Former Apple SVP Scott Forstall has just given a rare interview in which he discussed the birth of the iPhone. Forstall is the man credited with leading Apple’s efforts to create iOS, and was talking to journalist John Markoff tonight at an event at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California.
Forstall’s appearance tonight marks the first time he’s spoken publicly about the iPhone’s creation since he left Apple in acrimonious circumstances nearly five years ago. Since then, he’s occupied his time co-producing Broadway musicals and reportedly investing in and advising startups like Snapchat.
The conversation isn’t too big on major revelations — Forstall discusses well-worn topics like the original multitouch prototype, and how Apple decided to create the iPhone after first planning to produce a tablet.
Steve Jobs scammed the Apple cafeteria
But Forstall is an engaging speaker, and the interview is well worth a watch for a number of anecdotes and stories about how the most influential device of our time came to be. He details how he and Steve Jobs first demonstrated the iPhone prototype to Cingular executives just weeks before the product’s unveiling, how Jobs helped him get through a serious illness, and how Jobs operated a dastardly scheme to scam the Apple cafeteria. He also addresses a question on skeuomorphism, a term often used to describe the “realistic” and now maligned UI style that his name is inextricably associated with, by saying the design was intended to be approachable and easy to use.
Forstall came on stage after an opening segment where Markoff spoke with original iPhone engineers Hugo Fiennes, Nitin Ganatra, and Scott Herz, which is equally worth watching and goes in a little more detail about the product’s development. You can watch both interviews above or on Facebook.