Phil Schiller on the Original iPhone’s Launch

Steven Levy, interviewing Phil Schiller on the tenth anniversary of the iPhone’s introduction:

Schiller also cast light on why the iPhone shipped as a closed system. During the gestation period of the iPhone, Apple hosted a spirited internal debate. Some advocated that the device be an open system, like the Macintosh, and others advised a more closed system, like the iPod. The argument was put on hold when the engineers realized that even if the open-system adherents won the debate, it would be impossible to implement in time for the launch. Steve Jobs shut down the discussion, Schiller recalls. “He said ‘We don’t have to keep debating this because we can’t have [an open system] right now. Maybe we’ll change our mind afterwards, or maybe we won’t, but for now there isn’t one so let’s envision this world where we solve the problem with great built-in apps and a way for developers to make web apps.”

A few thoughts:

  • iOS is now older than Mac OS X was at the time the iPhone was unveiled.
  • This was the cell phone in my pocket as I sat in Moscone West, watching the keynote.
  • I just took my original iPhone out of the closet and charged it up. It’s thick and heavy, but overall feels tiny. It’s sized like a cell phone, not a pocket computer.
  • Interesting that Apple is choosing to mark the tenth anniversary now, on the occasion of its unveiling. Perhaps they’ll do something again on June 29, the day we all stood in line outside Apple and AT&T stores, waiting to buy one.

Monday, 9 January 2017