New book reveals that Steve Jobs wanted a back button for the Apple iPhone

The One Device, a new book about the OG iPhone, launches today

The One Device, a new book about the OG iPhone, launches today

Had Steve Jobs' original design for the iPhone been used on the device, there would have been two buttons on the handset instead of the one home button. The late CEO and Apple co-founder wanted the device to come with a back button for navigation. Imran Chaudhri, who worked as a designer at Apple for over 19-years, revealed that originally the iPhone was to sport no buttons at all. Eventually, it was determined that a home button was necessary and Jobs wanted to add the back button.

The comments made by Chuadhri are found in the new book, "The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone." According to the book, Chaudri was able to talk Jobs out of this notion. He did this by telling him that to make people trust that the device will do what they want it to do, there should be no second button available on the iPhone.

The One Device, written by Brian Merchant, launches today and is available from Amazon for $19.04. That is a discount of $8.96 or 32% from the list price of $28. You don't have to be an Apple fan or even an iPhone user to find this a fascinating look at how one of the most important consumer products in history was made. It also gives readers a ringside seat during the sparring that took place during certain times when big decisions, like whether or not to include a back button, were made.

source: Amazon

Related phones

iPhone
  • Display 3.5" 320 x 480 pixels
  • Camera 2 MP
  • Storage 16 GB
  • Battery 1400 mAh(8.00h talk time)

FEATURED VIDEO

47 Comments

1. mahima

Posts: 714; Member since: Nov 20, 2014

iphone is really beautiful with just home button and unique... ease of use is another matter....

20. iushnt

Posts: 3055; Member since: Feb 06, 2013

Yes I agree

43. Mr.Pussy

Posts: 348; Member since: Feb 16, 2017

Yep Steve Jobs wanted a stylus in a phone too lol

44. Mr.Pussy

Posts: 348; Member since: Feb 16, 2017

Iphonearena going to ban me for saying that too.

46. Highside

Posts: 197; Member since: Jan 31, 2017

A back button is the FIRST thing I agree with this evil moron about. Every day I curse Jobs for killing American jobs, the removable battery, microSD, physical keyboards, durable phones, and reasonable prices.

2. TechNeck

Posts: 643; Member since: Aug 29, 2014

I'm glad he didn't do that. It would be kind of unusual and it would make the phone somewhat undesirable.

3. HillaryClinton2020

Posts: 190; Member since: Feb 08, 2017

If Lord Jobs did that, we will see lots of android cheap phones have a button on the back as well and it will be pretty ugly

7. HugoBarraCyanogenmod

Posts: 1409; Member since: Jul 06, 2014

LG phones already had the buttons at the back and it's beautiful. We don't need Lord Jobs to tell us so

10. GreenMan

Posts: 2694; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

Funny to see some 'core heads' talking about "BUTTON AT THE BACK"...! Kindly hush-up and read the actual article... The article isn't about 'a button at the back'... It's about The 'BACK BUTTON'...! The button you press to go back to the previous page or menu... Ah... Sad to see kids these days... They just hate to read... Ever wondered why Youtube is flourishing while blogging is in shambles...??? Well, now you know... Oh well...

13. peace247 unregistered

Ikr....i thought i should correct them....but they are not worth my precious time...

14. sip1995

Posts: 1771; Member since: Feb 07, 2014

Poor Killary, you have no clue.

15. Anchor

Posts: 160; Member since: Jun 16, 2017

Yeah, like the LG G4 and others before it are ugly?

29. Phullofphil

Posts: 1740; Member since: Feb 10, 2009

Back button as in previous page not button back

32. RoryBreaker

Posts: 189; Member since: Oct 11, 2015

He said a "back button" not a button on the back.

42. ChazzMatt

Posts: 104; Member since: Sep 26, 2013

"IF Jobs did that, we will see lots of android cheap phones have a button on the back as well and it will be pretty ugly" I can't tell if you are being funny or not. But the "back" button is on the front of the phone -- to go back to the screen you were before. All the Androids have this, which makes Androids superior. Just like Apple wouldn't put a right click function on their Mac mouse, while Windows did. Apple is more about looks than actual functionality. Which is strange they kept ugly physical home button for so long with HUGE respective top and bottom bezels when Android long surpassed that with virtual buttons.

4. monoke

Posts: 1127; Member since: Mar 14, 2015

And still...would've been more useful than the bixby button! lol!!

35. omnitech

Posts: 1131; Member since: Sep 28, 2016

Um, the iPhone actually really needs a back button. It disappears on safari and is in an annoying spot everywhere else. Lol

5. HillaryClinton2020

Posts: 190; Member since: Feb 08, 2017

If Lord Jobs did that, we will see lots of android cheap phones have a button on the back as well and it will be pretty ugly

6. intellibrain

Posts: 12; Member since: Mar 03, 2015

What a marketing machine from apple for some of the brainless out there?

8. intellibrain

Posts: 12; Member since: Mar 03, 2015

S. J. has even surpassed God.

16. Anchor

Posts: 160; Member since: Jun 16, 2017

Watch your words bro, God is no human. Dont forget the Beetles

28. Soundjudgment

Posts: 370; Member since: Oct 10, 2016

Ahem..... Beatles.

24. cdm283813

Posts: 424; Member since: Jan 10, 2015

Blasphemy? You sir need to attend church if you believe that.

25. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

You do not need to attend Church in order to understand that you can't put a man at equal level with a god, a revered spiritual deity. Morally incorrect to say a human being has surpassed God!

9. GreenMan

Posts: 2694; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

Ah! Back button, eh? Aye, I personally find it rather odd to have no back button in an Operating System, let alone a Smartphone. Of course, it helps make the iPhone look cleaner, simple and minimalistic but... The shortcomings are rather obvious: 1. It puts a TON of strain on the poor little button. You've to constantly mash that poor fellow...! 2. New users (coming from Android and Windows Phone) have to spend a considerable time with the iPhone to get used to having no back button. It has a steep learning curve... 3. It's less efficient as users have to spend extra time to navigate The OS. 4. A friend once lended me his iPad to check the mail and trust when I tell you that while surfing the internet, you "NEED" a back button...! Of course there's an option of a virtual Back Button in Safari, but it's not enabled by default...! 5. It's just plain odd...! 6. I hate it... 7. Did I mention how much I hate it...? The solution in Blackberry 10 is just way better... Simple swipe up and viola, you're in multi-tasking menu...! Oh well, G'Day!

21. iushnt

Posts: 3055; Member since: Feb 06, 2013

Swiping from left to right is the back button in iOS. It's not that difficult.

22. buccob

Posts: 2949; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

But that implementation is relatively recent and it does not work for every app...

26. cmdacos

Posts: 3819; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

This exactly. Especially when you have removed almost every Apple app you can. Swipe left just doesn't work. It's a big hurdle that bugs the hell out of me by the OS. Such a basic feature missed.

30. iushnt

Posts: 3055; Member since: Feb 06, 2013

Ohh okay!! Didn't knew that. Atleast has been working on many apps that I use.

11. torr310

Posts: 1619; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

"Back Button" is one of the biggest reason I find iOS is not ergonomic to navigate. Another one is the "Recent Apps Button". I can simply do one-click and choose the apps recently being used. The iOS has to double-click the home button.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.