Jony Ive Says Apple Nearly Axed iPhone Due To Flaws With Dialing

Jony Ive Says Apple Nearly Axed iPhone Due To Flaws With Dialing

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.

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  • inkshawn

    Yeah. But the worst part of the iPhone now is the Phone App. IT SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    * It doesn’t auto-fill phone numbers as you dial. My crappy HTC from 7+ yrs ago was doing that!
    * Siri sucks at name recognition
    * Siri sucks at number recognition – it should be flawless at this
    * Want to add a number through Siri? Pffffft.
    * Favourites are so drab without thumbnail view
    * Favourites behave and look so primitive
    * The search bar scrolls off the screen, which is just ridiculous. The search icon is smaller than a grain of dust
    * the letters on the right side of the screen are soooo tiny and fiddly.
    * Cannot search by phone number or most other fields
    * Contact Grouping? Forget it
    * Labels? Ha
    * Turning Bluetooth ON and OFF cannot be done from this “App”
    * Should have an option to make it your home screen so your phone can be……….. you know….. a Phone :-|
    * Adding a new number in a hurry is still not the easiest, most intuitive task
    * Action buttons for a contact are at the bottom of all the contact fields – this is DUMB!!!
    * Oh, and it looks poor

    Phone app has hardly evolved since the first iPhone and that should not be a source of pride. If they don’t want to mess with this Holy Grail App, at least make an “iOS 6 Phone App” which evolves.

  • Buster

    @inkshawn well…ummmm….in iOS 6 the numberpad get updated to a pretty silver color at least…

  • extra_medium

    That’s something I’ve noticed, especially since this guy’s agent phoned the press, apple loves to make grandiose BS statements. Thats fine, and thats their job as a company. The irritating thing is when people who report on those statements dont call them out on them.

    They release many products that are far from perfect and need massive revisions. Antennae issues? They are also in business to make money. Maybe no one told johnny five here.

  • Martin Dobson

    I agree with inkshawn, although I rarely use my iPhone as a phone…

    I’m curious on how long until Apple converts their phone to use voIP to bypass the cell companies gouging for cell phone plans? That’s what I love about my ISP… same bill, same amount, every month, doesn’t matter if I download 10KB or 100GB… same price. Now, they’ve started with iMessages and having them go over data… how long until the voice is done the same way? Basically making you only need a Data plan.

About the author

Buster HeinBuster Hein is Cult of Mac's Social Media Editor. Hailing from Roswell, New Mexico, but now spending his days in Phoenix, Arizona, he wastes most of his time eating burritos and reading Spanish romance novels. Twitter: @bst3r.

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