Brian Merchant, who writes for Motherboard has explored the origin story of the original iPhone in a book titled The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone. According to an excerpt published by The Verge, a part of the story involves Apple's Phil Schiller, who apparently insisted that the device have a physical keyboard along the lines of BlackBerry devices.
The story does not exactly show Schiller in a positive light, making him look like someone out of touch with technologies. Merchant quotes Tony Fadell, another Apple executive as saying, "he just sat there with his sword out every time, going, ‘No, we’ve got to have a hard keyboard. No. Hard keyboard." Schiller has denied the incident.
mad to find out that @pschiller pushed for a physical keyboard on the iPhone. Hard to think about now after 10 years
— Khyle Deen (@KhyleDeen) June 13, 2017
Merchant responded to queries about the authenticity of the information. Merchant said that while Apple denied interviews regarding the details of the development of the iPhone, but that an independent source confirmed that Schiller was in fact, insisting on a physical keyboard.
1) Asked Apple for interviews to go over details many, many times. All declined/ignored. 2) Had another source confirm incident. — Brian Merchant (@bcmerchant) June 13, 2017
— Tony Fadell (@tfadell) June 14, 2017
After the denial by Schiller, Fadell, who was quoted by Merchant in the book, backed up his colleague on Twitter. Fadell has asked Merchant to correct the record. It is unclear if Fadell is denying the quotes or pointing out a misquote. A source close to Fadell told Business Insider that Fadell had reserved the rights to clear the quotes, and that the particular quote regarding Schiller had not been cleared for publication.
Updated Date: Jun 15, 2017 11:37 AM