Why Was The iPhone Invented? Cellphones Were “Crap,” Says Jony Ive

Apple iPhone 8 SalesImage Source: Apple.com (screenshot)

It’s the burning question every Apple fan wants an answer to. Why was the iPhone invented? Jony Ive gave a very simple explanation during his rare public interview at The New Yorker TechFest conference on Friday. Essentially, he said that mobile phones at the time were “crap,” so they felt the need to improve them.

Jony Ive was a crucial part of the Apple team that invented the iPhone a decade ago, so it comes as really no surprise that David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker, asked him essentially, why was the iPhone invented? According to CNET, Ive said they created the iPhone because of “the loathing” they had for the phones they were using at the time.

“They felt horrible in the hand, they didn’t work, they looked like crap…” Ive explained.

He went on with even more insults for mobile phones of the day, saying that they were “poorly made” and that they “testified to convenience and a lack of ambition.”

“I just find it hard not to take affront to that,” he added. “I think we’re important and we deserve at least a sincere effort.”

Jony Ive is the creative mind who worked somewhat in the shadow of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, not only on the iPhone but also on many of the company’s other popular mobile devices, including the iPod and iPad. One of the key themes easily stemmed from the whole discussion about why was the iPhone invented, and it was their desire to seek higher standards and better innovation. He also spoke about curiosity and “wanting to make something very well.”

Remnick also asked Ive about other aspects of design, according to 9to5 Mac, like where it comes from. The legendary Apple designer said it comes from a variety of places, like wanting to fix things, which is why they invented the iPhone.

He also asked about working with Steve Jobs, and Jony Ive said one thing that he “clicked” with Jobs instantly, although Jobs told him that he had been ineffective up to that point. Ive didn’t take it as an insult, however, because he felt like it was true. He talked about his hatred for numbers and business. According to him, Jobs emphasized that Apple’s goal wasn’t to make money. It was to make better products.

It certainly doesn’t seem like this is the case today, but then, Apple wouldn’t be the world’s most valuable company if it didn’t rake in truck-loads of cash every single quarter. It’s why investors just want to know how many iPhones Apple sold, and it’s almost all they care about these days when it comes to Apple.

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About the Author

Michelle Jones
Michelle Jones was a television news producer for eight years. She produced the morning news programs for the NBC affiliates in Evansville, Indiana and Huntsville, Alabama and spent a short time at the CBS affiliate in Huntsville. She has experience as a writer and public relations expert for a wide variety of businesses. Michelle has been with ValueWalk since 2012 and is now our editor-in-chief. Email her at Mjones@valuewalk.com.

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