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Thread: Original iPhone Engineer Details the Development of the Original iPhone

  1. #1
    MMi Staff Writer Akshay Masand's Avatar
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    Default Original iPhone Engineer Details the Development of the Original iPhone


    In a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal, Apple senior software engineer Greg Christie offers a detailed look at the development process that culminated in the first iPhone. Christie shared the story of how an ultimatum from late Apple cofounder Steve Jobs pushed the engineer and his team to create what would become the first iPhone.

    According to Christie, his team had been working on a “software vision” for the handheld when Jobs gave him two weeks to come up with something before the project was assigned to another group. The engineering team developed what would later become the iPhone OS and ultimately the current iOS. Along with “swipe to unlock,” touch-based inputs and gestures, Christie’s team created what can be considered the blueprint for modern smartphone operating systems.

    At least some of the ideas came from Christie’s work with the Newton PDA team, which the engineer was a part of after joining Apple in 1996. The engineer was offered the chance to work on the iPhone project in 2004 by former executive Scott Forstall, who at the time said Apple was developing a phone/media player hybrid with touch capabilities. After months of highly secret work on “project purple,” including bi-weekly meetings with Jobs himself, Christie and his “shockingly small” team came up with a solution worthy of approval. The idea had to be pitched first to Jobs, then to Apple board director Bill Campbell and finally to Jony Ive.

    Jobs reportedly became increasingly excited about the iPhone’s software possibilities according to Christie and began to add his own narrative with each successive presentation. Christie said the following about Jobs:

    His excitement for it was boundless.
    The article goes on to detail the steps that all employees working on the project had to take to keep the device secret. Jobs reportedly told work could only be done in a secluded area of an employee’s house and all images of the phone had to be encrypted.

    The story comes one day ahead of the scheduled start date for Apple’s second California patent trial against Samsung. Much of the litigation revolves around software patents Christie himself had at least some hand in creating. We’ll have to wait and see what happens.

    Source: The Wall Street Journal via AppleInsider

    Twitter: @AkshayMasand

  2. #2
    Man it must have been so cool to be a part of the team that developed a new OS.

    As a student programmer, I know I would!

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  4. #3
    What is most impressive was he only had two weeks to put it together.

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    Livin the iPhone Life bigboyz's Avatar
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    Not much has changed since the initial OS. Same look and feel with some enhancements here and there ie copy and paste, backgrounding apps, multitasking, lock screen access to utilities and so on. I am waiting for the excitement to return..time for some new features.

  6. #5
    Not much has changed??? Are you kidding??? We got newly designed icons! Yippie!!!

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    Starbucks Artist mmaboi21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigboyz View Post
    Not much has changed since the initial OS. Same look and feel with some enhancements here and there ie copy and paste, backgrounding apps, multitasking, lock screen access to utilities and so on. I am waiting for the excitement to return..time for some new features.
    Not much has changed? Wow... You normally have good things to say but your entirely off on this.

    Quote Originally Posted by TimInMass View Post
    Not much has changed??? Are you kidding??? We got newly designed icons! Yippie!!!
    Not to mention the functionality! Yeah that's what I'm talking about! Woo!

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