In full promotion of his new book, the father of the iPod, Tony Fadell, continues to distill indiscretions on the backstage of Apple. And we learn this time that, during the development of the very first iPhone, Steve Jobs did not want to have a SIM slot on the device at all.
It’s a rather surprising story revealed by the creator of the iPod, Tony Fadell on the conception of the first iPhone. Interviewed at an event organized by the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California, where he came to promote his new book Build, the former Apple executive says that initially, the Apple boss was not ready for the iPhone to have a SIM slot.
A vision of the future even before the e-SIM?
In the development of the iPhone released in 2007 and on which Fadell collaborated, Steve Jobs seemed to have some design preferences. He therefore explained to the engineers and designers working on this project that he no longer wanted to “from another hole in it“.
Back then, and still is today, there were already two different ways in the United States to access a cellular network with a phone. Either the smartphone was GSM compatible and had to use a SIM card to be linked to a network, or it was CDMA compatible and it was then the smartphone itself which was linked to the network.
This is the second example that was supported by Jobs, with the American operator Verizon, user of this CDMA network, to eliminate the SIM slot from a first model, arguing that an iPhone without SIM was perfectly viable. Fadell then had to put forward figures to show that the adoption of CDMA technology by the market had always been very low. One of the moments of confrontations he was able to have with the late founder of the apple brand.
And 15 years later, there is now talk of an iPhone without a SIM slot that would only rely on an eSIM like an Apple Watch to be linked to an operator.
Bounded, but not totally closed
Fadell also shared a few stories regarding the development of the iPod for which he mentioned the fundamental importance of the opening of Apple Stores. Because it was essential for the brand to have a space dedicated to the product where they could tell its story and make it known to as many people as possible.
According to him, Steve Jobs was resistant to many ideas such as making iTunes available on PC or that iPods are compatible with Windows. But he could be convinced if the person (or people according to Tony Fadell) had good advocacy and support. Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, for example, convinced him that web apps were a good idea for the iPhone at the time.
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