Apple opens up on ‘origin and history’ of iOS in Samsung patent trial

Forstall, an Apple veteran since 1997, discussed how Apple decided to embark on the iPhone project.

Updated: Aug 06, 2012, 12:42 PM IST

Washington: Tech giant Apple’s Senior Vice President, Scott Forstall, has revealed all the secrecy, hard work and innovation that went into developing the iOS user interface, in its 2.5 billion dollar patent trial with South Korean mobile maker Samsung.

“The goal of an operating system is to run all of the machine, is to drive the machine. We wanted an operating system that could last for another 20 years. The strategy was a modern operating system,” quoted Forstall, as saying.

Forstall, an Apple veteran since 1997, discussed how Apple decided to embark on the iPhone project.

“I remember sitting with Steve and some others, and we all had cell phones and hated our cell phones. Could we use the technology we’d been using with touch and use that same technology to build a phone, something that could fit in your pocket, but give it all the same power we were looking at giving the tablet?” Forstall and his colleagues had wondered.

Forstall claimed that the secretive iPhone project was originally called “Purple Project,” and the engineers involved weren’t told anything about what they’d be working on, or who’d they’d be working for, when they were recruited and the building used for iPhone development was called the “purple dorm.”

“We put up a sign that said ‘fight club’, first rule of the Purple Project is you don’t talk about Purple Project outside those doors,” he said.

Forstall referred to developing the onscreen keyboard as “a science project.”

However, Samsung’s attorney, while questioning Forstall, focused on internal Apple documents to illustrate how Apple looked to competitors, particularly Samsung, for inspiration.

One very interesting piece of evidence brought up by Samsung’s counsel was an internal email between Apple executives talking about the 7-inch tablet size, in which referring to the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7, Apple VP of Internet software and services Eddy Cue wrote, “I believe there will be a 7-inch [tablet] market and we should do one,” the report said.