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Thread: A Behind-The-Scenes Look at the Original iPhone Announcement Surfaces

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  1. #1
    MMi Staff Writer Akshay Masand's Avatar
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    Default A Behind-The-Scenes Look at the Original iPhone Announcement Surfaces


    Fred Vogelstein recently published a piece in The New York Times that gives a detailed behind-the-scenes look at the work that went into both the first iPhone and it’s January 9, 2007 announcement. It features information from key iPhone developers like Andy Grignon, Tony Fadell and Scott Forstall. According to Andy Grignon, the senior manager in charge of the radios of the iPhone, the night before the iPhone announcement was actually terrifying. Jobs insisted on a live presentation of the prototype iPhone, which was still in its developmental stages, often “randomly dropping calls, losing its Internet connection, freezing or simply shutting down.” The following was mentioned regarding the situation:

    The iPhone could play a section of a song or a video, but it couldn’t play an entire clip reliably without crashing. It worked fine if you sent an e-mail and then surfed the Web. If you did those things in reverse, however, it might not. Hours of trial and error had helped the iPhone team develop what engineers called “the golden path,” a specific set of tasks, performed in a specific way and order, that made the phone look as if it worked.
    At the time of its announcement, only 100 iPhones existed with some of them featuring significant quality issues such as scuff marks and gaps between the screen and the plastic edge. The software was full of bugs, leading the team to set up multiple iPhones to overcome memory issues and restarts. Because of the iPhone’s knack for crashing, it was actually programmed to display a full five-bar connection at all times. The piece continued by mentioning the following:

    Then, with Jobs’s approval, they preprogrammed the phone’s display to always show five bars of signal strength regardless of its true strength. The chances of the radio’s crashing during the few minutes that Jobs would use it to make a call were small, but the chances of its crashing at some point during the 90-minute presentation were high. "If the radio crashed and restarted, as we suspected it might, we didn’t want people in the audience to see that," Grignon says. "So we just hard-coded it to always show five bars."
    It was obvious that Apple had poured all of its efforts into the iPhone and its success largely hinged on a flawless presentation. As described by Grignon, there wasn’t any backup plan in place if the presentation didn’t work out, which led the team to be under enormous pressure. The company and those working on the iPhone put all their cards into the iPhone and it worked out. Although there were several factors that could have potentially caused the presentation to fail, it famously proceeded without any issues. Grignon shared a final story on how the engineers and managers that worked on both the iPhone and the presentation shared a flask of Scotch as they had watched “the best demo any of us had ever seen.”

    Those of you who are interested in reading more about the thoughts of the key Apple employees should hit the source link below.

    Source: The New York Times

    Twitter: @AkshayMasand

  2. #2
    Livin the iPhone Life
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    This would be a different article if Samsung had been found to do this in their presentations...

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    Quote Originally Posted by feidhlim1986 View Post
    This would be a different article if Samsung had been found to do this in their presentations...
    There's a difference between fudging a demo, but ultimately making the product models work as demoed, and completely and intentionally faking benchmark tests on production models themselves.

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    Quote Originally Posted by feidhlim1986 View Post
    This would be a different article if Samsung had been found to do this in their presentations...
    Nowadays? Yes! Back then, I doubt it. Everyone would have been so caught up in the hype as they were that it wouldn't have mattered. It changed the game too much to look into it that deep.

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    Quote Originally Posted by feidhlim1986 View Post
    This would be a different article if Samsung had been found to do this in their presentations...
    Yep, then it would be, "A Behind-The-Scenes Look at the Original Galaxy Announcement Surfaces".

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    Quote Originally Posted by fleurya View Post
    There's a difference between fudging a demo, but ultimately making the product models work as demoed, and completely and intentionally faking benchmark tests on production models themselves.
    Yeah, because altering synthetic benchmarks which fanboi's use to deem themselves superior that in reality have zero credibility nor any significant meaning at all in the real world (I didn't say this, the great Cyanogen did.) is a whole lot worse than showing off a product to millions of people whose functionality is depicted working by using smoke and mirrors, while in actuality it isn't functional at all. Yup, it's so much worse. *rolls eyes*

    Let me guess, you think Obamacare is a quality piece of legislation too, don't you? You must enjoy smoke and mirrors.

