We’ve recently heard rumors that Apple is offering iPhone models that are only compatible with eSIM, without the physical SIM card slot. Years before this technology even existed, however, Steve Jobs wished the first iPhone didn’t have a SIM card slot.
The story was revealed by former iPod VP Tony Fadell, who was recently interviewed by journalist Joanna Stern at a special event hosted by the Computer History Museum.
According to Fadell, during the early development of the iPhone, Steve Jobs was against the idea of having a SIM card slot in the device because of his design preferences. In the words of the “father of the iPod,” Jobs told the engineers and designers who worked on the iPhone that “we don’t want another hole in it.”
Apple’s co-founder used Verizon as an example to claim that an iPhone without a SIM card slot was possible because the provider was known for its CDMA network instead of GSM. For those unfamiliar, CDMA phones do not require a SIM card as they connect directly to the operator’s network.
Fadell then mentions how he had to use market data to convince Steve Jobs that using CDMA instead of GSM for the iPhone wouldn’t work because the technology has always had very little adoption. Of course, this was just one of the times Apple engineers had to grapple with Jobs’ decisions.
So if you’re working with a very opinionated person, especially if they’re so good at V1, and you need to go against them, make sure you bring dates. And it had to be a team of us, couldn’t just be one of them.
iPod and Apple retail stores
Tony Fadell again shared stories about the development of the iPod. This time he mentioned that the idea of opening Apple retail stores is fundamental to Apple’s business model and, more importantly, to educating people about the iPod.
Fadell explained that at Apple they believed that the best people to sell a product are the people who made it. At the same time, the company needed a place to tell the story of the products and show people why they should buy those products. “That’s why Apple Retail is so powerful.”
In his new To build The book told Fadell several other stories about his work at Apple. He revealed that Steve Jobs was totally against making the iPod compatible with Windows PCs. Fadell also shared how former Google CEO Eric Schmidt led Jobs to believe that web apps were the right choice for the iPhone.
You can now buy the book on Amazon and other bookstores. Be sure to watch the full interview with Tony Fadell on YouTube:
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