Original iPhone design team reunites for 10th anniversary

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Original iPhone design team
The design team behind iPhone OS.
Photo: Imran Chaudhri

The design team behind the original iPhone’s software reunited to celebrate its 10th anniversary this week.

Imran Chaudhri, who still works at Apple, posted the photo above on Instagram. He’s pictured alongside Freddy Anzures, Bas Ording, Marcel Van Os, Steve Lemay and Mike Matas.

On Wednesday, we got a glimpse at a prototype of the icon-based iPhone software that was chosen over a click-wheel-based alternative designed by Tony Fadell, “Godfather” of the iPod. The team you see above helped create the iPhone OS that launched in 2007.

Chaudhri, second from the left in the photo above, appeared onstage alongside Bethany Bongiorno, another developer at Apple, at WWDC last year to demonstrate the new Messages features that launched in iOS 10.

Anzures, far left in the photo, is responsible for the iPhone’s famous “slide to unlock” sound. It comes from a recording he made in high school, presumably on a cassette tape recorder, of his locker opening and closing.

Ording, third from the left, worked at Apple for 15 years from 1988 to 2015 before leaving to take up the role of user interface designer at Tesla. Ording worked on multiple versions of the iPhone during his time in Cupertino and is credited with designing the copy and paste UI.

Marcel Van Os, third from the right, is also still at Apple today. His name appears on a slew of the company’s patents, including those for Night Mode, transit navigation, mobile payments and visual voicemail — a feature made famous by the original iPhone.

Steve Lemay, second from the right, is another current Apple staffer. He is named, alongside Ording, on the patent that covers text selection, and was humorously nicknamed “Margaret” by Steve Jobs after he answered questions aimed at “Steve” in meetings.

From a New York Times interview with Francisco Tolmasky, who left Apple after the original iPhone launched in 2007:

Mr. Jobs was notorious for throwing his weight around however he could. One person on the iPhone design team was also named Steve, which caused some confusion in meetings. Mr. Jobs sought to change this.

“At some point Steve Jobs got really frustrated with this and said ‘Guess what, you’re Margaret from now on,’” Mr. Tolmasky said. From there on, members of the team would always address the designer Steve as Margaret.

Mike Matas, far right, designed human interfaces at Apple for iOS and OS X between 2005 and 2009, when he left to join Push Pop Press. Matas also worked at Nest alongside Fadell before it was sold to Google, and then moved on to Facebook.

A notable omission from this photo is Scott Forstall, former senior vice president of iOS at Apple. Forstall, who first started working with Jobs at NeXT, led the team that built iPhone OS from the ground up before he was ousted from Apple in 2012.

Before he actually left Apple, reportedly for refusing to sign an apology for the early Apple Maps debacle, Forstall became a special adviser to Tim Cook. He now spends his time away from the tech industry producing Broadway shows.