Apple’s Phil Schiller 10 year iPhone anniversary says about company’s growth
Phil Schiller on iPhone’s Launch, How It Changed Apple, and Why It Will Keep Going for 50 Years, Phil Schiller is the senior vice president of worldwide marketing at Apple Inc. On Monday at Apple’s 10 year iPhone anniversary he said:
Why do a phone? I asked Steve Jobs ten years ago today. On the stage at the Moscone West hall in San Francisco, Apple’s CEO had just unveiled what would become the most transformative product since the PC. Jobs clearly felt good about it. But the iPhone was such a drastic departure from anything else with its MultiTouch screen, its soft keyboard, and its imposing price tag there was no assurance it would be a hit. There was certainly no indication that we’d reach the mindset of today, where walking out of the house without one of those things is like venturing into the streets naked.
Jobs looked at me with a straight face. “We looked at the market, analyzed it, talked to buying research people, and figured out we could make a lot of money,” he said.
Steve had made a joke! “That’s not us,” he quickly clarified. Jobs went through what is now a familiar litany. Apple had wanted to do a phone for a while.
The company had lots of ideas, particularly around creating a touch-based interface. But it had to wait for the right moment. when a telecom carrier was willing to cede unprecedented control to Apple. allowing it to design a hardware and software package that would redefine the category, on its own terms.
One thing had struck me during Jobs’ presentation: Apple had created a small set of native applications, and it did not seem to be opening the device to third-party developers. It wasn’t clear in his keynote, but Jobs confirmed my perception and also attempted to defend the choice.
According to Jobs, it was an issue of security. “You don’t want your phone to be an open platform,” he told me. “You don’t want it to not work because one three apps you loaded that morning screwed it up. Cingular doesn’t want to see their West Coast network go down because of some app. This thing is more like an iPod than it is a computer in that sense.”
We know now, of course, that Apple changed course. iPhone users have downloaded over 140 billion apps. And that the stunning profusion has been transformative the key element that makes the iPhone (and now its competitors) the way we perform a dizzying range of activities.