Birth of the iPhone: How Apple turned clunky prototypes into a truly magical device

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iPhone 2G prototype
iPhone 2G prototype
Photo: Jim Abeles/Flickr CC

iPhone turns 10 The world had never seen anything like the iPhone when Apple launched the device on June 29, 2007. But the touchscreen device that blew everyone’s minds immediately didn’t come about so easily.

The iPhone was the result of years of arduous work by Apple’s industrial designers. They labored over a long string of prototypes and CAD designs in their quest to produce the ultimate smartphone.

This excerpt from my book Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple’s Greatest Products offers an inside account of the iPhone’s birth.

Today in Apple history: The App Store gold rush begins

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App Store
Apple started accepting App Store submissions on this day in 2008.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Did Phil Schiller really want a physical keyboard on iPhone?

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Blackberry won its case against Ryan Seacrest. Photo: Typo
Phil Schiller allegedly wanted the iPhone to look more like this. Possibly.
Photo: Typo

One of the fascinating tidbits of Apple history that emerged online this week was the story that Phil Schiller was insistent that the original iPhone ship with a physical keyboard.

Only problem is, no-one seems to know whether it’s true or not. Former Apple exec Tony Fadell claimed it is. Schiller denied it. Now Fadell has denied it, too, but the author he told the story to is sticking by what he was told. What a mess!

iMac’s terrible code name was an in-joke between Jobs and Schiller

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iMac
The iMac G3 could have had a very different name.
Photo: Apple

The first iMac’s frightful code name was an in-joke that reflected Steve Jobs’ respect for Sony.

The working name — “MacMan” — was so horrible it would “curdle your blood,” according to Ken Segall, the Apple exec who eventually came up with the name “iMac.” Nearly 20 years after Apple shipped the iMac G3, we now have an explanation for the craptacular internal name — courtesy of Phil Schiller, the guy who came up with it.

Today in Apple history: Devs get the key to unlock iPhone’s awesome power

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Screen Shot 2017-03-01 at 11.24.00
Do you remember the arrival of the App Store?
Photo: Apple

What they said: Best Apple quotes of 2016

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Best Apple quotes 2016
If you can't say something nice ...
Image: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

2016 Year in Review Cult of Mac The world of quotes is a poorer place without Steve Jobs, who was a quote machine. Nonetheless, plenty of people talked about Apple this year, whether lauding the company’s successes or damning its strategies.

Here are the most memorable Apple quotes of 2016.

Why the MacBook Pro headphone jack didn’t disappear

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iPhone 6 headphone jack
Gone from the iPhone, not from the MacBook Pro.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

A few people were surprised to see a 3.5mm headphone jack appear on Apple’s new MacBook Pro laptop, just weeks after the company very publicly discarded the port for its new iPhone 7.

But according to Phil Schiller, speaking in a new interview, it’s not an example of inconsistency on Apple’s part. Instead, it speaks to a much deeper philosophical question on Apple’s part about the difference between mobile and non-mobile devices.

Apple defends skimpy MacBook Pro RAM

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The MacBook Pro has a special T1 chip inside.
The MacBook Pro has a special T1 chip inside.
Photo: Apple

Serious professionals hoping for tons of RAM on the new MacBook Pro are out of luck.

Apple decided to limit RAM options on its beautiful new machine to just 8GB or 16GB. That’s the same amount as the last MacBook Pro, which is more than enough for most consumers, but Apple claims adding more would be also be bad for pros.