The story of how the iPhone came into existence
As early as 2003, a handful of Apple engineers had figured out how to put multitouch technology in a tablet. “The story was that Steve wanted a device that he could use to read e-mail while on the toilet — that was the extent of the product spec,” says Joshua Strickon, one of the earliest engineers on that project. “But you couldn’t build a device with enough battery life to take out of the house, and you couldn’t get a chip with enough graphics capability to make it useful. We spent a lot of time trying to figure out just what to do.” Before joining Apple in 2003, Strickon had built a multitouch device for his master’s thesis at M.I.T. But given the lack of consensus at Apple about what to do with the prototypes he and his fellow engineers developed, he says, he left the company in 2004 thinking it wasn’t going to do anything with that technology.
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