Funny How Things Work Out

Interesting tidbit in this report from Nick Wingfield and Brian X. Chen for the NYT:

Including a maps app on the first iPhone was not even part of the company’s original plan as the phone’s unveiling approached in January 2007. Just weeks before the event, Mr. Jobs ordered a mapping app to show off the capabilities of the touch-screen device.

Two engineers put together a maps app for the presentation in three weeks, said a former Apple engineer who worked on iPhone software, and who declined to be named because he did not want to speak publicly about his previous employer. The company hastily cut a deal with Google to use its map data.

At the time, relying on Google, which had introduced its map service a couple of years earlier, made sense. Apple and Google had generally friendly relations, and Google’s chief executive at the time, Eric E. Schmidt, served on Apple’s board.

Putting Schmidt on the board was the single biggest mistake in Jobs’s entire time at the helm. This corner Apple has painted itself into with Maps today might never have happened if Jobs hadn’t misplaced his trust in Schmidt.

Saturday, 29 September 2012