A brilliant article on Wired today, by Fred Vogelstein on what it was like behind the scenes while working on the iPhone.
I highly recommend reading the full article, if not to see how the iPhone was made, but to see how Apple have, undeniably, changed the mobile phone market.
Consider that Apple began working on a mobile phone back in 2002, just after the launch of the iPod. They quickly realised that, one day, phones would replace their most successful consumer product, the iPod, so began a project that combined a phone and an iPod, code-named Purple 1. After many revisions of P1 (and failure to reach market), and the development (and failure once on sale) of the ROKR Motorola iTunes Phone, Apple continued working on cell phones, but focused their attention on building a true convergence device that would be game changing.
An interesting snippet: In February 2005, Jobs secretly met with Cingular executives, including Stan Sigman. Jobs presented a three-part message to executives:
- Apple had the technology to build something truly revolutionary, “light-years ahead of anything else.”
- Apple was prepared to consider an exclusive arrangement to get that deal done.
- But Apple was also prepared to buy wireless minutes wholesale and become a de facto carrier itself.
The phone market is now more competitive than ever. The iPhone has raised the bar on what consumers can expect from a handset, and for the past year every phone manufacturer has been working day and night to simply catch up with what Apple has brought to the table.
It makes you wonder what Apple are working on at this very minute.