Jony Ive: “We nearly shelved the iPhone”

Apple’s design chief says “fundamental problems” almost spelled premature doom for the iPhone

If you thought the Apple design process was just a bunch of insanely talented people in black t-shirts “spitballing” incredible ideas at each other before patting themselves on the back and reclining on chaises longues made of $100 bills, think again. Sir Jonathan Ive, the company’s senior vice president of industrial design, has revealed that the whole iPhone project was nearly terminated because of perceived “fundamental problems” that couldn’t be solved.

Ive, speaking at the British Embassy’s Creative Summit, cited one such issue: the fact that users’ ears would accidentally press touchscreen buttons when speaking on the phone. Until the design team realised that a proximity sensor could solve this issue, they were frustrated almost to the point of shelving the whole thing.

He also said that Apple won’t release a product until it is “great”, not just “good” (how do you explain Ping then, Jony? Nah j/k), and that they’ll tear things up and go back to the drawing board as often as is necessary.

[The Independent via The Verge]

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