Jonathan Ive mentioned yesterday at the UK Trade and Investment department’s Global Business on Creative Services that Apple’s iPhone came close to never happening.
Ive mentioned yesterday Apple focuses on making great products instead of cutting corners to maximize profits, and it turns out Apple’s iPhone almost didn’t qualify as a great product. Numerous issues plagued the device’s development including proximity sensor issues.
"We nearly shelved the phone because we thought there were fundamental problems that we can't solve. With the early prototypes, I held the phone to my ear and my ear [would] dial the number,” he said. “You have to detect all sorts of ear-shapes and chin shapes, skin colour and hairdo...that was one of just many examples where we really thought, perhaps this isn’t going to work.” — Jonathan Ive
Recently released court documents exposed numerous iPhone and iPad prototypes showing just how drastic some of Apple’s ideas were, and how far the iPhone development team went from inception to creation. Ive's comments made clear Apple's ultimate goal is not profit, even if that is hard to imagine for the most profitable company in the world.
“Our goal isn’t to make money. Our goal absolutely at Apple is not to make money. This may sound a little flippant, but it’s the truth. Our goal and what gets us excited is to try to make great products. We trust that if we are successful people will like them, and if we are operationally competent we will make revenue, but we are very clear about our goal.” — Ive