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The iPhone Story

Just like when a child says “Grandfather, tell me a story, a real story, that I can’t find in the storybooks”, Scott Forstall took the stand to tell the iPhone story. This is the Apple versus Samsung patent infringement trial of the twenty-first century story.

iPhone generations
We all know iPhone’s current dominating position on the smartphone market: it is used as a benchmark for all other smartphones. But how did the iPhone end up taking and keeping this roll? How much time, work and money has Apple put into this project? The curtain has been lifted now with Forstall forced to shine some light on the most secretive part of the iPhone project.

The iPhone story goes back to 1992, when Scott Forstall first met Steve Jobs. It was during an interview at NeXT, when Jobs walked into the session, took over the conversation and informed Forstall that he had a job waiting at NeXT. So there he was, joining Jobs in creating a team with a single aim, to create “an operating system that could last for another 20 years.” And this was the beginning of the Mac OS X, as we know it today.

After Apple built all those amazing Macs and laptops, Fostall kept going by asking themselves, okay, we did, it, but what comes next? The first thing they focused on next was the tablet, and soon after that they began to investigate the touch screen and started building prototypes. However, one year after the tablet project began, the mobile phone question came up. They all hated the current version of cell phones and wanted to use the touch technology they were experimenting with for phone use and create a small version that could fit in a pocket. As the experiments for tablets were going well, touchscreen seemed the perfect solution for the phone.

This is when they switched from making a tablet to developing the iPhone. Apple is very well known for its secrecy, but the iPhone project was differed from other projects. Forstall was put in charge of developing the software for it and he started by gathering the best people from the inside the company with no one from outside. This was the first rule: only Apple workers. The second rule was even stricter. Forstall informed his team that if they agreed to work on this secret project, they had to agree to give up their nights and weekends for years to come.

The project received the code name Purple and the team received a separate part of the building which was called the purple dorm. As Forstall tells it: “People were there all the time. It smelled like pizza. The first rule of the Purple Project is you don’t talk about the Purple Project,” hinted to the famous Fight Club movie.

While the Purple team was busy testing the competitor’s phones, the iPhone project had its technological challenges as well. It had to face the iPhone design as it relates to its use of a touchscreen. The investment in this specific project was immense both in money, and time. As Forstall notes: it took him years to develop a user interface completely rethought for touch, bringing the whole web at the users fingertips.

But the history of iPhone doesn’t end with its launch. It is currently still being developed, and in just five years, has managed to become the most successful smartphone on the market. All this is helped by a powerful App Store with more than 650,000 apps available for download. To top it off, in just five weeks, we are going to see a new generation iPhone, which is surrounded by high expectations regarding its performance and design. [Via AppleInsider, Image credit Flickr]]

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