Apple executive denies report he wanted iPhone to have physical keyboard

Steve Jobs holds the original iPhone.

Steve Jobs holds the original iPhone.

Apple executive Phil Schiller was not happy when a new book on the origins of the iPhone claimed he pushed for a Blackberry-like physical keyboard on the original device.

Brian Merchant, who wrote The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone, travelled around the world to see how an iPhone is put together.

An excerpt was published on The Verge, which included this anecdote about Schiller, who has been on Apple's executive team since Steve Jobs returned to the company in 1997:

"The iPod phone was losing support. The executives debated which project to pursue, but Phil Schiller, Apple's head of marketing, had an answer: Neither. He wanted a keyboard with hard buttons. The BlackBerry was arguably the first hit smartphone. It had an email client and a tiny hard keyboard. After everyone else, including Fadell, started to agree that multitouch was the way forward, Schiller became the lone holdout.

"He "just sat there with his sword out every time, going, 'No, we've got to have a hard keyboard. No. Hard keyboard.' And he wouldn't listen to reason as all of us were like, 'No, this works now, Phil.' And he'd say, 'You gotta have a hard keyboard!' "

The story was reportedly recounted by Tony Fadell, who w the senior vice president of the iPod division at the time.

Schiller took to Twitter to deny that ever happened.

To make matters confusing, Fadell also took to Twitter to say the story he reportedly told Merchant was not true.

With his credibility on the line, Merchant also went on Twitter to defend his work. Merchant also says he has a recorded conversation with Fadell.

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 - MCT


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