Steve Jobs didn’t want to make smartphones. That was the idea of ​​the iPhone that won him over

Making a millionaire decision is never easy. Steve Jobs will always be the name associated with the iPhone. But There was a time when Apple’s most successful product was nothing more than a of the many anxious ideas that could have ended up in the drawer.

There is a book that vividly describes this relationship tense Between Jobs and the iPhone: Brian Merchant’s “The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone” reflects some of the strangest details, such as the constant disagreement between investors and executives and the resistance of Steve Jobs himself to its production. According to Merchant, Jobs has repeatedly opposed the cellphone concept, even saying that executives’ phones are “junk.” But as the saying goes: If you want to do something, you have to do it right. It was like this.

The iPhone started out as an experimental project done without his knowledge, became an official project at the behest of its executives, and was designed by a brilliant and incredibly hard-working team of programmers and hardware experts – Brian Merchant

Accepting the iPhone was an act of faith

The original rejection came from a concept: “We’re not very good at getting to the end user through gaps“In reality, this was an attack on the operators in the United States, on two giants like AT&T, with whom you would eventually make different deals to use their distribution networks.”

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The first smartphones were robust, heavy and terrible from an aesthetic point of view, but with enormous potential from a social engineer’s point of view. According to Merchant, Jobs lacked visual support to be convinced of the idea: “He needed to see a user interface that would be intuitive and exciting to the layperson before he was convinced of the idea that Apple should enter the phone market.”

The reality is that the first iPhone is a pharaonic feat of engineering. A long-distance race in which all components, from the battery to the very resistant screen, had to be up to the challenge. It is not for nothing that the first model hides more than 200 licenses and patents related to the product. However, the embryo of the first iPhone required years of iterations.


There came a time when the top majority of the engineering team, led by Andy Grignon, tried to convince Steve that an Apple phone was a great idea. He continued to resist, which made the situation tighter and forced the idea to be reconsidered. Until Michael Bell, Apple’s vice president at the time, emailed him with the aim of convincing him.

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Bell was the key, a man of confidence and knowledge. He started his career at Motorola developing mobile operating systems and wireless technologies – he was the main architect for MotoMagx and led the development of the Motorola A760. He joined Apple in 1991 and was a key figure in the development of the iPhone and the first Apple TV for years until he joined Palm in December 2007. However, that is another story: In the early hours of November 7, 2004, Bell sent an email setting out the reasons For that, they should start developing an Apple phone. One of the basic ideas lay precisely in the user interface – which was imitated again and again. Steve Jobs agreed and the rest is history.

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