Apple almost killed the iPhone and Apple doesn’t care about money, says Apple executive

Jonathan Ive is the SVP of Industrial Design aka chief product designer at Apple. He is one of the major creative forces behind Apple products such as the iPhone, iPad, MacBook Air, and iPod. Ive recently dropped a few bombshells while speaking at the British Business conference happening in London. The following is what he had to say about Apple and its greatest achievement yet, the iPhone.

According to Ive, Apple nearly axed the iPhone due to problems Apple faced in the early development stages of the device:

“We nearly shelved the phone because we thought there were fundamental problems that we can’t solve. With the early prototypes, I held the phone to my ear and my ear [would] dial the number. You have to detect all sorts of ear-shapes and chin shapes, skin colour and hairdo…that was one of just many examples where we really thought, perhaps this isn’t going to work.”

Obviously Apple has overcome the above-referenced challenges; if not, we may not be living in the smartphone-filled world we live in today. Still, though, it is interesting to note that the world-changing device could have been killed before it even started.

In addition to his tidbit on the iPhone, Ive also declared Apple doesn’t care about money and shared his thoughts on Apple’s revival:

“Our goal isn’t to make money. Our goal absolutely at Apple is not to make money. This may sound a little flippant, but it’s the truth. Our goal and what gets us excited is to try to make great products. We trust that if we are successful people will like them, and if we are operationally competent we will make revenue, but we are very clear about our goal.”

“Apple was very close to bankruptcy and to irrelevance [but] you learn a lot about life through death, and I learnt a lot about vital corporations by experiencing a non-vital corporation. You would have thought that, when what stands between you and bankruptcy is some money, your focus would be on making some money, but that was not [Steve Jobs’] preoccupation. His observation was that the products weren’t good enough and his resolve was, we need to make better products. That stood in stark contrast to the previous attempts to turn the company around.”

As Digital Trends points out, Ive’s job is to design products (not necessarily worry about the money) which is why he might feel Apple’s goal is not to make money. Truth is the end goal of all companies is to make money — it just depends on how you sugarcoat it. However, Ive’s point that focusing on customer needs leads to success is a valid point which I’m sure all successful companies can attest to.

[via Digital Trends]

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