The story behind the only front button of the iPhone: Jobs wanted two

by Kelvin
The story behind the only front button of the iPhone: Jobs wanted two

The story behind the only front button of the iPhone: Jobs wanted two 2

It was announced in 2007, went on sale that same year, and stopped being manufactured in 2008 when its successor came out. The original iPhone model It was only one year in the market, but it was worth it to make history not only technological, but also socially. Because with the iPhone the concept of smartphone or smartphone was born, the same one that has revolutionized all the technology in these ten years, making the ‘smart’ concept applied to everything from clothes to appliances, vehicles, toys, etc. And everything was born from the iPhone, the first of its kind from which the concept that the mobile market has followed in the last decade started.

Why has the iPhone always had a single front button?

A characteristic feature in mobile phones since its inception until now, since Nokia mounted its Symbian operating system until Android was born, is that everyone wears a ‘Back Button ’or back button, implemented for facilitate navigation, since the main button is used to enter a section, web, folder, list, app, and the Back button is used to exit or go back.


But if you take all the iPhone from the first to the 8 and the 8 Plus -from the iPhone X the terminal is all screen, losing the physical button-, they all agree on one thing: they don't have a back navigation button, just a single rounded front button that has been one of the most recognizable iPhone icons.

But this could have been different. The author Brian Merchant collects in his book “The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone”Several stories and anecdotes about the creation of the considered one of the greatest inventions in the history of recent Humanity – and it is not exaggerated given what it has created beyond the mobile market -, including the occurrence of Steve Jobs I wanted not one, but two front buttons for the iPhone, something that Imran Chaudhri, veteran designer of Apple With two decades in the company, he got it not to happen and that his boss thought it better.

All screen, no buttons

The original intentions with the first iPhone, designed at lightning speed in just two years, were to make history and surprise the public and the competition by presenting a terminal that was all screen. But in Apple They realized that at least one physical button would be needed, the Home Button.

In fact Jobs went further and asked for two to be included, with the second being a back button to help navigation. Chaudrhi told him that the concept was that the mobile generated trust and predictability, and that a button does the same when pressed: it shows you your stuff.

Chaudhri argued that a single button allowed "people trusted that the device would do what they wanted it to do. The problem with the rest of the phones was that the functions were buried in such complex menus. A button to return would have complicated things “, so Jobs thought better and "I won that discussion" The rest is history, history of Apple and of modern telephony.