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Ex-Apple employee told why iPhone did not inherit the touch wheel iPod

This week Apple celebrates 10-year anniversary of the iPhone. To say that the work was carried out in complete secrecy — not to tell anything. Even now, many circumstances of the development of the revolutionary smartphone that has divided the industry into “before” and “after” remains unclear.

The veil of secrecy over the history of the first iPhone raised a well-known blogger Sonny Dickson. He showed looked like prototypes of iOS, demonstrating the two versions of the firmware. They created two different teams inside Apple: one was headed by the Director of the Department for the development and production of the iPod Tony Fadell, another senior Vice President of software Scott Forstall.

They had very different approaches to what needs to be iOS. Fadell offered to take over the management and navigation through the same existing iPod touch Click wheel. The interface is also very much like the firmware of the player. Version Forstalla more like the current iPhone, so as to control the entire area of the touch screen and each menu item has its own icon.

Fadell and his team were trying to implement the idea of Steve jobs about creating iPhone-based player – the so-called iPod Phone, at a time when Forstall came from macOS. Between the teams there was no competition, and all worked together, exchanging ideas.

According to Fadell, Steve jobs dreamed of the idea to turn iPod into iPhone and constantly forced the team to work in this direction — it was a response to the fact that all the world’s producers at the time tried to insert the computer into the phone. The touch wheel to control the system should be virtual, and disappear when watching movies.

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In the end, this version of the interface for the iPhone had to be abandoned, but only for one reason: with this method of control the user could not dial a phone number.

“What ultimately turned out to be really an insoluble problem for iPod Phone was dialing, says Fadell. – That is, 1, 2, 3… as the disk on the phone. Everything else worked fine, but this is the only and the main feature – set of the phone numbers – didn’t work. It was very serious,” says Fadell.

Thus, the joke of Steve jobs about the iPhone in the iPod with the rotary dialer was far from the truth. The company has considered 17 very different concepts. In one embodiment, which has moved jobs, it was proposed to make a set of numbers as the Nokia 3650, that is to place the numbers around the disc.

After the iPhone, many have underestimated the smartphone, few thought that he would change the world. The media unanimously predicted a project failure. And what? In the third quarter of 2016, Apple has set a record: its share of global operating profits in the smartphone market reached 91% ($8.5 billion). While total revenue from the iOS ecosystem will soon exceed a trillion dollars.

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