iPhone Was Created Because Steve Jobs ‘Hated This Guy’ Says Former Apple SVP

iPhone Was Created Because Steve Jobs 'Hated This Guy' Says Former Apple SVP Credit: CNET
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Scott Forstall, a former senior vice president at Apple who was a pivotal part of the company’s efforts to create iOS, just broke his silence — giving a rare interview during an event at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California.

In fact, the interview marks the first time that Forstall has spoken publicly about Apple since he left Cupertino on fairly bad terms in 2012, following the release of iOS 6 and the botched rollout of Apple Maps. Forstall spoke to journalist John Markoff following an hour-long interview with several engineers who also worked on the original iPhone (which is also worth a view). While the interview is largely devoid of any major revelations about Apple, it’s entertaining and chock full of humorous anecdotes concerning the development of the first iPhone and Forstall’s friendship with Steve Jobs. See the full interview below.

For example, Forstall recounted how the iPhone — now Apple’s most popular device by far — was first developed. “It began because Steve hated this guy at Microsoft. That is the actual origin,” Forstall said, adding that it wasn’t Bill Gates. After hearing about the stylus and tablet development at Microsoft, Steve originally wanted a multitouch-enabled tablet device. “Steve came in on a Monday, there was a set of expletives and then he said, ‘Let’s show them how it’s really done’” Forstall said. Of course, the iPhone isn’t a tablet — and Forstall went on that the concept of the device was born one day during lunch when he and Steve noticed everyone else around them using phones.

It was apparently a revelation and prompted Steve to rework the tablet idea into a device that could fit into a pocket. ?Inevitably, the concept of skeuomorphism was also brought up — a now out-of-style design philosophy that Forstall pioneered in iOS. Surprisingly, he said he has never heard of the “unnatural” term, and simply wanted the design of iOS to be approachable and friendly, something one could use “without a manual.” It’s worth noting that iOS 7 — released after Forstall’s departure — almost completely did away with the skeuomorphic design. Forstall recalls other events, too, like demonstrating a prototype of the first iPhone to Cingular Wireless executives shortly before its announcement.

Once, Forstall remembers, he was stricken with a severe stomach virus which landed him in the hospital for several months. Jobs, a long-time advocate for alternative medicine, arranged for an acupuncture treatment for Forstall. After two sessions, he was released from the hospital and made a full recovery. He also told an amusing story about how Jobs used a mischievous scheme to scam the Apple cafeteria. Jobs insisted on buying lunch for himself and Forstall, even though the payments were deducted from employees’ paychecks — and Jobs only got paid $1 a year. “He was a multi-billionaire scamming Apple,” Forstall said.

The former Apple SVP is rather charismatic in his storytelling, and though the interview is around an hour, it’s well worth a watch if you’re at all interested in Apple’s history.

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