Apple Spent Years Designing iPhone for 'Normal People'

originaliphoneApple senior software engineer Greg Christie took the stand today in Apple's second patent trial against Samsung, where he shared some details on the development of the "Slide to Unlock" function Samsung is accused of copying and gave additional details on the development of the original iPhone.

One of Apple's major arguments against Samsung is the fact that developing the iPhone was a serious risk for the company as it was new territory, a point that Christie reiterated in his testimony as he described the three year journey of the iPhone's development (via CNET).

The iPhone went through hundreds of different design tweaks as Apple worked to make the phone function in a way that anyone could understand. The company's focus on simplicity remains to this day, with Apple designing for "normal people," as described by Christie.

"One of the biggest challenges is that we need to sell products to people who don't do what we do for a living," Christie, one of the inventors of the slide-to-unlock iPhone feature, said. When designing products, Apple keeps in mind that it wants “normal people – people with better things to do with their lives than learn how a computer might work – to use the product as well as we can."

Christie helped develop some of the original iPhone's key features and he is known as the inventor of "Slide to Unlock," a function that prevents the iPhone from being activated accidentally while within a pocket. During his testimony, Christie also detailed the creation of the function (via Re/code), noting that Apple had originally aimed to have the device's screen on at all times.

A screen that was always on proved to be infeasible, with Christie citing an inability to meet power requirements. "We had to resort to a power button," he said, stating that the company was also concerned with "pocket dialing."

"We knew we had to have a locked mode, or a locked state, where it wouldn't let you do most things, except you could unlock it," Christie said.

That need resulted in the development of Apple's famous Slide to Unlock function, which Christie testified was an important feature on the phone because it is the first thing a customer sees on the iPhone, both in store and at home.

During this second patent trial, which covers newer devices, Apple was limited to levying just five patents against Samsung, making each one vital to the case. Apple is aiming to prove that each patent is highly valuable to the company and is seeking $2 billion in damages from Samsung.

Greg Christie gave additional details on the development of the original iPhone ahead of the patent trial, which can be found in his March interview with The Wall Street Journal.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
83 months ago
And then they ruined everything with iOS7.
Score: 47 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
83 months ago

And then they ruined everything with iOS7.


sigh...
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
83 months ago
I miss Scott Forstall's voice

And then they ruined everything with iOS7.

Agreed!

Skeuomorphism still has value and was uniquely Apple!

iOS 7 goes along with the crowd and boring flat designs of windows & android platforms. Nothing wrong with that. if you like that you can chose those devices, but Apple has lost a few things, most notably, to think different!

I'm an IT person, but I understand that "normal" people do not want to jailbreak, hack, or constantly re-learn how to operate a device. That's for engineers to tinker with and those that demand "something new" every few months or the phone "sucks".

Usability vs gimmicks is the issue here. To me, the iPhone 4 with iOS 6.1.3 was the pinnacle of design & usability. Much like Snow Leopard was the pinnacle for Mac OS X.

"Normal" people aren't stupid just because they don't know how to program a microwave clock. They just prefer to spend their time different to those that constantly like to tweak and tinker. Steve Jobs understood so well to reign in engineers' wet dreams and channel them into magically fantastic products.

All I essentially want from a smartphone is a) make a phone call, b) listen to music, c) check my calendar, d) read email, e) browse the web, f) set an alarm and g) take the occasional snapshot.

Everything else is gimmicky to me and often a waste of time.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
83 months ago

I found my million $ development idea. I'm going to create an app that automatically filters out all of the 'waaah, I hate iOS7. Boo-hoo." comments.


So what you're proposing is closing the comments section on MacRumours? ;)
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
83 months ago

And then they ruined everything with iOS7.


I think it's fair to say that they taught the world how to use a phone with a touch screen device using skeuomorphism, bulky chrome, and mechanical buttons/switches. Now that we're all familiar with that, let's make use of the extra focus that is gained when peel all of that back and bring forth the information we're actually interested in.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
83 months ago

How about for "NON" normal people.:p


Windows mobile is available for those people.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Takes Legal Action Against Small Company With Pear Logo

Saturday August 8, 2020 11:09 am PDT by
Apple is taking legal action against the developers of the app "Prepear" due to its logo, according to iPhone in Canada. Prepear is an app that helps users discover recipes, plan meals, make lists, and arrange grocery deliveries. The app is a spinoff of "Super Healthy Kids," and the founders claim that they are facing litigation from Apple. Apple reportedly takes issue with Prepear's logo, ...

