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We nearly ditched iPhone over design flaws says Apple guru

APPLE'S design guru, Jonathan Ive, has admitted that the company nearly shelved the iPhone because of design flaws.

Ive said Apple and its late founder, Steve Jobs, were so focused on excellence that they were willing to reject potential ideas because they were merely good rather than great.

"There were multiple times where we nearly shelved the phone because we thought there were fundamental problems that we can't solve," said Ives, speaking at a British Business Embassy event to coincide with the Olympics.

One problem involved an early prototype "where I put the phone to my ear it dials the number accidentally".

The Ive-designed iPhone has gone on to extraordinary success since its launch in 2007, selling almost 250m.

But Ives, who has worked at Apple since 1992, said it was not uncommon to feel that "we were pursuing something that we think 'that's really incredibly compelling', but we're struggling to solve the problem that it represents".

The reason Apple made only a few products, including the iPhone, iPad, iPod and Mac, was that "we only want a manageable number of products we can invest an incredible amount of care in".

The hallmark of Apple products is "real care", added Ives. "If we're honest about wanting to make the best possible products that we can, that genuinely means saying no because we don't believe it's good enough."

hnews@herald.ie