updated 01:59 pm EDT, Fri August 3, 2012
Cameras, cars among early suggestions
The decision to make the iPhone and the iPad stemmed from the success of the iPod, according to Apple's senior VP for worldwide product marketing, Phil Schiller. The executive testified late yesterday as a part of the ongoing Apple v. Samsung trial in California. The iPod, Schiller explained, had allowed Apple to move beyond being a niche albeit successful computer maker. "This really changed everybody’s view of Apple both inside and outside the company," he said.
It wasn't immediately obvious what the company should try, however, and a number of suggestions were thrown around. "Make a camera, make a car, crazy stuff," Schiller remarked yesterday. Apple initially settled on a tablet computer which would eventually become the iPad, but then decided to switch its focus to a cellphone. "At the time, cellphones weren’t any good as entertainment devices," said Schiller.
In court the VP went through a list of iPad and iPhone reviews, and commented that a number of people outside Apple doubted that either the iPhone or the iPad could succeed. Palm and Microsoft, for instance, are said to have predicted the iPhone's failure. "Probably the biggest reason was that Apple had never had a phone before," according to Schiller. "They expected we would fall on our faces." Critics doubted that the iPad could succeed because it lacked a physical keyboard, which was seen as a particular issue for content creation. That concern has yet to die down completely; even IDC characterizes the iPad as a "media tablet" in industry tracking.