Former Apple engineer describes how the iPhone came to be

Ahead of Apple’s patent-infringement trial with Samsung next week, a former senior software engineer from the company has given an Apple-approved account of how the first iPhone came to be. Speaking to The Wall Street Journal, Greg Christie has given a fairly detailed version of the revolutionary device’s early days, while some of the information was already known, there is a few interesting bits to come out of the article.

In February 2005, Apple Inc. AAPL -0.96% ‘s then chief executive, Steve Jobs, gave senior software engineer Greg Christie an ultimatum. Mr. Christie’s team had been struggling for months to lay out the software vision for what would become the iPhone as well as how the parts would work together. Now, Mr. Jobs said the team had two weeks or he would assign the project to another group. “Steve had pretty much had it,” said Mr. Christie, who still heads Apple’s user-interface team. “He wanted bigger ideas and bigger concepts.” Mr. Christie’s team devised many iPhone features, such as swiping to unlock the phone, placing calls from the address book, and a touch-based music player. The iPhone ditched the keyboard then common on advanced phones for a display that covered the device’s entire surface, and it ran software that more closely resembled personal-computer programs.

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