    In reality, neither of those things make any difference unless your a fanboi looking for a reason to poke and prod. Both good products, both very functional, and both have made billions of dollars.

    Like he said..

    If this were Samsung, all the Apple super-defending super heros would be all over it. But, because it's Apple, it's ok. Kind of like the stealing and idea raping Jobs openly admitting in his book, but people are so quick to crucify others for. Lol.
    Last edited by Slimz; 10-05-2013 at 03:21 PM.

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slimz View Post
    Yeah, because altering synthetic benchmarks which fanboi's use to deem themselves superior that in reality have zero credibility nor any significant meaning at all in the real world (I didn't say this, the great Cyanogen did.) is a whole lot worse than showing off a product to millions of people whose functionality is depicted working by using smoke and mirrors, while in actuality it isn't functional at all. Yup, it's so much worse. *rolls eyes*

    Let me guess, you think Obamacare is a quality piece of legislation too, don't you? You must enjoy smoke and mirrors.

    In reality, neither of those things make any difference unless your a fanboi looking for a reason to poke and prod. Both good products, both very functional, and both have made billions of dollars.

    Like he said..

    If this were Samsung, all the Apple super-defending super heros would be all over it. But, because it's Apple, it's ok. Kind of like the stealing and idea raping Jobs openly admitting in his book, but people are so quick to crucify others for. Lol.
    Are you serious? A demonstration is just that, a demonstration of what the product will do once it's released. I'm developing software and I've created a demonstration of what my software will do once it's developed in order to get investors to back me when in actuality the software hasn't even started to be developed yet. Does that mean I'm lying about what it will do?

    What Samsung did was falsify numbers and told people their phone was faster than it really was. The huge difference here is that what Apple showed in their demonstration is exactly what the iPhone did when it came to market. What Samsung did was make you believe the phone was capable of speeds that it wasn't really capable of. If you think that you have to defend Apple to see what I would think would be common sense, well then my friend I feel sorry for you. I'm not defending Apple, because there is nothing to defend.

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    What matters is "it just worked" when it was release, and it paved the way for Samsung and others to be in the position they're in today. I would also agree that had it been Samsung or anyone else it wouldn't matter as long as "it just worked".

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    Livin the iPhone Life steve-z17's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trevorrawson View Post
    Are you serious? A demonstration is just that, a demonstration of what the product will do once it's released. I'm developing software and I've created a demonstration of what my software will do once it's developed in order to get investors to back me when in actuality the software hasn't even started to be developed yet. Does that mean I'm lying about what it will do?

    What Samsung did was falsify numbers and told people their phone was faster than it really was. The huge difference here is that what Apple showed in their demonstration is exactly what the iPhone did when it came to market. What Samsung did was make you believe the phone was capable of speeds that it wasn't really capable of. If you think that you have to defend Apple to see what I would think would be common sense, well then my friend I feel sorry for you. I'm not defending Apple, because there is nothing to defend.
    +1!! Haha, burned!

    I think it's funny that they had to do things in the right order and make the radio bars look full the whole time! Sounds like they have some great stories to tell, I hope they continue to tell more!
    Last edited by steve-z17; 10-05-2013 at 11:48 PM.

  13. #11
    iPhone? More like MyPhone Breezy215's Avatar
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    I always noticed when Steve went to the podium to do a live demo of the original iPhone, he glanced through what looked like an instruction manual of some sort, which never made sense to me until today... Either way, it was an iconic presentation that went without a hitch...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Breezy215 View Post
    I always noticed when Steve went to the podium to do a live demo of the original iPhone, he glanced through what looked like an instruction manual of some sort, which never made sense to me until today... Either way, it was an iconic presentation that went without a hitch...
    Steve:*mutters to self* ok first I need to hit the power button then wait exactly 7.3 seconds until I can actually unlock it. Then I need to open up the settings app and close out of it in 2 seconds, then I can show off the calling capabilities...

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    Nothing to say except one of the Brightest lights of this generation, sry guys you have to be 45 or older to be included is gone. He gave an amazing presentation about a product that didnt realy have in quanity working and he changed the world.

    We miss you Steve.

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