Apple software engineer reminisces iPhone’s birth

Mar 26, 2014
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Apple software engineer reminisces iPhone’s birth

It’s a story that can now be told, but given how secretive Apple is about its ‘devil’ and ‘details’, one has to factor in the timing in context of the Apple – Samsung patent war that is still simmering on. We are talking about Apple’s senior software engineer Greg Christie and his recap on how the iPhone came about.

Christie’s story comes on the eve of a new patent-infringement trial, which WSJ notes is very strategic. The purpose of course, is to let people know how the phone was developed and the timelines and secrecy involved since its 2007 debut. In late 2004, Christie's team started working on the secret project with a codename "Purple". Struggling to lay out the complete 'software vision' for a full touch screen smartphone, Steve Jobs had sent the team an ultimatum with another two weeks deadline. The team eventually managed to conceptualize features like the ‘swipe to unlock’, making calls directly from address book, the famous 'bounce-back' effect and more.

No matter how nostalgic Greg Christie may get over the secret project, codenamed "purple", it cannot take us away from the truth that Apple and Samsung are embroiled in bitter legal battles. Apple is claiming that they are the true innovators and rightful owners of the Software that Samsung has blatantly copied. While Samsung counterclaims that the many iPhone and iPad innovations are not Apple’s proprietary.

After the $930 million suit setback that Samsung is now appealing against, the focus moves to the upcoming Monday, when the hearing involving five more of Apple’s patents (including Christie’s ‘slide to unlock’) will be presented. Samsung is refuting its stand with a counter-suit where it says Apple has violated two of its patents. The stakes are considerably higher now and the damages awarded can exceed the earlier trial, since the new case includes features seen in the more recent phones that are popular and have had high sales.


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