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One Device Book

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Bought this and am looking forward to reading it when it arrives. You know, on top of the other four books I'm actively reading… :-P

There's some kerfuffle over this about Phil Schiller, too.

The Knives Come Out for Phil Schiller in Brian Merchant’s ‘The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone’

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I don’t know if it’s true or not that Schiller was singlehandedly pushing for a Blackberry-style keyboard. But even if true, it only looks foolish in hindsight, especially if this argument took place before the iPhone’s software team had come up with a proof-of-concept software keyboard. Today it’s clear that the iPhone needed a good keyboard, and that a touchscreen keyboard can be a good keyboard. Neither of those things was obvious in 2005. And in the context of this story, it’s clear that at the time of this purported argument, Steve Jobs and Apple weren’t yet sure if the iPhone should be a pocket-sized personal computer or a consumer electronics product that would have no more need for a keyboard (hardware or software) than an iPod did. My guess is that Schiller was insisting that the iPhone needed to be a personal computer, not a mere gadget, and it wasn’t unreasonable to believe a software keyboard wouldn’t be good enough. For chrissakes there were critics who insisted that the iPhone’s software keyboard wasn’t good enough for years after the iPhone actually shipped.

I do know that Schiller’s hard-charging, brusque style and his obvious political acumen have made him a lot of enemies over the years. It sounds like Fadell is one of them.

So I’ll just say this: this story about Phil Schiller pushing for a hardware keyboard comes from one source (so far — if anyone out there can back that up, my window is always open for little birdies), and that one source is the guy who admittedly spent over a year working on iPhone prototypes with a click wheel interface.

 

 

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