Steve Jobs almost kept Apple from inventing its most successful product – the iPhone

“Apple hit a market cap of $1 trillion on Thursday, becoming the first publicly traded U.S. company to reach the historic record,” Zameena Mejia reports for CNBC. “More than 40 years after [Steve] Jobs co-founded Apple, the late tech visionary continues to be revered for his successful years of leading the company and the 2007 introduction of the iPhone, one of the company’s most successful products.”

“But Jobs wasn’t always so confident the world-changing item would be a wise investment for the company. In The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone, Motherboard senior editor Brian Merchant detailed how the smartphone came into existence and how even one of the most intelligent, powerful executives needed smart people to help him land at the right decision,” Mejia reports.

Steve Jobs unveils iPhone
Steve Jobs unveils iPhone
“Jobs was a powerful source of inspiration, a fierce curator of good ideas and rejector of bad ones, and a savvy and potent negotiator,” Merchant told CNBC Make It last year, in an interview timed for the iPhone’s 10th anniversary. ‘But the iPhone began as an experimental project undertaken without his knowledge, became an official project at the prodding of his executive staff and was engineered into being by a team of brilliant, unfathomably hard-working programmers and hardware experts.'”

“Jobs had faith in a wide variety of talent, ‘from new blood to veteran hands,’ Merchant says. He notes that Jobs gave Scott Forstall — who would go on to create the iPhone operating system (iOS) — the ability to recruit anyone from the existing Apple staff for the new phone project,” Mejia reports. “Then Apple vice president Michael Bell reportedly sent Jobs a late-night email on Nov. 7, 2004, explaining why the company really should make the phone. Jobs called Bell immediately, and they argued for hours until Jobs finally relented, Merchant writes. When it became obvious that smartphones would become competitors to the iPod, Jobs changed his mind. ‘Okay, I think we should go do it,’ Jobs said.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: ‘Almost’ only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.

The one that started it all:

Apple's revolutionary iPhone
Apple’s revolutionary iPhone

Apple hits landmark $1 trillion valuation – August 2, 2018
The 10-year evolution of the iPhone – August 29, 2017


  1. What a pile of garbage article. Sure, they know what was in Steve’s mind. Because Steve never ever ever started an argument to have people argue for some position to get better information. Just a clickbait article trading on minutia written by the inept and know-nothings of the world. Another day on the internet. MDN showing it’s far better than I at holding back it’s derision.

    1. Clickbait for sure, because these articles miss the forest for the trees. Jobs greatest strength was to focus on what was most important (the whole 1000 no’s for every yes) and at the time his vision was on creating the next computer paradigm, the iPad, a real tablet computer that had been just a vision since at least Alan Kay’s DynaBook concept. Of course other employees had to argue with him to convince him this was the better opportunity at the time, and once Jobs saw it, he knew to focus on what was more important. Without that early work on touch, the iPhone as we know it doesn’t exist. Apple’s process allows the best ideas to fight their way to the top, replacing very good ideas. That’s exactly what happened in this case

  2. No one has a crystal ball. Only facts, intuitions, vision and guesses where the puck will go. Then hope it does go there. The obvious now isn’t always so obvious then. It’s good that Apple had people who felt they could argue with Steve for the right reasons. I hope Tim is treated likewise.

  3. This is why I keep telling people that Steve Jobs was not the only thing that kept apple and innovation running – it is the other brilliant people along with the company culture. The are still innovating just fine.. Cha Ching.

  4. I bought the original iPhone on day one that changed the world, FOREVER.

    Remember distinctly Steve’s introduction of the device, his personal best and simply magical!

    PS: Hey Melvin, I said something 100% positive about Apple …

  5. it’s surprising how much of the form factor and feature set is still defining smart phones today. Cumulatively all of the iterations in the last ten years have transformed the breadth and depth of the experience and power continues to steadily increase, but iteration is all that those things are.

    The original iPhone remains the master mold and a crowning world-changing career achievement.

  6. Is it just me, or does anyone remember Jobs saying that they were working on “touch” for a tablet and Jobs said, “I can’t sell that, but we can sell a phone”? At least that’s how I remember it. If it wasn’t Jobs idea, he certainly new what it’s potential was. Story is B.S.

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