Apple CEO Steve Jobs claimed during the D8 Conference that the iPhone, despite being released in 2007, had its origins in a rough prototype for the iPad, which reached the market in April.
“I had this idea about having a glass display, a multitouch display,” Jobs told The Wall Street Journal’s Walt Mossberg during the June 1 onstage session. “I asked our people about it. And six months later they came back with this amazing display. And I gave it to one of our really brilliant UI guys. He then got … scrolling working and some other things, and I thought, -My god, we can build a phone with this.'”
That process eventually led to the iPhone-but the tablet idea, which would eventually find life as the iPad, was apparently shelved until Apple achieved success in the smartphone market.
The proliferation of Apple’s mobile devices has been mirrored by a growth in the number of third-party applications available through the company’s App Store. Despite the App Store’s popularity-or maybe because of it-Apple has been on the receiving end of criticism lately over its policing of certain apps for content.
“We are doing the best we can, changing the rules when it makes sense,” Jobs said. “What happens sometimes is that some people lie, we find it, we reject it, and they run to the press, and get their 15 minutes of fame and hope it will get us to change our minds. We take it on the chin, and we move on.”
Jobs also cast the iPad as a beneficial tool for newspapers and other periodicals: “I think we need editorial insight now more than ever. Anything we can do to help newspapers find new ways of expression that will help them get paid, I am all for.”
Some 2 million iPads have been sold since the device’s April 3 general release. Despite the popularity of both the tablet and the iPhone, though, Apple could face a potential federal antitrust investigation over the language of its iPhone developer agreement. Quoting unnamed sources, a May 3 article in the New York Post suggested that both the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice were debating whether to open such an investigation.
That would theoretically exclude tools such as Adobe Flash CS5, which in turn could force developers to choose between building an application for Apple or for another smartphone ecosystem-something that federal investigators could potentially view as unfair competition.
During the D8 Conference, Jobs suggested that Apple’s technology strategy, along with its decision to ban Adobe Flash from its ecosystem, was ultimately to customer benefit.
“We don’t think Flash makes a great product, so we’re leaving it out,” he said. “Instead, we’re going to focus on technologies that are in ascendancy. If we succeed, people will buy them.”