Inventor of the iPod Reveals Initial iPod/iPhone Hybrid Prototype

Showing what the combined device could have been.

Tech
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Tony Fadell, inventor of the Apple iPod and iPhone recently took to Twitter to share his Spring cleaning, which later led to a trip down memory lane and the rediscovery of an important concept prototype. The most recent nostalgic finding comes after Apple confirmed that the iPod era has officially come to an end.

In line with the current product discontinuation from the tech giant, Fadell shared with fans a key piece of Apple’s tech history. He revealed to Tech Crunch the initial iPod/iPhone hybrid concept and the prototype that combined elements of the music player and the phone and how the idea later birthed the iPhone. The prototype was sent to him by a third-party manufacturer that created a device that incorporate the functions of the phone with a number pad, camera and click wheel for iPod functions. This kicked started the development process for the iPhone. Fadell explained,

“We did iPod Plus Phone. You took the headset, which had a microphone on it and the one ear thing. You could use the Click Wheel to select numbers and names, or you could dial with it, like a rotary phone, which was the ultimate death of it.

You couldn’t enter anything, because there’s no textual input. But it was an iPod Classic with a phone in it. Walk it back from the third-party prototype, and we were there, too.”

Fadell also revealed that Steve Jobs was the one who pushed for the combination of the iPod and the then-secret phone project, now known as the iPhone. He shared,

“[Jobs] had very clear views on things — until they weren’t clear. Or it became very clear that they wouldn’t work. He pushed us very hard on making the iPod Plus Phone work. We worked weeks and weeks to figure out how to do input with the click wheel. We couldn’t get it, and after the whole team was convinced we couldn’t do it, he was like, “Keep trying!’ At some point, we all said, ‘No, it isn’t going to work.’”

Despite having initial doubts, the “iPod Plus iPhone” became one of three concepts that later resulted in the very first iPhone that included both the functionalities of the touchscreen iPod and phoning and messaging capabilities. Take a look at the prototype below.

Elsewhere in tech, Samsung is expected to raise chip prices by 20%.

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