Apple started making iPad because Jobs 'hated' a Microsoft exec

Scott Forstall, the former head of software for Apple, made the comments during a talk at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California.

Shara Tibken Former managing editor
Shara Tibken was a managing editor at CNET News, overseeing a team covering tech policy, EU tech, mobile and the digital divide. She previously covered mobile as a senior reporter at CNET and also wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. Shara is a native Midwesterner who still prefers "pop" over "soda."
Shara Tibken
2 min read
Watch this: iPhone origin story: 'Because Steve hated this guy at Microsoft'

The iPhone might never have existed if Apple co-founder Steve Jobs didn't "hate" an executive at Microsoft

Scott Forstall , the former head of Apple's software business and the man who created iOS for the first iPhone, on Tuesday said Jobs couldn't stand an executive at Microsoft who talked to him about plans for styluses and tablets

Jobs, who was famously anti-stylus and instead favored using fingers on touchscreens, was annoyed with that Microsoft executive so he and Apple started work on their own tablet, which eventually became the iPad

"iPhone had a very circuitous route by itself," Forstall said Tuesday during an event at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California. "We'd been working on a tablet project, which has a really odd beginning. It began because Steve hated this guy at Microsoft."

The panel was one of the first times Forstall has spoken publicly since leaving Apple in October 2012

Forstall's recount backs up Jobs' own, given in Walter Isaacson's authorized biography "Steve Jobs". It revealed the tech icon said, "This dinner was like the tenth time he talked to me about it, and I was so sick of it that I came home and said, 'F**k this, let's show him what a tablet can really be'." Read more here.    

Apple introduced the first iPad in 2010 -- three years after the first iPhone -- but it actually started development on its tablet before its phone. Forstall said that changed and Apple shifted to a phone following a conversation he and Jobs had. 

Jobs and others at Apple had started to realize that phones were something that could hurt iPod sales as more people listened to music on those devices, Forstall said. Jobs had seen an internal demo for tablet software and asked Forstall and his team to "shrink it down to something ... small enough for a phone size."

Once Jobs saw the phone software, he put the iPad on hold to create the iPhone first. 

The iPhone became the best-selling phone model and helped Apple become the most profitable company in the world. It now generates more than two-thirds of its revenue from the iPhone. 

Forstall led the creation of software for Apple's first iPhone, which hit the market a decade ago. He worked closely with Jobs and had a reputation within the company for being difficult to work with. 

Tim Cook , who became CEO in August 2011, fired Forstall for reportedly failing to take responsibility for problems with Apple Maps. It was the company's first attempt to release its own mapping software to replace Google Maps , but it was half-baked when it was released in September 2012, offering misleading directions and incorrect geographical data. Cook issued an apology shortly after its introduction, saying he was "extremely sorry" for releasing a product that fell short of Apple's commitment to users.

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