The Origins and Development of the iPhone

Wired magazine has a particularly revealing article which details some of the history of the iPhone project within Apple and its unique effect on the wireless industry. With the introduction of the iPhone, manufacturers are racing to produce more phones that appeal directly to consumers rather than to carriers.

Wired manages to get some previously unknown details about the origins of the iPhone project. It began back in 2002, soon after the iPod, when Jobs realized that the convergence of mobile phones and music players would force Apple to get into the mobile phone business.

Apple originally partnered with Motorola which resulted in the ill-fated ROKR iTunes phone, which appeared to be doomed from the start:

Jobs likely knew he had a dud on his hands; consumers, for their part, hated it. The ROKR -- which couldn't download music directly and held only 100 songs -- quickly came to represent everything that was wrong with the US wireless industry, the spawn of a mess of conflicting interests for whom the consumer was an afterthought.

In February 2005, Jobs secretly met with Cingular executives, including Stan Sigman. Jobs presented a three-part message to the execs:

- Apple had the technology to build something truly revolutionary, "light-years ahead of anything else."
- Apple was prepared to consider an exclusive arrangement to get that deal done.
- But Apple was also prepared to buy wireless minutes wholesale and become a de facto carrier itself.

Despite the promises, the iPhone project was a major challenge for Apple, requiring over $150 million in development costs. Apple also took extraordinary measures to keep the project secret, with hardware and software teams completely separated, with only 30 people having seen the full device by the time it debuted at Macworld 2007. The decision to use a modified Mac OS X wasn't immediately obvious, and Apple engineers had even seriously considered using Linux.

Other interesting notes from the article:

- The iPhone's codename was P2, short for Purple 2. Purple 1 was an abandoned iPod phone project.
- Apple engineers had spent a year working on touchscreen technology for a Tablet PC. (no other details available in the article)

Related Forum: iPhone

Popular Stories

iPhone 16 Pro Sizes Feature

iPhone 16 Series Is Just Two Months Away: Everything We Know

Monday July 15, 2024 4:44 am PDT by
Apple typically releases its new iPhone series around mid-September, which means we are about two months out from the launch of the iPhone 16. Like the iPhone 15 series, this year's lineup is expected to stick with four models – iPhone 16, iPhone 16 Plus, iPhone 16 Pro, and iPhone 16 Pro Max – although there are plenty of design differences and new features to take into account. To bring ...
maxresdefault

Apple's AirPods Pro 2 vs. Samsung's Galaxy Buds3 Pro

Saturday July 13, 2024 8:00 am PDT by
Samsung this week introduced its latest earbuds, the Galaxy Buds3 Pro, which look quite a bit like Apple's AirPods Pro 2. Given the similarities, we thought we'd compare Samsung's new earbuds to the AirPods Pro. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Design wise, you could potentially mistake Samsung's Galaxy Buds3 Pro for the AirPods Pro. The Buds3 Pro have the same...
iPhone 15 Pro Cameras

iPhone 17 Pro Max Will Be First Model to Feature Three 48MP Cameras

Thursday July 11, 2024 12:20 am PDT by
Next year's iPhone 17 Pro Max will feature an upgraded 48-megapixel Tetraprism camera for enhanced photo quality and zoom functionality, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In his n-iphone-tetraprism-upgrade-ca62dd37e364">latest investor note published to Medium, Kuo said the key specification change would be a 1/2.6" 48MP CIS sensor, up from the 1/3.1" 12MP sensor expected to be used...
Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID Single Camera Hole

10 Reasons to Wait for Next Year's iPhone 17

Monday July 8, 2024 5:00 am PDT by
Apple's iPhone development roadmap runs several years into the future and the company is continually working with suppliers on several successive iPhone models simultaneously, which is why we sometimes get rumored feature leaks so far ahead of launch. The iPhone 17 series is no different – already we have some idea of what to expect from Apple's 2025 smartphone lineup. If you plan to skip...
primeday2020 feature3

The Best Early Prime Day Deals on Apple Products

Saturday July 13, 2024 6:23 am PDT by
Amazon is soon to be back with its annual summertime Prime Day event, lasting for just two days from July 16-17. As it does every year, Prime Day offers shoppers a huge selection of deals across Amazon's storefront, and there are already many deals you can get on sale ahead of the event. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may...