Steve Jobs wanted no SIM slot on the original iPhone, says Tony Fadell

Posted:
in General Discussion edited May 13
Steve Jobs' vision of the iPhone was for it to be one seamless device, and initially, it did not include a SIM card slot.




"Father of the iPod" Tony Fadell, one of the most influential members of the original iPod and iPhone design teams, revealed more details about the original iPhone's development in an interview (spotted by 9to5mac) with The Computer History Museum. The interview was conducted as part of a media tour to promote his new book "Build."





In the interview, Fadell revealed that Jobs wanted the iPhone to have a seamless design and elected to eliminate the SIM card slot from an early mockup

Jobs also cited CDMA cellular technology, which allowed phones to connect to cell towers without interfacing with a SIM card. The then-CEO believed it would make the SIM tray-less design possible.

The former Apple engineer recalled that he had to use existing market data to prove to the late Apple co-founder that the resulting CDMA-based design would result in low adoption. As a result, the CDMA standard was, and still is, not as widespread as the competing GSM standard.

Current rumors suggest that the upcoming "iPhone 15" may ditch the SIM card slot.

Fadell recently talked about Steve Jobs' controversial decisions when it came to developing the iPod and iPhone. The former CEO had initially refused to make iTunes available for PC.

Read on AppleInsider
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 21
    XedXed Posts: 1,449member
    The growing pains aside, that would've been awesome. I can't wait until the physical SIM is finally removed for good… which will cause every other vendor to pooh-pooh it before copying it.
    appleuseryeahentropysdewmemangakattenwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 21
    DogpersonDogperson Posts: 137member
    I think the MVNOs will not work without their sim card. ymmv
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 21
    No way they would remove the sim slot. Everyone in Asia has multiple SIM cards would kill the product dead. 
    tokyojimu
  • Reply 4 of 21
    Dogperson said:
    I think the MVNOs will not work without their sim card. ymmv
    MVNOs in other parts of the world can already be activated with eSIMs, it will be the same for US MVNOs.
    dewmewatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 21
    No way they would remove the sim slot. Everyone in Asia has multiple SIM cards would kill the product dead. 
    Hardly. They’ll just have muttiple
    eSIM profiles and will be to switch at will, just like you can with WiFi networks. 

    You don’t need a SIM card for your WiFi network. It might still take a few years but eventually the SIM card will be dead as a dodo. 

    I still remember when SIM cards were the size of credit cards. Those are long gone now. 
    digital_guywatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 21
    digital_guydigital_guy Posts: 157member
    I’m using the eSIM as my primary/only on my 11 series, I have no physical SIM. Took me a while to make my carrier know this was possible and for them to (allow?) activate it, but have used it without problem since. I may never use a physical SIM again. Do think near future will see SIMs disappear.
    appleuseryeahwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 21
    I’m using the eSIM as my primary/only on my 11 series, I have no physical SIM. Took me a while to make my carrier know this was possible and for them to (allow?) activate it, but have used it without problem since. I may never use a physical SIM again. Do think near future will see SIMs disappear.
    People might not know this, but the iPhone 13 has two eSIMs, plus one physical sim slot. Can still only use two at any one time though, at least in May 2022. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 21
    BeatsBeats Posts: 3,021member
    The SIM tray never made sense to me. Still surprised it exists in 2022.

    No way they would remove the sim slot. Everyone in Asia has multiple SIM cards would kill the product dead. 


    If people listened to the general public, we would have faster horses and we would be communicating via 2 tin cans.

    Everything is possible. Would be cool if an iPhone can simulate 10 sims and switch bands seamlessly. Can’t wait to see what Apple modems bring.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 21
    mike1mike1 Posts: 2,983member
    Xed said:
    The growing pains aside, that would've been awesome. I can't wait until the physical SIM is finally removed for good… which will cause every other vendor to pooh-pooh it before copying it.

