Phil Schiller says iPhone was a ‘bet the company’ product


As the Apple v. Samsung trial to recalculate the damages Samsung owes continues, Phil Schiller took the stand yesterday. Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing was called up to speak with just 11 minutes left in the session.

But that still proved enough time for Schiller to dish out some interesting details about his role at Apple, and its early days of iPhone development. He said around 100 people worked on what was referred to as the ‘bet the company’ product…

CNET’s Shara Tibken has more:

“There were huge risks [with the first iPhone],” he said. “We had a saying inside the company that it was a ‘bet-the-company’ product…We were starting to do well again in iPod…Then here we’re going to invest all these resources, financial as well as people, in creating this product.”

He noted that Apple started working on the iPhone after it had already started iPad development. In the beginning, about 100 people worked on the smartphone. Now, “almost everyone” at Apple works on the device.”

Schiller’s comments wrapped up day 3 of a retrial to recalculate the damages that Samsung owes Apple for infringing on 5 of its patents in 13 of its devices. The original amount was $1.05 billion, but a judge cut that in half earlier this year.

Court kicked off Tuesday with jury selection in the US District Court in Northern California. The trial is slated to last about six days, and could get rather interesting, as ousted SVP Scott Forstall was named on Apple’s potential witness list.