Apple’s research into making the iPhone “for normal people” took years
Testimonies continue in the Apple vs. Samsung trial, and this time we have the leading software engineer in charge of basic features like “slide to unlock,” Greg Christie on the bench. Today we find this feature in absolutely every smartphone that you can buy, but before the iPhone, all you had was a power-standby key. Christie spent a good deal of time explaining to the Jury how long it took the company to figure out a smart way to reach consumers with the iPhone, and the details are quite revealing.
According to Christie’s testimony, things like slide-to-unlock were features they took a while to figure out:
“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, one of the inventors of the slide-to-unlock iPhone feature, said. When designing products, Apple keeps in mind that it wants “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.”
“We knew we had to have a locked mode, or a locked state, where it wouldn’t let you do most things, except you could unlock it,” Christie said.”
Since this trial is mainly based on software patent infringement, Christie’s insight into how Apple is being affected by Samsung’s approach to copying the iPhone is very important. Sadly for Apple, the Judge doesn’t seem to want to hear all the drama, so we’ll see just how helpful Christie’s testimony is.