How first iPhone was made?

by Arpit

In the year 2005, the sales of the iPod were skyrocketing. Almost 20 million iPods were sold out. iPod resulted in 45% of Apple's revenue that year. But Steve Jobs was still worried despite such a good performance of the iPod. He was about to make a revolutionary product. The success of the iPod resulted in the development of the iPhone.


Before going further, you should know a little bit about iPod. iPod(an mp3 player) that allows the user to play music or audio files. In the mid-1990s, mp3 players were bulkier with a dull user interface. Steve Jobs saw an opportunity to revolutionize the music industry.

iPod was launched on Oct 23, 2001. It was an mp3 player that could hold 1000 songs with 10 hours of battery life. Everything was working fine, but Steve Jobs was thinking ahead of time.

Meanwhile, camera phones came to the market. Jobs knew that in the future, camera phones could replace the bulkier camera, especially for the masses. Jobs worried that it might also happen with iPod. If any company included an mp3 player in a mobile, iPod would lose its value.

Motorola Razr phone was popular in the market. It made Steve Jobs partner with Motorola to produce an innovative phone with an mp3 player. The result of this partnership was an ugly-looking phone without any innovation. Jobs knew that Apple alone had to develop something ingenious. He even called Motorola a stupid company.

motorola phone

In the starting, Apple tried to produce the phone by modifying the existing iPod. Trackwheel was tried instead of a keyboard, but it looked odd when dialling the numbers.

In the meantime, a few engineers were working on tablet pc at Microsoft. One of them was married to a friend of Steve Jobs. At a birthday party, steve got to know about the tablet pc. Microsoft wanted to use a stylus for interaction with the tablet pc. Steve Jobs didn't like the idea of using a stylus. The next day, he gathered a team and discussed making a tablet that could be controlled with fingers without any external keyboard or stylus. Today this feature is known as multi-touch. It took six months for Apple to develop this feature, but it worked disgustingly.

Jony Ive was working on multi-touch. After meeting him, Steve Jobs knew the importance of the multi-touch feature. Jobs wanted to use it in the cell phone.


Apple knew that there was no surety whether the multi-touch would work with the cell phone. So two teams started working with different technologies to build the phone. The P1 team was told to make the phone with the trackwheel. The P2 team worked on a multi-touch screen to produce the phone.

At that time, a small company 'Fingerworks' was making multi-touch trackpads. The company was founded by John Elias and Wayne Westerman. They had patents for the products they were developing. But Apple silently acquired the company with all its patents and the services of two founders. Later Apple filled all the patents related to multi-touch under its own name.


Some of the team members at Apple also suggested using a keyboard due to the popularity of the Blackberry phone. But Jobs knew that the keyboard would take up extra space with flexibility problems.

It took around six months to make the multi-touch feature work. Jobs decided to use a glass screen instead of a plastic one. He wanted the screen to be strong and scratch resistant.

The company named corning invented gorilla glass using a specific chemical process. But this glass got no marketplace. Jobs made a deal with the CEO of Corning to make as much gorilla glass as possible in the next six months for Apple.


When the design of the iPhone was finalised, Jobs didn't like the design. A new design was proposed with stainless steel bezel to make the gorilla glass display go till the end.

On January 9 2007, Steve Jobs launched the iPhone by saying, "Three revolutionary products in one device". An iPod, a mobile and an internet communicating device. Up to 2010, Apple sold 90 million iPhones.


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