    Yeah, because the SIM slot is such a major inconvenience to everyone. Especially the vast majority of people who cover it with a case.
    beowulfschmidt
  • Reply 10 of 21
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,149member
    mike1 said:
    Xed said:
    The growing pains aside, that would've been awesome. I can't wait until the physical SIM is finally removed for good… which will cause every other vendor to pooh-pooh it before copying it.
    Yeah, because the SIM slot is such a major inconvenience to everyone. Especially the vast majority of people who cover it with a case.
    It's takes up room that could be used for more battery.  I wouldn't miss it.
    entropysmac daddy zee
  • Reply 11 of 21
    XedXed Posts: 1,449member
    mike1 said:
    Xed said:
    The growing pains aside, that would've been awesome. I can't wait until the physical SIM is finally removed for good… which will cause every other vendor to pooh-pooh it before copying it.

    Yeah, because the SIM slot is such a major inconvenience to everyone. Especially the vast majority of people who cover it with a case.
    You though the issue is that it's mares the look of the side edge of the iPhone? 😆 Let's try better with the critical thinking next time. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 21
    Beats said:
    The SIM tray never made sense to me. Still surprised it exists in 2022.

    No way they would remove the sim slot. Everyone in Asia has multiple SIM cards would kill the product dead. 


    If people listened to the general public, we would have faster horses and we would be communicating via 2 tin cans.

    Everything is possible. Would be cool if an iPhone can simulate 10 sims and switch bands seamlessly. Can’t wait to see what Apple modems bring.
    Personally I think faster horses would be awesome.
    mac daddy zee
  • Reply 13 of 21
    DangDaveDangDave Posts: 85member
    I’m using the eSIM as my primary/only on my 11 series, I have no physical SIM. Took me a while to make my carrier know this was possible and for them to (allow?) activate it, but have used it without problem since. I may never use a physical SIM again. Do think near future will see SIMs disappear.
    People might not know this, but the iPhone 13 has two eSIMs, plus one physical sim slot. Can still only use two at any one time though, at least in May 2022. 
    Just to clarify, non Chinese iPhones since the XR have allowed us to have 2 active phone lines, one SIM and one eSIM, but the iPhone 13 allows us to select 2 eSIMs as the active phone lines. 

    Furthermore, it is likely that the US and other region versions of iPhones could possibly be introduced without a physical SIM within the next couple of years. 

    The original iPhone was with AT&T and therefore required a SIM. If Apple had gone with Verizon (CDMA) it would not have required a SIM but that would have been a terrible decision as we would not have been able to roam in other countries or even parts of the US. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 21
    JapheyJaphey Posts: 1,375member
    Xed said:
    mike1 said:
    Xed said:
    The growing pains aside, that would've been awesome. I can't wait until the physical SIM is finally removed for good… which will cause every other vendor to pooh-pooh it before copying it.

    Yeah, because the SIM slot is such a major inconvenience to everyone. Especially the vast majority of people who cover it with a case.
    You though the issue is that it's mares the look of the side edge of the iPhone? 😆 Let's try better with the critical thinking next time. 
    Whatever, you can barely see it. Especially on the shinier Pro models. It doesn’t mar the appearance any more than the volume buttons or mute switch. Plus, as he said, most people use cases and can’t see it anyway. Crowley’s battery example makes more sense for removing it than this. Also, better waterproofing. 
    muthuk_vanalingammac daddy zeemike1watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 21
    entropysentropys Posts: 3,456member
    I think it would have to be introduced alongside a version with a physical SIM. Too many carriers would be resistant for at least a year or two, as after all getting a physical sim is more a barrier to switching carriers than a simple e-sim switch.  Maintain market share while pushing transition. I know which consumers would prefer.


    that said, I would like a world where I could have the same number on two mobile phones, a big one and a little one.
    edited May 13 tobianwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 21
    XedXed Posts: 1,449member
    Japhey said:
    Xed said:
    mike1 said:
    Xed said:
    The growing pains aside, that would've been awesome. I can't wait until the physical SIM is finally removed for good… which will cause every other vendor to pooh-pooh it before copying it.

