Apple’s Forstall on the stand: Steve Jobs’ ultimatum; ‘no reason’ to look to Samsung for ideas

“The head of Apple’s iOS division, Scott Forstall, took the stand in the Apple vs. Samsung trial in San Francisco Friday afternoon, where he answered questions about the operating system, Apple’s procedures and inspirations, and described a serious commitment to development secrecy that goes further than even many analysts had expected. Forstall provided the court with a short history of his rise in the company, including an early encounter with Steve Jobs during his initial interview,” Electronista reports.
“Asked by Apple’s own attorney about his history, Forstall said he graduated from Stanford University with a masters in Artificial Intelligence and an undergrad degree in symbolic systems, a field that combines computer science and linguistics among other areas of study,” Electronista reports. “He first met Steve Jobs while being interviewed for a job at NeXT in 1992. He was being briefed by another interviewer when Jobs burst into the room, conferred with the interviewer briefly, asked a few questions of Forstall and then conferred with the interviewer again. Jobs told Forstall, ‘I expect you’ll get an offer, and I expect you to accept it.’”

“After Jobs left, the interviewer said simply, ‘If you had any questions about whether Steve is hands-on … there you go.’ Forstall became a software engineer for NeXT and transferred to Apple along with Jobs in 1997. Once there, he worked on Mac OS X and said that ‘over time, I was responsible for more and more pieces’ of the OS,” Electronista reports. “Eventually he was promoted to head of the OS X team. He described the goal as creating an operating system that “could last for another 20 years.”

“Forstall testified creating what came to be known as iOS as an outgrowth of the idea to do a tablet. Once work began progressing on a tablet, Forstall said he and Jobs wondered if the technology they were developing could be transferred to a phone as well. Forstall started with developing scrolling, then pinch and zoom, on a small subset of the screen inside the tablet prototypes, and in 2004 the company became convinced of the viability to making and phone and switched from developing a tablet,” Electronista reports. “Forstall was put in charge of developing the OS for the phone… Asked if he ever told anyone at Apple to copy from Samsung’s designs, Forstall denied the idea. He said that his team “wanted to build something great, and we thought we could build something better than anyone had built. There was no reason to look to [Samsung] on this.”


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