At First, The iPhone Was Supposed To Have A Trackwheel Like The iPod

Steve Jobs Rotarty iPhone

When Steve Jobs presented the first iPhone at Mac World 2007, he showed a goofy render of an iPod phone with a rotary wheel.

That wasn’t too far from the truth.

In fact, Jobs and his team began working on two iPhones during the early days of its development, according to Walter Isaacson’s new biography that’s out today.

After failing miserably in a Motorola partnership with the ROKR phone that synced with iTunes, Apple decided to attack its own iPhone problem from two “paths.”

The first path was a phone with an iPod-like “trackwheel” that controlled everything. The second path was the all touchscreen iPhone we know and love today.

After a few months, the touchscreen won out. According to Isaacson, here’s what Jobs said during a meeting about the iPhone:

“We all know this is the one we want to do,” said Jobs, pointing to the touchscreen. “So let’s make it work.”

It was a bigger risk than the trackwheel option, but Isaacson says Jobs was willing to bet the company on it.

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