Apple has made record sales in the past few years, and it is the favorite brand of millions of users across the world. While we all know that it was ex-CEO Steve Jobs who conceptualized and brought the iPhone to reality, what we don’t know is the specific reason that pushed Jobs to come up with his own devices running on a whole new platform.

ex-CEO Steve Jobs
Photo by segagman

Ex-CEO Steve Jobs hated a Microsoft exec

According to Scott Forstall, the former head of Apple’s software business, the encouragement for Jobs came from his personal rivalry with a key Microsoft executive. At that time, Microsoft was working on a tablet platform based on stylus interactions, while Jobs had been known to be anti-stylus.

It was considered a cutting-edge technology at that time, and the “rival” exec “shoved it in Steve’s face” that this technology would rule the world, recalled Forstall. So ex-CEO Steve Jobs, armed with his dislike for styluses, set out to prove that the leading technology will require finger touch and not a stylus. He went on to develop a solution under a project code-named Project Purple. The crux of the project was to develop a multi-touch user interface with capacitive touch-sensing screens as the basis.

It was an important time in Apple’s history, as it was making a transition from being a computer company to an electronics firm.

“Half our sales were iPods, so we were turning into a consumer electronics company,” Forstall said.

The executive made these revelations at the Computer History Museum in Mountain view, California during an event.

iPhone was a phone-sized version of a tablet

After Jobs and his team of engineers created a prototype of the tablet, he then decided to turn it into a smaller phone-sized version.

Speaking to his engineers about the idea, Jobs said, “Do you think you could take that demo that we’re doing with the tablet and the multitouch and shrink it down to something small enough to fit in your pocket?” recalled Forstall. After the design team worked on it and offered the desired product (known as the iPhone today), Jobs said, “’Put the tablet on hold, let’s build a phone.’ And that’s what we did.”

And the rest, as it is said, is history.

“iPhone had a very circuitous route by itself. We’d been working on a tablet project, which has a really odd beginning. It began because Steve hated this guy at Microsoft,” Forstall, the man who created iOS for the first iPhone, said.

The executive noted that while work started on the iPad long before the iPhone, the latter released in 2007, while the former came out in 2010.

So this is how the world got the extraordinary device that we call iPhone. An extraordinary team worked on it to produce a wonder device without a stylus because Jobs believed we are all born with “ten styluses” each. Thanks to the iPhone (or that Microsoft exec), Apple is now the world’s most profitable company, with the iPhone generating more than two-thirds of Apple’s revenue.