Apple attorney Harold McElhinny questions Apple designer Christopher Stringer in this court sketch during a high profile trial between Samsung and Apple in San Jose (Photo : Reuters)
People waiting for the upcoming iPhone 5 should count their blessings as an Apple designer revealed that the company almost cancelled plans on the original iPhone.
Apple's design chief, Sir Jonathan Ive, admitted the product was at one point facing too many technical problems and considered nixing it in 2007.
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"There were multiple times where we nearly shelved the phone because we thought there were fundamental problems that we can't solve...With the early prototypes, I held the phone to my ear and my ear would dial the number," Ive said. "You have to detect all sorts of ear-shapes and chin shapes, skin color and hairdo. That was one of just many examples where we really thought, 'Perhaps this isn't going to work.'"
Ive's statement was further supported in Apple's trial against Samsung over potential patent infringement. The trial started this week and called Apple's design veteran Christopher Stringer as its first witness.
Apple is accusing the South Korean based Samsung of stealing iPhone and iPad designs and features, proving that Apple's iPhone and iPad innovations were unprecedented.
"We have been together for an awfully long time," Stringer said about Ive and fellow Apple designers. "We are a pretty maniacal group of people. We obsess over details."
According to Stringer, ideas for iPhones included flat iPhones, boxy, and fatter models.
Stringer said the idea for the iPhone was to make one of the most "beautiful" products ever, however, he noted Apple co-founder Steve Jobs had doubts because the concept was considered unprecedented for the company.
When asked to describe how the designers come up with a concept, Stringer said they "imagine objects that don't exist and guide the process that brings them to life."
The final iPhone design was decide because, "It was the most beautiful of our designs... When we realized what we got, we knew," added Stringer.
"We say no to a lot of things that we want to do and are intrigued by so that we only work on a manageable amount of products and can invest an incredible amount of care on each of them," he added.
According to CNN, more than 200 million iPhones have been sold since Apple first launched the device five years ago, and there are an estimated 170 million iPhone users across the world.