A whim of Steve Jobs. The first iPhone may not have had a SIM slot at all

The first iPhone is an extremely important device for Apple. This marked the beginning of a series of products that brought the company unimaginable revenues and significantly influenced the entire industry. It turns out that Steve Jobs had interesting plans to support SIM-cards.

“We don’t need another hole”

A breakthrough product for Apple was introduced on January 9, 2007 at Macworld in San Francisco by Steve Jobs himself. However, its market premiere took place a few months later, in June of that year.

The first iPhone had a 3.5-inch screen with what was then very impressive Multi-Touch technology. The camera, located on the rear panel, took photos with a maximum resolution of 2 megapixels. The heart of the device was an ARM chip provided by Samsung, and there was also room for 128MB eDRAM on board, and depending on the version, 4GB, 8GB, or 16GB for data. There was also a SIM card slot, which, interestingly, was not originally supposed to appear in an Apple smartphone.

Tony Fadell, who made a big contribution to the iPod market, in an interview at the Computer History Museum event revealed a few details about the creation of the first iPhone. We learned that in the early stages of development, Steve Jobs was against the use of a SIM card slot. He then had to tell the engineering team, “We don’t need another hole.”

iPhone 1st generation – SIM card slot in (photo: Aido2002, English Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.5 )

Interestingly, this approach was feasible. It would be necessary to choose a CDMA network, which does not require a SIM card – the devices are connected directly to the operator’s network. However, Fadell points out that the engineering team had to convince Jobs that he should bet on GSM technology because of its greater popularity. This was necessary for the iPhone to achieve the expected success.

As you know, the original plans of Steve Jobs were not realized and the smartphone from Cupertino finally debuted with a slot for a SIM card . Admittedly, going the other way would be pretty bold, but it would be in line with the policy of the former Apple, which was once not afraid to make unpopular decisions (like removing the drive from the first MacBook Air).

However, Jobs’ plans can be realized.

True, many years later, but unofficial information indicates that next year’s iPhone 15 may be deprived of a physical SIM card slot. Instead, Apple will focus only on eSIM technology, which is already used in smartphones from Cupertino.

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