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Steve Jobs wanted one iPhone feature to be very different

Apple’s founder and former CEO Steve Jobs wanted the original iPhone to use CDMA instead of GSM technology so that the device didn’t need a SIM card tray, according to former iPod VP Tony Fadell.

This week, Apple’s former head of iPod took to the stage with Joanna Stern to promote his new book Build: An Unorthodox Guide to Making Things Worth Making at the Computer History Museum, as first noted by 9to5Mac,

Telling one story, Fadell revealed that Jobs wasn’t a fan of the iPhone having a SIM card slot. Instead, he wanted it to be a seamless device by stating “we don’t want another hole in it.”

According to Fadell, Jobs wanted Apple to use CDMA technology in its iPhone to connect to cell towers, rather than GSM. Fadell said that he had to convince Jobs that CDMA adoption simply wasn’t widespread enough to be sustainable for the iPhone. While Apple did get round to a CDMA iPhone 4, the SIM tray persisted in all of Apple’s best iPhones right up to the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 released just last year.

Apple does now offer eSIM functionality on the iPhone in some countries, possibly paving the way for an iPhone of the future to eschew the SIM card tray altogether, which would be a welcome improvement for water and dust ingress, as well as providing more space internally .

Apple’s iPhone 14 is expected later this year but may be eclipsed in 2023 by the iPhone 15. Multiple reports this week indicate that Apple is planning to ditch the Lightning port in the iPhone in favor of USB-C, in part to comply with an EU mandate off the charging standard expected to come into force in the near future.

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