How long ago do you think Steve Jobs had the vision for the iPhone?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by ijohnbro, Nov 22, 2011.

  1. ijohnbro macrumors regular

    Oct 27, 2010
    Hard to say for sure, but when do you think Steve Jobs had the vision for the first iPhone? Like the first time he actually thought about the concept of a push screen phone that is today the iPhone?

    Any Apple geeks who follow Steve heard of any mentions of the possibility pre 2007?
  2. Mr_Brightside_@ macrumors 68030


    Sep 23, 2005
    I'd say so. Just thought of it and it appeared in his hand.

    He was using for at least months before its release.
  3. sulpfiction macrumors 68030


    Aug 16, 2011
    Philadelphia Area
    If you saw the documentary "one last thing", there is an interview from 30 years ago where he basically describes the iPad of today. Pretty amazing. I am still so bummed that he is gone :(.
  4. therationalist macrumors regular


    Jul 8, 2011
    Steve stole most of his ideas. He admited so himself. So the question should be " when was the first time Steve saw someone elses concept of a touchscreen phone "
  5. bmms8 macrumors 68020

    Dec 19, 2007
    there is another thread with the same basic question as this thread.

    to answer, years. in the other thread someone mentioned 2003, which i believe is probably right.
  6. JRoDDz macrumors 68000


    Jul 2, 2009
    The iPhone was created because Apple saw a threat to their iPod line with all the newest phones also playing music. They knew people would not carry 2 devices around and instead opt for just 1 device.
  7. pdqgp macrumors 68020


    Mar 23, 2010
    I don't see that as anything but positive. He took ideas that others had and put a solid vision behind it based on what he though people would do with the new and improved items.

    Look at BASF and their tag line: "At BASF, we don't make a lot of the products you buy. We make a lot of the products you buy better."

    I give SJ more credit in many cases than those that came up with the idea. The initial thought counts but isn't worth much without being able to innovate and bring a brand to life. Hell, just look at all the competition trying to do with their products what Apple has done with theirs. Even down to the look and feel.
  8. ericg301 macrumors 65816

    Jun 15, 2010
    read the book. it's all in there. except for the parts that aren't
  9. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    That's a condensed version, but it's a little more complicated than that.

    People who've been following Apple for a while, pre-iPhone, will remember that this is the "proto-iPhone":


    The Motorola ROKR E1 was a partnership by Apple and Motorola to bring iTunes functionality to a mobile phone. JRoDDz is right: Apple saw cell phones as a way to extend the iPod/iTunes ecosystem, and saw other phones (like the SonyEricsson models) as encroaching on their music player space because they could play music as well.

    The problem is, at the time Apple lacked any phone expertise and so they had to rely on Motorola. And that ended up making the ROKR a total clusterf----. Motorola basically recycled the RAZR internals for a quick fix (which, although thin and chic, RAZRs were slow, limited in functionality and pretty much braindead) and Motorola saw fit to bring in AT&T (then called Cingular) for their input as well. So, it became design by committee. Cingular didn't want you downloading music on their meager (compared to today) data network which was mostly still barely at dialup speed, so you had to sync music by cable only; no onboard iTunes store. Forget about apps. Oh, and because of the limited hardware you could only store 100 songs at a time, regardless of how large the MicroSD card was that you were storing your music on.

    It was then that Apple decided they needed to do this on their own. So, concepts that would eventually be put into the iPad, which no doubt had their roots in old Newton technology, got merged into what is now the iPhone.
  10. maclook macrumors 65816

    Nov 2, 2008
    He talks about it in the WWDC 1997 Q&A. It's on YouTube for anyone who wants to watch it. The way he talks about it, he seems to be waiting for an actual phone company to do it and I think the mere idea of Apple making a phone only came to light after the iPod's success and the things Steve learned during those years.
  11. mobiletech macrumors member

    Nov 17, 2010
    actually I read somewhere that Apple was working on the ipad long before the iphone was even close to an idea in the early 2000s. One of the engineers blurted out that it would make a great phone and Steve agreed. Followed by shelving of the ipad. It was a big deal, because it was one of the few times Steve actually went with a subordinates idea over his own.
  12. saving107 macrumors 603


    Oct 14, 2007
    San Jose, Ca
    History of the iPhone
    The first concept for an iPhone type device came about in 2000 when Apple worker John Casey sent some concept art around via internal email, he called it the Telipod - a telephone and iPod combination. However, this idea eventually evolved into the iPhone we know today.
    It was Apple co-founder, Steve Jobs who directed Apple's engineers to develop a touch screen, mobile phone. Jobs at first was considering am Apple tablet computer, that desire eventually manifested in the iPad, and Apple had already produced a palm device with a touch screen, the Newton MessagePad.

    Apple Phones

    Apple's first smartphone was the ROKR E1, released on September 7, 2005. However, the ROKR was an Apple and Motorola collaboration and Apple was not happy with Motorola's contributions. Within a year, Apple discontinued support for the ROKR. On January 9, 2007, Steve Jobs announced the new iPhone at the Macworld convention. On June 29, 2007, Apple began selling the new iPhone.
  13. haruhiko macrumors 601


    Sep 29, 2009

    It may be a bit off-topic, but I denied to buy the iPod (although I bought some for my family) because I think that music should be listened on my mobile phone instead of a separate device. And I wished the one to release that music phone to be Apple, but not the Sony Ericsson that I was using at that time.
  14. iSayuSay macrumors 68040


    Feb 6, 2011
    Moral of MotoApple story: If you want to get something done right, do it yourself :D
  15. goosnarrggh macrumors 68000

    May 16, 2006
    I think it's absurdly generous to refer to any member of the Morotola ROKR line of phones as a "smartphone" - even by 2005 standards.

    It was a feature phone, typical of other feature phones of the the era, except instead of using a proprietary method of syncing its music library, it could naively sync with iTunes. Nothing more, nothing less.
  16. jterp7 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 26, 2011
  17. The LPT macrumors regular

    Mar 8, 2010
    Very true, the ROKR was just a previous Motorola model E398 with an extra button and iTunes software on it. Heck you could even flash the software onto the old E398's

    Also I remember seeing an interview I downloaded off of iTunes that the idea for the iPhone came about when he was shown a prototype iPad with the inertial scrolling working. He got super excited, and said something like "My God, we could make a phone out of this" Then put the iPad development on hold to produce the iPhone
  18. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    I imagine there's a direct link from the iPhone back to 1998 when Jobs canceled the Newton after returning to Apple.

    Surely his thought process was something like "This isn't good enough, but when we can make this good, it would be pretty cool."

    Just a guess, but how could that not be in the back of his mind as he watched processors, touch-screens, and batteries improve over the next decade?
  19. torbjoern macrumors 65816


    Jun 9, 2009
    The Black Lodge
    2.5 years before the announcement of the first iPhone.

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