Apple design chief Sir Jonathan Ive told onlookers at the British Business Conference that the iPhone almost never happened.
According to The Telegraph, Ive told conference attendees that fundamental issues with the Apple phone could have very well derailed the entire iPhone design process.
"We nearly shelved the phone because we thought there were fundamental problems that we can't solve. With the early prototypes, I held the phone to my ear and my ear [would] dial the number," Sir Jonathan said.
"You have to detect all sorts of ear shapes and chin shapes, skin color and hairdo... that was one of just many examples where we really thought, perhaps this isn't going to work."
So while Ive didn't touch on the cases during his speech, the mere mention of Apple's design philosophy is sure to generate some speculation.
It's hard to known what a world without the iPhone would look like. If Apple is right about the design patent infringement charges then many of today's smartphones wouldn't even exist.
No Galaxy Nexus, No S3, and even no Galaxy S. Almost every touch-screen phone built after the iPhone looks a whole lot like an iPhone. Their just isn't much of a difference from a design standpoint. So if Apple is right and the iPhone designs were purposefully lifted by competitors, then the smartphone market would look a lot different.
RIM may still be relevant, Palm might still be rocking a stylus, and keyboards would be way more popular.
Of course, if Apple is wrong than somebody else would have built an iPhone-like phone and be going around suing the world for design patent infringement.
Anything is possible.
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