Apple started making iPad because Jobs hated a Microsoft exec – CNET

forstall

John Markoff, formerly of the New York Times (left), interviews Scott Forstall about Broadway, his time at Apple and other topics Tuesday at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California. 

Shara Tibken/CNET

The iPhone might never have existed if Apple co-founder Steve Jobs didn’t hate an executive at Microsoft. 

Scott Forstall, the former head of Apple’s software business and the man who created iOS for the first iPhone, on Tuesday said Jobs couldn’t stand an executive at Microsoft who talked to him about plans for styluses and tablets. 

Jobs, who was famously anti-stylus and instead favored using fingers on touchscreens, was annoyed with that Microsoft executive so he and Apple started work on its own tablet, which eventually became the iPad. 

“iPhone had a very circuitous route by itself,” Forstall said Tuesday during an event at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California. “We’d been working on a tablet project, which has a really odd beginning. It began because Steve hated this guy at Microsoft.”

The panel Tuesday was one of the first times Forstall has spoken publicly since leaving Apple in October 2012

Apple introduced the first iPad in 2010 — three years after the first iPhone — but it actually started development on its tablet before its phone. Forstall said that changed and Apple shifted to a phone following a conversation he and Jobs had. 

Jobs and others had Apple had started to realize that phones were something that could hurt iPod sales as more people listened to music on those devices, Forstall said. Jobs had seen an internal demo for tablet software and asked Forstall and his team to “shrink it down to something … small enough for a phone size.”

Once Jobs saw the phone software, he put the iPad on hold to create the iPhone first. 

The iPhone became the best-selling phone model and helped Apple become the most profitable company in the world. It now generates more than two-thirds of its revenue from the iPhone. 

Forstall led the creation of software for Apple’s first iPhone, which hit the market a decade ago. He worked closely with Jobs and had a reputation within the company for being difficult to work with. 

Tim Cook, who became CEO in August 2011, fired Forstall for reportedly failing to take responsibility for problems with Apple Maps. It was the company’s first attempt to release its own mapping software to replace Google Maps, but it was half-baked when it was released in September 2012, offering misleading directions and incorrect geographical data. Cook issued an apology shortly after its introduction, saying he was “extremely sorry” for releasing a product that fell short of Apple’s commitment to users. 

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