Did you think that Steve Jobs magically pulled the idea for the iPhone out of thin air and turned it into the cultural icon that it is today? Well, you were wrong. While Jobs did play a role in focusing on certain technologies and incorporating them into what would become the iPhone, the multi-touch Apple-phone started life as a completely different animal.
Apple had been working on a Tablet PC for about a year before the project was sourced for iPhone tech. The New York Times‘ John Markoff has found that:
Apple’s multitouch technology began life not as a cellphone, but as a notepad-sized skunkworks project internally dubbed Safari Pad, run by Tim Bucher, then Apple’s head of Macintosh hardware. To his credit, Mr. Jobs seized on the technology and morphed it into the iPhone.
Markhoff asked Steve Jobs about the possibility of a larger iPod Touch tablet – the revived Apple Newton that’s been rumored to be in the works. Jobs simply answered, “I can’t talk about unannounced products.”
We’d like to think that the statement is a carefully veiled suggestion that the new Apple Newton is in the works but has not yet been announced. But we’re going to stop at just thinking such things.
It’d be nice to see a 5.2-inch multi-touch monster with some serious tablet computing credentials hit the market soon. Please, Apple?