Did Apple’s Phil Schiller want a physical keyboard on the iPhone? It depends on who you ask.

Did Apple’s Phil Schiller want a physical keyboard on the iPhone? It depends on who you ask.

Apple SVP Phil Schiller
Image: Justin Sullivan/getty

The iPhone doesn’t have any physical keys. We all know this. But according to a forthcoming book from Motherboard editor Brian Merchant on the creation of the genre-defining smartphone, it would have if Apple senior vice president Phil Schiller had his way.

There’s only one problem: Schiller says Merchant’s telling of the story is untrue.

After an excerpt from the book The One Device: The secret history of the iPhone was published by The Verge, Schiller swiftly took to Twitter to deny the claim.

But before we get to the denial, let’s take a look at the accusation.

[Schiller] 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.

He just sat there with his sword out every time, going, No, weve got to have a hard keyboard. No. Hard keyboard. And he wouldnt listen to reason as all of us were like, No, this works now, Phil. And hed say, You gotta have a hard keyboard!

This story was reportedly recounted to the book’s author by Tony Fadell. Fadell was an Apple executive who had a hand in the original iPhone and would presumably know what was up.

Even so, Schiller is calling BS.

To make matters even more confusing, Fadell himself is now claiming the story isn’t correct. Again, for clarity, it’s a story that he presumably told Merchant.

Merchant, for his part, isn’t backing down a fact he makes very clear in a series of tweets defending his reporting.

So what’s the truth? Well, if Merchant does indeed have recordings of the interview as he says, we’d certainly love to hear the tape. Mashable reached out to both Merchant and Apple for comment on this story. We’ll update if and when we hear back.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/06/14/apple-phil-schiller-iphone-origin-story/

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