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The late Apple CEO Steve Jobs was a man of calculated extremes, and that extends to how much he hated certain people. In fact, if he hadn’t hated a Microsoft employee so much, the iPad might not exist right now.
Speaking Tuesday about the birth of the iPhone, Scott Forstall, the man who created iOS for the first iPhone, said Jobs hated a Microsoft executive who repeatedly boasted about the company’s plans for styluses and tablets. Instead of simply ignoring his adversary, Jobs took action, creating a device that now owns more than 20 percent of the tablet market share.
“We’d been working on a tablet project, which has a really odd beginning,” Forstall said Tuesday at a panel during an event at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California. “It began because Steve hated this guy at Microsoft. Any time Steve had any interaction with the guy, he’d come back pissed off.”
The exec is reportedly the husband of a friend of Jobs’ wife Laurene Powell. Jobs is said to have lost his cool after being harassed 10 times by the man about how Microsoft was going to change the world with tablets.
“Fuck this, let’s show him what a tablet can really be,” Jobs said, according to Walter Isaacons’ Jobs biography.
One criteria Jobs felt strongly about was that his tablet would not require a stylus, and could be used with only fingers. Forstall remembers Jobs saying: “You don’t use a stylus… we’re born with 10 styluses.” The Apple Pencil is now sold alongside the iPad, but early versions relied only on touch gestures.
The iPad was actually designed before the iPhone, but was released in 2010—three years after the original iPhone. Forstall said Jobs chose to delay the iPad after he realized competing mobile phones could start affecting sales of the iPod.
“‘Do you think you could take that demo that we’re doing with the tablet and the multi-touch and shrink it down to something small enough to fit in your pocket?’” Forstall recalls Jobs saying. “We went back to the design team and they took it and they carved out a corner of it. Steve saw it and said ‘put the tablet on hold, let’s build a phone.’ And that’s what we did.”
The iPad was released in 2010 and quickly jumped to the top of the sales charts. Apple sold 300,000 first-generation iPads in a single day. The company continues to release new devices and gain market share as the overall tablet market rapidly declines.
Here is a video of Jobs introducing the first iPad back in 2010—the moment he crushed his adversary.
H/T the Guardian
Phillip Tracy is a former technology staff writer at the Daily Dot. He's an expert on smartphones, social media trends, and gadgets. He previously reported on IoT and telecom for RCR Wireless News and contributed to NewBay Media magazine. He now writes for Laptop magazine.