In a recent interview with The Verge, Tony Fadell (former Senior Vice President of Apple’s iPod division) revealed that the decision to incorporate a QWERTY physical keyboard into the original iPhone was “a heated topic” and “definitely disused”.
However, while “discussed”, the option to include a physical keyboard was obviously trashed and most Apple employees (Fadell included) presumably favored the idea of a virtual keyboard.
Additionally, in the interview, Fadell briefly commented on an “iPod + Phone” concept that was inevitably shelved due to its awkward and iPod-inspired click wheel navigational method. Just prior to the public’s first glimpse of the original iPhone during 2007′s World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC), Steve Jobs jokingly revealed an iPod-esque pseudo-iPhone in the keynote presentation (pictured to the right). At the time, Jobs’ joke was assumed to be just that, a joke. It’s only now, in hindsight, that we’ve come to realize the “iPod + Phone” shown right before the original iPhone was more than likely inspired by an actual concept device.
Moreover, Steve Jobs’ official biography revealed that two design teams were established to compete for what would ultimately become the iPhone’s design. It’s said that one team used an iPod as a model for their designs, while the other developed an entirely new touch-based creation. It goes without saying that the second team, the one in favor of the touchscreen, was ultimately victorious.
Stay tuned for more news related to Apple, their products and their prototypes.