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Apple initially wanted original iPhone to be 'always on' device but opted for 'slide-to-unlock'

post #1 of 14
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During the Apple v. Samsung patent trial on Friday, Apple software engineer and head of the company's human interface team Greg Christie took the stand to offer background on the original iPhone, specifically the "slide-to-unlock" feature.

iPhone
Late Apple cofounder Steve Jobs presenting the original iPhone in 2007.


According to in-court reports from Re/code, Christie said "swipe-to-unlock," a feature first made popular by Apple that later inspired iterations from competing smartphone manufacturers, was born from the idea of an always-on iPhone.

The design was unfeasible, however, due to power requirements associated with a device that would, in theory, never sleep and be ready to go with a touch of the screen. Instead, a normal power cycling method needed to be incorporated.

"We couldn't meet our power requirements if we had that active a state," Christie said. "We had to resort to a power button."

As with any design process, concessions were made and the iPhone was ultimately introduced with a unique software-based power control mechanism in "slide-to=unlock." Christie went on to say that the feature addressed concerns with pocket dialing and inadvertent screen presses, unique problems associated with a device mainly reliant on its display for user input.

Slide-to-unlock
Illustration from Apple's "slide-to-unlock" patent. | Source: USPTO


According to a separate report from CNET, Apple spent three years on the original iPhone, dubbed "Project Purple," to ensure the GUI would be easily accessible and transparent to all users.

"One of the biggest challenges is that we need to sell products to people who don't do what we do for a living," Christie said, explaining that Apple wanted "normal people -- people with better things to do with their lives than learn how a computer might work -- to use the product as well as we can."

The remainder of Christie's testimony was largely a rehash of an interview he gave to The Wall Street Journal last month. In it, the Apple human interface chief discussed the history of Project Purple and a brief overview of the important patent involved in the iPhone's design.

Apple is seeking some $2 billion in damages in the second Apple v. Samsung patent trial, asserted claims of which include the "slide-to-unlock" property. The Cupertino, Calif., company is asserting five claims from five patents.

Samsung, however, argued on Friday that Apple touted the feature as one of hundreds, alluding that the few claims are not worthy of a large damages payout.
post #2 of 14
What an argument! "Okay, Apple, since we stole everything we could from you except Steve Jobs's jock, why should this jury clobber us over five puny little patents?"

Response: Okay Samsung, how about if Apple sues you for infringement on hundreds of those really, really unique (but unworthy as you claim) features? Then you can add up all those "unworthy" amounts and get ready to write a really, really big worthy check.

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post #3 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"One of the biggest challenges is that we need to sell products to people who don't do what we do for a living," Christie said, explaining that Apple wanted "normal people — people with better things to do with their lives than learn how a computer might work — to use the product as well as we can."

That seems to the core of every Apple product and why all those "Apple could add [obscure or non-normal user feature] if they wanted to" comments will unfortunately never go away on tech forums.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #4 of 14

Now Apple will be blasted by security proponents for wanting a perpetually insecure device.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


That seems to the core of every Apple product and why all those "Apple could add [obscure or non-normal user feature] if they wanted to" comments will unfortunately never go away on tech forums.

 

Isn't that the truth?  A lot of the time, I wonder whether the people making these requests really are familiar with Apple products in the first place.

post #6 of 14
Glad to be one of the "normal people"! (I don't work in computer design, production, or even sales!). : - )
post #7 of 14
As an engineer, I'm now very impressed with this patent. It seems to be a lot deeper and complex than just a simple UI and software only implementation.
post #8 of 14
Strange use of language. Even when your phone is sleeping, it's still on. If it wasn't on, you wouldn't be able to receive any calls. Any phone is 'always on'.
post #9 of 14
"and the iPhone was ultimately introduced with a unique software-based power control mechanism in "slide-to=unlock."

Oh REALLY??

http://www.dailytech.com/Analysis Neonode Patented SwipetoUnlock 3 Years Before Apple/article24046.htm
post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by MatsSvensson View Post

"and the iPhone was ultimately introduced with a unique software-based power control mechanism in "slide-to=unlock."

Oh REALLY??

http://www.dailytech.com/Analysis Neonode Patented SwipetoUnlock 3 Years Before Apple/article24046.htm
 

Fixed link.

 

This patent describes Swipe to Advance.

NOTICE: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information supplied herein, fahlman cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. Unless otherwise indicated,...
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NOTICE: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information supplied herein, fahlman cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. Unless otherwise indicated,...
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post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by fahlman View Post

Fixed link.

This patent describes Swipe to Advance.

True, the patent is utterly different, but that means little to him, and his goal was simply to troll, otherwise he would have spent all of 5 seconds to read the link he was sharing, instead of blatantly lying.
post #12 of 14
...
Edited by SolipsismX - 4/5/14 at 9:23am

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kibitzer View Post

What an argument! "Okay, Apple, since we stole everything we could from you except Steve Jobs's jock, why should this jury clobber us over five puny little patents?"

Response: Okay Samsung, how about if Apple sues you for infringement on hundreds of those really, really unique (but unworthy as you claim) features? Then you can add up all those "unworthy" amounts and get ready to write a really, really big worthy check.

Nail on head. This is what is wrong with the patent system. The courts limit the number of patents that can be included in a patent infringement lawsuit, so an infringer, like Samsung, that has infringed many, many patents can cry foul in each case about how there are hundreds of inventions in a typical handset and 'how can these few be so valuable' while the plaintive isn't allowed to tell the jury that these are but a few of many, many more infringed by the defendant and you'll get to hear about those if you stick around for the next 17 trials except, no, it won't be you because there will be a new jury each time for the defendant to tell the same mistruths to.
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I have enough money to last the rest of my life. Unless I buy something. - Jackie Mason
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post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred1 View Post

Glad to be one of the "normal people"! (I don't work in computer design, production, or even sales!). : - )

Glad to be one of the normal people and I spent 26 years building software companies. Apple just does it so much better than the others.
I have enough money to last the rest of my life. Unless I buy something. - Jackie Mason
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I have enough money to last the rest of my life. Unless I buy something. - Jackie Mason
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AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › Apple initially wanted original iPhone to be 'always on' device but opted for 'slide-to-unlock'