Forstall: Apple iPhone owes its life to a Microsoft employee that Steve Jobs hated18
Apparently, a particular Microsoft executive would constantly bother Jobs with talk of styluses and tablets. If you've ever watched the entire iPhone unveiling on tape, you know how much Apple's co-founder hated the stylus. Jobs also couldn't stand hearing this guy talk about tablets, so he had Apple work on its own slate. Keep in mind that this was prior to the start of the project that delivered the iPhone.
Apple iPad was made official.
Forstall has been extremely quiet since being let go in 2012 by Tim Cook after the Apple Map fiasco. Apple debuted its own native mapping app to replace Google Maps on its iOS powered devices, and it provided incorrect directions, misnamed landmarks, and was considered life-threatening by some. Forstall was fired for refusing to sign an apology for Maps. Eventually, Apple did correct all of the app's mistakes.
In the history of Apple, Microsoft at one time played an important part in keeping Apple alive when it was thisclose to going under. And now we discover that an unnamed Microsoft employee was the inspiration behind Apple's most important product ever. It just goes to show that you never know where true inspiration will come from.
source: Computer History Museum