At 2 Infinite Loop, an older touchscreen-tablet research project was still chugging along. Bas Ording, Imran Chaudhri, and company were still exploring the contours of a basic touch-focused user interface. One day, Bas Ording got a call from Steve Job. He said, "We're gonna do a phone."
This is a paragraph from the upcoming book titled, The One Device: The Secret History of the IPhone. Written by Brain Merchant, the book aims to unveil the mysteries behind the most popular device of the 21st century. It is being released on 20 June and has several chapters on how engineers worked on the iPhone and how, initially, Jobs was not convinced that the iPhone was a good idea.
The book uncovers fascinating aspects of smartphone history and the Verge has published an excerpt from it. This part suggests that Mike Bell, a senior executive at Apple, had a tough time convincing Jobs to make a phone. Bell was certain that a cell phone, a music player, and an Internet device can exist in a singular form.
"On November 7, 2004, Bell sent Jobs a late-night email. "Steve, I know you don't want to do a phone," he wrote, "but here's why we should do it: Jony Ive has some really cool designs for future iPods that no one has seen. We ought to take one of those, put some Apple software around it, and make a phone out if ourselves instead of putting our stuff on other people's phones."
Jobs called him right away. They argued for hours, pushing back and forth. Bell detailed his convergence theory — no doubt mentioning the fact that the mobile phone market was exploding worldwide — and Jobs picked it apart. Finally, he relented.
"Okay, I think we should go do it," he said.
"So Steve and I and Jony and Sakoman had lunch three or four days later and kicked off the iPhone project."
Earlier, Tony Fadell, father of the iPod, and Apple engineer Andy Grignon had cooked up a demo for a WiFi enabled iPod that could be used to surf the Internet.
It was also the first time that Steve Jobs had seen the Internet running on an iPod. "And he was like, 'This is bullshit.' He called it right away... 'I don't want this. I know it works, I got it, great, thanks, but this is a shitty experience,' " Grignon recalls.
The phone was a very secret project and the employees were not allowed to say anything about it. Plenty of personal life troubles erupted because of the project.
"The iPhone is the reason I'm divorced," Andy Grignon, a senior iPhone engineer, tells me. I heard that sentiment more than once throughout my dozens of interviews with the iPhone's key architects and engineers. "Yeah, the iPhone ruined more than a few marriages," says another.
Looks like, the book is going to be an exciting read for tech enthusiasts and others too. You can read the full excerpt at the Verge.