Christie has never before publicly discussed the early development of the iPhone; however, Apple made him available on the eve of its new trial against Samsung to highlight how innovative the iPhone was in 2007.
Apple says Samsung infringed on five more of its patents, one of which is the "slide to unlock" feature which Christie invented.
He began working on the device years before it was unveiled to the public:
In late 2004, Mr. Christie was working on software for Apple's Macintosh computers when Scott Forstall, a senior member of the company's software team, walked into his office, closed the door and asked if he wanted to work on a secret project, codenamed "purple." The team would develop a phone with an integrated music player, operated by a touch screen.
Mr. Christie's team pored over details like the perfect speed for scrolling lists on the phone and the natural feel of bouncing back when arriving at the end of a list. He said his team "banged their head against the wall" over how to change text messages from a chronological list of individual messages to a series of separate ongoing conversations similar to instant messaging on a computer. He also said the team was "shockingly small."
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