Apple software engineer Greg Christie has gone on record about the pain suffered by the original iPhone development team, revealing that the "shockingly small" group was constantly battered by a demanding Steve Jobs, who at one stage gave the crew two weeks to come up with something better or face the shame of seeing the project handed over to others.
Christie told the WSJ that Jobs eventually reached breaking point with the iPhone project, saying: "Steve had pretty much had it ... He wanted bigger ideas and bigger concepts." The introduction of the slide-to-unlock feature and a touch screen tech demo eventually swayed Steve, and Christie's team's iPhone concept was approved in 2005, starting a two and a half year journey to the finished thing.
One of Christie's abandoned early ideas was to incorporate a split-screen system into the email app, which would show both the message and details of the sender. This was vetoed by Jobs, who thought splitting an already packed mobile screen was a bad idea. [WSJ via Engadget]