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The Team That Built The iPhone: Who Were They And Where Are They Now?

The Team That Built The iPhone: Who Were They And Where Are They Now?

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL)'s iPhone, which was introduced on June 29, 2007, has been a runaway hit for the Cupertino, California-based company. In fiscal year 2016, the company derived roughly 63.4 percent or $136.70 billion of its total revenues from the iPhone.

Work on the iConic phone began well ahead of its launch, with the development said to have begun in 2004. There is a story doing the rounds that the iPhone was conceptualized when late Steve Jobs wanted a device that would allow him to read e-mail in the bathroom. The development was kept under wraps despite the company working with partners like Cingular, which is now part of AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO) and Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL)'s Google. The project to develop the iPhone was known as Project Purple back then.

The iTeam

Benzinga looked at some of the engineers involved in the original iPhone development team and where they are currently positioned.

  • Scott Forstall, who served as senior vice president of iOS Software at Apple from 2007 until October 2012, was vested with the responsibility of software development for the iPhone and the iPad.
  • In a testimony, Forstall said he was vested with the responsibility of hiring people from inside the company project, giving them little details, given the secrecy shrouding the project.

    After his unceremonious exit from Apple in 2012, seen as a result of his abrasive personality, he kept a low profile until April 2015, when he revealed via a tweet that was a co-producer of the Broadway version of musical "Fun Home." Forstall is reportedly advising Snapchat currently.

  • Sir Jonathan Paul Jony Ive
  • is the face behind the design of many Apple products, including MacBook Pro, iMac, MacBook Air, Mac mini, iPod, iPod Touch, iPad, iPad Mini, Apple Watch, iOS and iPhone. He currently serves as the chief design officer of Apple, overseeing its Industrial Design Group and providing leadership and direction for Human Interface software teams across the company.

  • Greg Christie, who is credited a being one of the inventors of Apple's slide to unlock system on the iPhone, left Apple in 2014, seen as a result of differences over design decisions with Ive. He was supposedly drafted into the iPhone team by Forstall in 2004, with the vague hint that the device he would be working on would be a phone with an integrated music player, operated by touch screen.
  • Phil Schiller, Apple's senior VP of worldwide marketing, had also been involved in the project right from inception. He continues to head marketing at Apple.
  • Andy Grignon was a senior manager on the iPhone and took care of the radio software workings. He later joined Palm to co-invent webOS and oversaw the release of 13 versions of webOS. He co-founded a new start-up called Quake Labs, which allows users to create rich media projects on their mobile devices and PCs.
  • Jeremy Wyld, who was also part of the original iPhone team, was responsible for founding Quake Labs along with Grignon.
  • Posted-In: Cingular iPhone Steve JobsEducation Management Tech General Best of Benzinga


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