From the iPod to the iPhone – former Apple executives explain the journey to changing mobile phones forever

iPhone turns 10 years of age this month, after the first Apple phone was introduced back in June 2007. It’s ridiculous to think of how much has changed in technology in those 10 years, since iPhone put a new benchmark on what mobile phones should and will look like.

In an interview with WSJ, Apple’s former executives Scott Forstall, Tony Fadell and Greg Christie, have shared their experiences on the path to building the iPhone, reminiscing to times when we were all enchanted by the iPod’s smoothly spinning wheel. The video of the interview provides a nostalgia-hued insight of how Apple’s team conceived the idea of the iPhone, and how they faced Jobs’ perfectionism and cosmic demands.

In Forstall’s words, Cupertino was discussing and looking for ways to maintain and strengthen iPod’s sales in the long-term, explaining that the music player accounted for about 50 percent of the company’s sales at the time. The main risk the iPod could face in the future came from cellphones, which at the time were quite stiff and due for an upgrade. That’s why the team decided to work on an ‘iPod plus phone’ prototype, which led them to testing up to 40 ways of utilizing the wheel as a functional phone dial.

Transforming the music player into a mobile phone, however, proved to be quite a challenge. Scott Forstall, who was Chief Software Technology Officer at Apple, went on to tell how critical Jobs was on anything the team came up with about the iPhone’s interface. Apparently, Jobs gave them an ultimatum of two weeks to come up with a likeable solution of how the interface should be, which meant the team had to literally work around the clock for 14 days straight.

One of the people who engineered iPhone’s software, Greg Christie, then said in the interview what Jobs’ reaction was when he saw the final product they showed him. Christie used expressions, such as “completely silent”, “didn’t gesture”, “pretty much blown away” – when describing Steve’s reaction to their work. While these certainly don’t match Jobs’ notorious character of an ever-demanding leader, we trust that even Jobs would have melted at the sight of the first iPhone interface. We all did back in 2007, after all.

The video of the interview is also exciting, not because of the stories those guys tell, but because of the passion and loyalty Apple’s former execs speak of their work with. It serves as a reminder that a successful product is usually a result of countless sleepless nights, group effort and unlimited devotion.

You can watch the full video below.

source: WSJ via 9To5Mac



1. AmashAziz

Posts: 2898; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

I guess there are a lttle too many Apple articles right now. Even if you had to post this you could've included the 'Apple's iPhone is on everyone's tongue' article together with this one. I don't think any of you authors clearly understand what's triggering your audience. Atleast maintain the balance by posting articles like 'reasons why the S8 is better than the iPhone 7 Plus'. Otherwise iPhoneArena won't be minded by me even.........

2. toukale

Posts: 624; Member since: Jun 10, 2015

Come on now don't be that person, you can always not click on the article. This week is the 10 year anniversary launch of the original iPhone, a product that changed the smartphone landscape. The S8 you mentioned is using the template from that device. You may not like Apple, but there is no denying they played an important role into the current smartphone landscape. So this week you are going to read a lot about that, #dealwithit.

3. apple-rulz

Posts: 2026; Member since: Dec 27, 2016

Well said!

4. lyndon420

Posts: 6737; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

It's going to be a looooong week.

6. AmashAziz

Posts: 2898; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

Listen toukale, you don't know about me. And you don't seem to know about the smartphone fans' landscape here too. That's why you think I straight up don't want amy iPhone articles. You need to read months worth of comments in PA's articles to clearly understand what I am trying to say. Please do so before teaching me what I know. My point is different than what you understand. Bankz got it right. No offense though. Btw, I am dealing with it. But some triggered Android fans won't.

5. Bankz

Posts: 2531; Member since: Apr 08, 2016

What do you expect? Apple are the no1 company in the world and this is the 10th year of the worlds most successful electronic product. Remember, this is android fans we're talking bout here, they're still going to be triggered either ways as the comments section is android centric and will whine about anything apple regardless of what PA posts. So, If they don't like it then they should just leave the site, instead of complaining unending. The name of the site is PHONEarena, and not android arena so it is their duty to post anything phone related, all the way from apple to blackberry.

7. whatev

Posts: 2204; Member since: Oct 28, 2015

+1000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000​00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000​000000000000000000 It should be allowed to give multiple green thumbs to comments

8. darkkjedii

Posts: 30971; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

One of the most influential tech products of all time, love it or hate, but the iPhones impact can't be denied. It was a must have device for me, and although several devices have caught up to it, and passed it in some ways, it's still a device I own. Gotta give credit where's it's due, and tell it like it is.

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