Former Apple Product Manager Talks About First iPhone, Why Gorilla Glass Exists Today

Posted on February 4, 2012 by

During a lecture at a California school, former iPhone product marketing engineer Bob Borchers recounts how Steve Jobs motivated the first iPhone team. AppleInsider has a great article about the insight into the thought process during the early days of the iPhone’s development, and how Jobs convinced Corning to resume productions of its then-abandoned Gorilla Glass.

When late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs assembled his first iPhone development team, he wasn’t focused on conceiving a device that would run all sorts of apps and media but instead laid out a simple mission to his team: to create the first phone people would love so much, they’d never leave the house without it.

The product had to be a revolutionary mobile phone, the best iPod to date, and also let users carry “the internet in their pocket,” the latter of which was somewhat of a foreign concept at the time, Borchers said. Downloadable apps, advanced GPS capabilities, video and photography features, and voice integration weren’t part of the original mandate.

Instead, those featured blossomed from Apple’s successful formation of a platform that could continue to surprise and delight users over time, with Jobs in particular exercising his penchant for perfection and attention to detail every step of the way.

For instance, Borchers recounted how the original iPhone almost shipped with a plastic touchscreen but right before its debut, Jobs confronted his team with the concern that while the plastic would protect the underlying LCD, it would scratch when users kept it in their pocket with keys and other items. This prompted his team to improvise on the spot, convincing Corning to resume production of its then-abandoned Gorilla Glass, which turned out to be the superior solution.

Head on over to AppleInsider if you’d like to read the entire article.

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