since: 16 Apr 2011)


That's what makes the iPhone magical.

You talk to the Apple haters and you get the impression the iPhone could do everything, which is just a double standard imposed on Apple.

Apple makes premium products that are intuitive and fun to use. It works. So yes, it's an OK phone.

posted on 27 Feb 2014, 09:14

43. Ashoaib (Posts: 2429; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)


Thanks God it works!!...
Yeah, its an ok phone While HTC, Sony, LG, Samsungs etc are all very excellent phones. great value for money, not a midranger in a price of highest end...

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 12:31 13

2. Sauce (unregistered)


¯\_(ツ)_/¯

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 12:36 1

6. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5954; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


My recollection of the OG iPhone is that its phone functions were in the middle of the pack of phones from RIM/BB, Nokia, Motorola, etc. at the time. The break-out function was the Internet access. Fortunately for Apple, Internet access at the time was on the slow side, so EDGE was not the limitation that it became in later years.

Sauce, I see you edited your post. Now everyone will wonder what your post was before you edited it.

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 12:41

9. Sauce (unregistered)


I edited it to avoid unnecessary fanboy rage, always happens when ever a good thing is said about Apple. The fanboys rage in anger. But yes, I agree with your post.

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 13:27 1

17. networkdood (Posts: 6326; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


It is still just an ok phone, well, a little better...

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 21:29

39. ardent1 (Posts: 1999; Member since: 16 Apr 2011)


It set the form factor all flagship models are still using today.

Large screen, we type on "glass", the omission of unnecessary buttons, and makes us want to watch videos, surf the web, etc

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 12:32 4

3. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5954; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


To their credit, Apple's team were able to move very quickly to change the value proposition. As a contrast, the team at RIM/BB are still trying to connect with a viable value proposition.

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 13:29 1

19. networkdood (Posts: 6326; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


that is true...

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 12:34 18

4. hamad138 (Posts: 7; Member since: 26 Feb 2014)


still 100x sexier than Galaxy S5

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 12:37 18

7. SleepingOz (unregistered)


Yet the S5 is 100x better than this.

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 12:42 7

10. Sauce (unregistered)


7 years later in technology and innovation... You think???

x'D

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 16:04 1

30. Heatfan316 (Posts: 453; Member since: 21 Aug 2011)


And in 7 years the iPhone basically hasn't changed, still made out of the same materials as the original, with a slightly bigger screen and slightly better, but still crappy resolution compared to the competition. A crappy voice assistant that still can't understand you, in which they copied android and basically the same crappy UI that changed only once ever so slightly in the past seven years, proof that Apple is stagnant company

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 16:26 1

33. timepilot84 (Posts: 97; Member since: 16 Aug 2012)


It changed. Once someone realized it had to work as a phone they put that plastic back on it. Then when that cracked, they made it out of glass. Now they're back to metal on the back.

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 21:30 1

40. ardent1 (Posts: 1999; Member since: 16 Apr 2011)


Dude, you got to try harder as in put in a better effort.

You come across as being desperate. Basically, you are trying to hard.

You want my advice: Give it a rest.

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 12:38 2

8. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5954; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


That is a bit of a a streeetch.

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 13:18 9

16. lyndon420 (Posts: 1785; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)


Slap an apple logo on something and you will find it sexy lol. It's dated, flat looking U.I. and needs a complete makeover in physical design.

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 13:40 5

20. bayhuy (Posts: 307; Member since: 23 Jun 2011)


Every phone out there is sexier than S 5...well...Kyocera Echo...is on par...

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 12:35 1

5. Sauce (unregistered)


Lol at post 4. This is true.

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 12:45 13

11. fouadqr (Posts: 315; Member since: 21 Nov 2012)


In 2007 .. N95 was the best phone .. the first iphone was nothing compare to N95 :D

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 12:47 2

12. Sauce (unregistered)


What was that? Never heard of it

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 13:07 2

14. ihavenoname (Posts: 1522; Member since: 18 Aug 2013)


N95 and OG iPhone, both really fantastic and innovative phones. iPhone was more futuristic and actually it reminds many modern smartphone. N95, just go to Wikipedia, it is a great phone.

