Ina Fried

Recent Posts by Ina Fried

Apple Designer: Even Steve Jobs Doubted the iPhone at Times

The design of the iPhone was risky and challenging, Apple designer Chris Stringer testified on Tuesday.

Testifying in a federal court in San Jose, Stringer said that his team had doubts at times it could make its designs work.

“I’m aware Steve Jobs himself had doubts,” Stringer said, appearing as the first witness in Apple’s landmark patent case against Samsung.

The approach Apple took was a dramatic departure from what existed, Stringer said.

“We were doing something unprecedented,” he said. “Smartphones existed, but they were more like little computers.”

In its case against Samsung, Apple is arguing that its rival took what Apple developed and “slavishly copied” it. Samsung has argued that it was inspired by the iPhone, but did not copy it, and that Apple, too was inspired by others.

The iPhone design Apple came up with, Stringer said, was “something breathtaking.” However, it was also hard to polish, difficult to manufacture and hard to produce in volume.

“People thought we were crazy,” Stringer said.

The iPad, too, had its challenges, particularly in getting the space between the glass and housing as close together as possible.

Earlier in his testimony, Stringer provided unique insight into the way Apple’s 15-member design team bounces ideas around a kitchen table.


Apple versus Samsung Full Coverage

RELATED POSTS:


Latest Video

View all videos »

Search »

I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik