Years before eSIM, Steve Jobs wanted the first iPhone to have no SIM card slot

We recently heard rumors that Apple is releasing eSIM-only compatible iPhone models, without the physical SIM card slot. However, years before this technology even existed, Steve Jobs wanted the first iPhone to not have a SIM card slot.

The story was revealed by former iPod VP Tony Fadell, who was recently interviewed by journalist Joanna Stern at a Computer History Museum special event.

According to Fadell, early in the development of the iPhone, Steve Jobs was against the idea of ​​having a SIM card slot in the device due to his design preferences. In the words of the “father of the iPod,” Jobs told engineers and designers working on the iPhone that “we don’t want another hole in it.”

The Apple co-founder used Verizon as an example to argue that an iPhone without a SIM card slot would be possible since the carrier was known for its CDMA network instead of GSM. For those unfamiliar, CDMA phones do not require a SIM card as they are tied directly to the carrier’s network.

Fadell then mentions how he had to use market data to convince Steve Jobs that using CDMA instead of GSM for the iPhone wouldn’t work since the technology has historically had very low adoption. This, of course, was just one of the times Apple engineers had to confront Jobs’ decisions.

And so when you’re working with someone who’s very opinionated, especially when they can get V1 so good, and you have to go against them, be sure to bring data. And it had to be a team of us, it couldn’t be just one of them.

iPods and Apple Stores

Once again, Tony Fadell also told stories about the development of the iPod. This time, he mentioned how fundamental the idea of ​​opening Apple Stores was to Apple’s business model and, more importantly, to getting people to know the iPod.

Fadell explained that, at Apple, they believe the best people to sell a product are the people who created it. At the same time, the company needed a space dedicated to telling the story of the products and showing people why they needed to buy these products. “That’s why Apple Retail is so powerful.”

To build

In his new To build book, Fadell shared several other stories about his work at Apple. He revealed how totally opposed Steve Jobs was to iPod compatibility with Windows PCs. Fadell also explained how former Google CEO Eric Schmidt tricked Jobs into thinking web apps were the right choice for the iPhone.

You can now buy the book on Amazon and other bookstores. Be sure to watch Tony Fadell’s full interview on YouTube:

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