Apple is one of the world’s only companies that isn’t content to push out a great product with a few flaws. They want everything to be perfect. It’s one of their biggest strengths, but it also prevents a lot of neat products and ideas from reaching production. It turns out that the iPhone was no different during its inception, and even after all the cool prototyping and public demand for a great smartphone, Apple nearly axed the iPhone before it was launched.
Apple’s chief designer, Jony Ive, stated in a recent interview that small design flaws with the iPhone nearly caused it to get shelved, because even though the iPhone was good, it wasn’t excellent until they figured out how to fix some fundamental problems, like the proximity sensor.
“There were multiple times where we nearly shelved the phone because we thought there were fundamental problems that we can’t solve. [One problem involved an early prototype] where I put the phone to my ear and my ear dials the number [accidentally]
We have been, on a number of occasions, preparing for mass production and in a room and realised we are talking a little too loud about the virtues of something. That to me is always the danger, if I’m trying to talk a little too loud about something and realising I’m trying to convince myself that something’s good.
You have that horrible, horrible feeling deep down in your tummy and you know that it’s OK but it’s not great. And I think some of the bravest things we’ve ever done are really at that point when you say, ‘that’s good and it’s competent, but it not’s great.”
Apple’s ability to focus on a limited number of products is one of Apple’s greatest strengths according to Ive. In the interview he stated that he feels Apple does not get credit for its willingness to reject devices and ideas. Ive’s philosophy is that Apple should only manage a few number of products so they can invest an incredible amount of care into each device.
Source: The Independent