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 13:17 2

15. alpinejason (Posts: 262; Member since: 06 Sep 2011)


nokia n95 it ran symbian s60 and i still have mine it still works and yes iphone was nothing compared to it

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 13:42 3

21. domfonusr (Posts: 372; Member since: 17 Jan 2014)


That really was the best device of 2007... the Nokia N95. Even the N75, released in the same year, was as good as the original iPhone in most respects (plus 3G and minus the touch screen... but the camera was just as good in resolution, and had a flash to boot!), and back then I liked the form factor of the N75 better anyway. The "TabTop" update was disappointing, but I had my N75 for five years before I had to sell it, and it was still working just fine when I did sell it.

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 14:14 3

24. PBXtech (Posts: 983; Member since: 21 Oct 2013)


http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2217741,00.asp

Interesting what you can find.

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 14:18 1

26. domfonusr (Posts: 372; Member since: 17 Jan 2014)


Nice find, indeed!

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 16:10 1

31. Heatfan316 (Posts: 453; Member since: 21 Aug 2011)


And yet again proof that Sauce"your basic Apple fanboy" is the tech ignorant. And don't say you were being sarcastic because that would be a lie.

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 21:33

41. ardent1 (Posts: 1999; Member since: 16 Apr 2011)


And how is Symbian doing in today's market.

posted on 27 Feb 2014, 10:26 1

44. domfonusr (Posts: 372; Member since: 17 Jan 2014)


Not important to this discussion. We are reminiscing about the past, man.

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 13:28 4

18. networkdood (Posts: 6326; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


SO, my wife got her 550.00 ipad mini air 2 tablet in today - 2X the price of Nexu 7 2013 - no GPS, no Accelerometer...no distinct advantage over Nexus 7 - and there are a ton of apps for Nexus 7, just like for any Android device...nice to see someone that used to work for Apple admit what he did, but the company still rips off its customers...

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 14:00 2

23. Sauce (unregistered)


Looks like another fanboy making up silly stories in favor of hatred towards Apple lol.

So tell us, did she get a Mini, or an Air, or BOTH for 550?

Lol good try.

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 15:42 1

28. hurrycanger (Posts: 1291; Member since: 01 Dec 2013)


Mini Air 2. I suppose he was confused because it was the 2nd iPad mini and it looked like the iPad Air. In fact, it's exactly the same with the Air except for the screen size.

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 16:13 1

32. Heatfan316 (Posts: 453; Member since: 21 Aug 2011)


Who cares moron!

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 16:27 3

34. timepilot84 (Posts: 97; Member since: 16 Aug 2012)


Yeah, everyone I disagree with is making up silly stories, too.

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 13:45

22. The13thKing (banned) (Posts: 849; Member since: 26 Feb 2014)


Well, I was looking at what phones were at that time available too, and the iphone was the one to standout, it was the only phone to resemble todays phones ... it wasn't perfect, camera was bad .. no video or apps, but it was "Something Special" not like today infinite number of look-alike brands with similar phones running similar chips dying to do something to get your attention they add more features you probably won't use only for show-off .. We're spammed with wannabe brands that are cursed by failure after failure and full of hate and jealousy towards the successful Apple/Samsung ..

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 15:08 1

27. Stuntman (Posts: 784; Member since: 01 Aug 2011)


These days, I hardly use my phone as a phone in the traditional sense (making calls). I think that Apple had the right idea that the original iPhone was meant to be a device that allows you to access the internet. If they focused on internet access ahead of being a phone, I think they made the right decision.

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 15:54

29. hurrycanger (Posts: 1291; Member since: 01 Dec 2013)


Well, I have to say that it was really just an okay phone. But look, it was awesome to me because it had a relatively big capacitive touchscreen comparing to most phones back in the days. I loved the first iPhone even though all I did on it was watching videos, listening to music. That was it. The first iPhone really lacked some stuff, but still, it was the sh*t!
It was still revolutionary somehow. I don't think the first iPhone itself was revolutionary, but it was a good start to stir up the phone market, which pushed the later revolutionary smartphones to come.

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 17:52

35. linkhatchet (Posts: 13; Member since: 10 Mar 2013)


Apple sucked ass then an still do now

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 20:54

36. AfterShock (Posts: 2983; Member since: 02 Nov 2012)


The innovation was, the capacitive screen.
Was only thing I liked an wanted on my wm phone.

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 21:12

37. garyII (Posts: 160; Member since: 26 Feb 2014)


still, it is really a revolutionary memory to our generation....

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