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iPhone origin story: 'Because Steve hated this guy at Microsoft'Former Apple software engineer Scott Forstall sits down with Computer History Museum historian John Markoff to discuss the impetus for the iPad and iPhone.
But how did you either find your way to the iPhone or how did the iPhone find its way to you? The iPhone had a very circuitous route by itself. I at that point was running Mac OS 10 so I had ran each of the releases at that point and [BLANK_AUDIO] And we've been working on a tablet project, which has a really odd beginning. It began because Steve hated This guy at Microsoft. [LAUGH] That is the actual origin of it. Was this the- It wasn't Bill cuz he was starting to like Bill by this point. It was Lorrine had a friend. Steve's wife had a friend who was married to a guy who worked at Microsoft. Every time Steve had any social interaction with that guy, he'd come back pissed off. [LAUGH] And I mean, it was not in Microsoft's, it's not good for them that he ever saw him. And he came back one time after seeing this guy, and that guy was talking about how Microsoft had solved computing. Had solved Net, like laptop computing or they're gonna do laptop or tablet computing and they're gonna do it with pens and he just like shoved it in Steve's face the way they were going to like rule the world with their new tablets with their pens. And Steve came in on Monday. And there was a set of expletives and then it was like, let's show them how it's really done. [LAUGH] It's like the first thing is, they're idiots. You don't use a stylus. It's cumbersome. You lose it. You're always picking it up and putting it down. We're born with ten styluses, styli. [LAUGH] So let's use the ones we don't have to sell. And so this time touch screen were resistive touch. Resistive requires you to sort of deform the screen you have to push it down. So if you look at text and everything looks bad. It's really tiring on your finger. We need to do capacitive touch. And I see multi touch, so we went to the hardware team and basically said go do this. And they started and the design team started building designs around this idea of multi touch. And it was pretty interesting, I remember one of the first demos of this, you walked into a room, there's a giant Giant table. There's a projector on the ceiling, and you can see a photo or something on the table. And you can move your finger around the table and it would move the photo. And it was super cool! Wouldn't fit in your bathroom, much less your pocket. [LAUGH] Or your bag or your tablet But the moment you saw that, you knew this was the way to go. That was, that was cool.