The popular narrative that has been told countless times is that Tony Fadell and Scott Forstall were both asked to come up with an operating system for the first iPhone, in which Fadell’s creation known as “Acorn” back then lost out to Forstall’s version, which subsequently became the iOS we all know today.
However speaking to The Verge, Fadell has since come forward and dispelled the claims that it was a competition to choose the “best” operating system for the iPhone. Instead according to him, both teams were actually working together. “The teams were working together. So it wasn’t like there were two different people trying different things. And then there was the development board prototypes where we’d rewrite the UI on the hardware to try things like touchscreen and hardware buttons.”
He also points out that it was pretty much what we saw in the recently revealed video in which both prototype operating systems can be seen running alongside each other. “So there were two tracks in hardware and software UI development running at all times. And so the thing that you’re seeing [in that video] was just what the UI guys were doing, devoid of any hardware, doing it on a Mac.”
That being said, we guess this doesn’t really change anything, but sometimes it’s nice to go back in time to see how it all started, and what could have been.