Challenges posed by designing the original iPhone almost saw Apple scrap the handset altogether, according to Cupertino’s Brit design doyenne Jonathan Ive.
Since landing in 2007, the iPhone has engendered a revolution. Not only did it set the scene for huge take-up of smartphones. Its huge success also forced rivals to pay more attention to design and put touchscreens at the heart of their devices.
However, the seismic change in our communication habits and in the look and feel of the phones we favour today might never have happened, due to teething troubles during the gestation of the iPhone.
In an interview with The Telegraph, the uber-introvert who heads up the tech giant’s industrial design team said the iPhone was beset by difficulties that could have mean it never saw the light of day outside the company’s California campus.
He said: “For a large percentage of a program, it often is not clear whether we are actually going to be able to solve the problems.
“For a significant percentage of the time we don't know whether we are going to have to give up on an idea or not. And that's been the case whether it's the iPod, the iPhone or the iPad."
Ive’s comments come amid mounting speculation that Apple will scrap the look of the current iPhone, which has been in place for two generations, for an all-new design.
However, rumours that Apple is to swap the iPhone 4’s Gorilla Glass construction for more robust LiquidMetal have been dismissed by the alloy’s inventor.