    Yeah, because the SIM slot is such a major inconvenience to everyone. Especially the vast majority of people who cover it with a case.
    You though the issue is that it's mares the look of the side edge of the iPhone? 😆 Let's try better with the critical thinking next time. 
    Whatever, you can barely see it. Especially on the shinier Pro models. It doesn’t mar the appearance any more than the volume buttons or mute switch. Plus, as he said, most people use cases and can’t see it anyway. Crowley’s battery example makes more sense for removing it than this. Also, better waterproofing. 
    Again, what the fuck does barely being able to see it or a case have anything to do the space it takes up? 🤦‍♂️ It's all about the space it takes up the extra cost and engineering required to include it, and the possible unwanted ingress, which includes the engineering and cost required to prevent that from occurring.
    mac daddy zeewatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 21
    JapheyJaphey Posts: 1,375member
    Xed said:
    Japhey said:
    Xed said:
    mike1 said:
    Xed said:
    The growing pains aside, that would've been awesome. I can't wait until the physical SIM is finally removed for good… which will cause every other vendor to pooh-pooh it before copying it.

    Yeah, because the SIM slot is such a major inconvenience to everyone. Especially the vast majority of people who cover it with a case.
    You though the issue is that it's mares the look of the side edge of the iPhone? 😆 Let's try better with the critical thinking next time. 
    Whatever, you can barely see it. Especially on the shinier Pro models. It doesn’t mar the appearance any more than the volume buttons or mute switch. Plus, as he said, most people use cases and can’t see it anyway. Crowley’s battery example makes more sense for removing it than this. Also, better waterproofing. 
    Again, what the fuck does barely being able to see it or a case have anything to do the space it takes up? 🤦‍♂️ It's all about the space it takes up the extra cost and engineering required to include it, and the possible unwanted ingress, which includes the engineering and cost required to prevent that from occurring.
    Apologies for mistranslating the spelling error in the post I was responding to. I agree with the space issue, which is why I referred to Crowley’s post. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 21
    JapheyJaphey Posts: 1,375member
    entropys said:
    I think it would have to be introduced alongside a version with a physical SIM. Too many carriers would be resistant for at least a year or two, as after all getting a physical sim is more a barrier to switching carriers than a simple e-sim switch.  Maintain market share while pushing transition. I know which consumers would prefer.


    that said, I would like a world where I could have the same number on two mobile phones, a big one and a little one.
    I would like that world also. 
    tobianwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 21
    Xed said:
    mike1 said:
    Xed said:
    The growing pains aside, that would've been awesome. I can't wait until the physical SIM is finally removed for good… which will cause every other vendor to pooh-pooh it before copying it.

    Yeah, because the SIM slot is such a major inconvenience to everyone. Especially the vast majority of people who cover it with a case.
    You though the issue is that it's mares the look of the side edge of the iPhone? 😆 Let's try better with the critical thinking next time. 

    I never even notice the SIM slot on my phone.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 21
    jcs2305jcs2305 Posts: 1,282member
    No way they would remove the sim slot. Everyone in Asia has multiple SIM cards would kill the product dead. 
    eSIM.. you can use multiple eSIM's with iPhone 13 currently. You can use only one eSIM another physical nano-SIM in earlier models.

    Using Dual SIM with an eSIM

    An eSIM is a digital SIM that allows you to activate a cellular plan from your carrier without having to use a physical nano-SIM. With iPhone 13 Pro Max, iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13, and iPhone 13 mini, you can use Dual SIM with either two active eSIMs or a nano-SIM and an eSIM. iPhone 12 models, iPhone 11 models, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR, feature Dual SIM with a nano-SIM and an eSIM.1





    watto_cobra
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