Kuo: Global iPhone Shipments Could Decline Up to 30% If Apple Forced to Remove WeChat From App Store [Updated x2]

Sunday August 9, 2020 10:17 pm PDT by
In a worst-case scenario, Apple's annual global iPhone shipments could decline by 25–30% if it is forced to remove WeChat from its App Stores around the world, according to a new research note from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo viewed by MacRumors. The removal could occur due to a recent executive order aiming to ban U.S. transactions with WeChat and its parent company Tencent. Kuo lays out...

iPhone Maker Foxconn Says China's 'Days as the World's Factory Are Done'

Wednesday August 12, 2020 7:55 am PDT by
China will no longer be the world's manufacturing epicenter going forward, according to Apple's largest supply chain partner Foxconn, which has been gradually expanding its operations in other countries amid the U.S.-China trade war. "No matter if it's India, Southeast Asia or the Americas, there will be a manufacturing ecosystem in each," said Foxconn chairman Young Liu, according to Bloombe...

Google Maps Debuts New Apple Watch App and CarPlay Features

Monday August 10, 2020 9:16 am PDT by
Google today announced the launch of several features for Google Maps on Apple products, including new CarPlay functionality and a new Google Maps app that works on Apple Watch. The new Google Maps app for Apple Watch works similarly to the iOS app, allowing Apple Watch owners to get directions for a car, bike, public transit, or on foot. The app supports estimated arrival times and...

Apple May Release 4G-Only iPhone 12 in Early 2021

Tuesday August 11, 2020 5:28 am PDT by
In a research note shared by Business Insider, Wedbush Securities analysts said that Apple may release a cheaper iPhone 12 in early 2021 with no 5G connectivity. Wedbush initially believed Apple would launch a mix of 4G and 5G iPhone 12 models this fall. Following re-examination of Asian supply chains, analysts Daniel Ives, Strecker Backe, and Ahmad Khalil revised the predictions,...

iPad Pro Keyboard Comparison: Logitech's $160 Folio Touch vs. Apple's $300 Magic Keyboard

Tuesday August 11, 2020 2:11 pm PDT by
Logitech recently debuted the Folio Touch, a keyboard and trackpad case designed for the 11-inch iPad Pro that serves as an alternative to the Magic Keyboard. In our latest YouTube video, we compare the $160 Folio Touch to Apple's $300 Magic Keyboard to see which is better. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Logitech is selling the Folio Touch for $160, while Apple's...

Foxconn Reportedly Begins Seasonal Hiring Spree for iPhone 12 Production

Monday August 10, 2020 7:03 am PDT by
Apple's largest manufacturing partner Foxconn has begun its seasonal hiring spree to assist with iPhone 12 production, offering employees who recruit qualified applicants up to a 9,000 yuan bonus, according to Chinese media reports. As usual, Foxconn needs as many hands on deck as possible at its factory in Zhengzhou, China to assist with mass production of the upcoming iPhones. Apple is...

Apple Seeds First Public Beta of watchOS 7 to Public Beta Testers

Monday August 10, 2020 10:33 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the first public beta of an upcoming watchOS 7 update to public beta testers, one week after seeding the fourth beta to developers and a month and a half after the Worldwide Developers Conference. The update can be downloaded after installing the proper profile from Apple's Public Beta website. watchOS 7 should not be installed on a primary device as it is still an early...

Apple Watch Likely to Adopt MicroLED Display Technology in 3-4 Years

Monday August 10, 2020 2:55 am PDT by
This year's Apple Watch Series 6 is expected to feature an OLED screen like previous models, but a future model is likely to be the first Apple product to adopt MicroLED display technology, albeit not for another three to four years. That's the main takeaway reading between the lines of comments made by the chairman of Epistar, Taiwan's top LED producer, which is reportedly working on a...

Parallels Desktop 16 Brings macOS Big Sur Support, Multi-Touch Gestures, 20% Faster DirectX, and More

Tuesday August 11, 2020 2:17 am PDT by
Parallels Desktop 16 released today, bringing some notable new features and performance enhancements to the virtualization software, including full support for macOS Big Sur. When Apple introduced macOS Big Sur, it ended support for the third-party kernel extensions that previous versions of Parallels were built on. That forced the developers to re-engineer the virtualization software from the ...