Schiller refutes book's account that he demanded physical keyboard in early iPhone
A forthcoming book's accuracy about the early development of the iPhone has come under fire by Apple Senior Vice President Phil Schiller and Tony Fadell, with both denying a story that Schiller vigorously demanded a physical keyboard during development of the original iPhone prototypes was accurate.
The book, called "The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone" authored by Brian Merchant had passages quoted on The Verge on Tuesday, with one passage discussing how Schiller was pushing the design team for a physical keyboard, like found on the BlackBerry.
The passage cited in the article about the book claims that:
The iPod phone was losing support. The executives debated which project to pursue, but Phil Schiller, Apple's head of marketing, had an answer: Neither. He wanted a keyboard with hard buttons. The BlackBerry was arguably the first hit smartphone. It had an email client and a tiny hard keyboard. After everyone else, including Fadell, started to agree that multitouch was the way forward, Schiller became the lone holdout.
Shortly after the excerpts were published, Schiller responded to a user commenting on the piece on Twitter, and denied the account was accurate.
Not true. Don't believe everything you read...— Philip Schiller (@pschiller) June 13, 2017
The author stands by the reporting, and declares that Tony Fadell told him the account about Schiller directly.
I stand by the reporting— that is the story Tony Fadell told me, on the record, verbatim.— Brian Merchant (@bcmerchant) June 14, 2017
On June 14, Fadell, the proclaimed "Father of the iPod" denied that the story about the physical keyboard was accurate.
Late on June 14, Merchant again stood by his account, and claimed to have audio from the interview in question.
I don't know why Tony would deny this now, I have audio of our interview where he told me this story verbatim.— Brian Merchant (@bcmerchant) June 14, 2017
Neither Schiller nor Fadell had any other comment on the excerpts.
Merchant has been a Motherboard editor for five years, and has a robust body of work including a stint at Discovery Communications for four years, starting in 2008. "The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone" will be available June 20 from Amazon in paperback for $14.01, or in a Kindle format for $14.99.
The book is in a pre-order status from the Apple Book Store for $14.99 and will also arrive on June 20.