‘Inventing the iPhone’ talk & Q+A

This is going to be a great event—looking forward to diving deeper into some of the stories and ideas in the book. Get in touch with me directly briancmerchant@gmail.com if you’re interested in attending. Space is very limited.

Inventing the iPhone

Join us for a panel discussion and Q&A with Apple’s former Head of Human Interface Greg Christie, UI designer Bas Ording, input engineer Brian Huppi and author of the One Device, Brian Merchant, for an unprecedented discussion about the earliest days of the iPhone.

Wed, June 28th @ 7PM
150 Forest Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94301
Beer will be provided by SixPoint
RSVP required. Get in touch with me directly briancmerchant@gmail.com if you’re interested in attending. Space is very limited.

Meet three of the most influential designers and engineers who shaped the iPhone from its earliest days and shepherded the project from a stitched-together prototype rig to the most profitable product of all time.

Hear the untold stories of how a brilliant team conceived, created and prototyped the touchscreen-based mobile computer. The conversation will discuss how and why the iPhone was initially conceived, its primary design challenges, and the road to producing a world-changing device inside Apple and out.


Greg Christie – The head of Apple’s Human Interface team, which designed the look and feel of the software that powers the iPhone, Christie had wanted to make a mobile computer since Apple’s failed Newton—the iPhone was his passion project.

Brian Huppi – A self-described jack-of-all-trades hardware engineer, he joined Apple to build the next insanely great thing. He built the first prototype that would become the iPhone and the iPad.

Bas Ording – From the late 90s to the mid 00s, Ording was Apple’s top user interface designer. He was Steve Jobs’ secret weapon for designing software, and is the man behind the game-like, interactive feel of the Mac, iPhone, and iPad’s user interface.

Brian Merchant – Author of the One Device and an editor of Motherboard, VICE’s technology channel, will be moderating.

The One Device is a national bestseller, WSJ review, and more

So, it’s been an insane couple of weeks, but the reception to the book has been incredible. I want to thank everyone who bought the book, came out to an event, or even just tweeted about the thing. Just a quick update as we conclude our whirlwind media tour of Seattle, LA, NYC, and SF.

The One Device is a USA Today bestseller, squeaking onto the list at #149 in its first week on sale.

It was on the cover of the NYT book review last week, and this week it’s an editor’s choice, and one of the recommended reads of the week.

I helped put together a few stories for Motherboard’s outstanding iPhone week, and joined editor Jason Koebler and crew for a great talk at the Kickstarter HQ in Brooklyn. We recorded a live podcast you can hear here.

A couple outlets have interviewed me about the book, like Fast Company and Entrepreneur, which is fun but also a little embarrassing.

The Guardian and the Wall Street Journal both posted their reviews, and they’re both great. More stuff to come, but I couldn’t be more thrilled about the start this thing’s off to.


Some One Device reviews

The reviews are coming in, which has been fun, and interesting to see—people have very different ideas about this book and what they want out of a history of the iPhone. Silicon Valley watchers tend to want more blow-by-blow Apple drama; international readers appreciate the global scope and holistic approach a bit more.

The New York Times has a good one, from Lev Grossman, TIME’s former tech correspondent (and who wrote the iPhone story for the mag back in the day), though it’s firmly in the former camp.

The Times of London has a great one, too, which nails the themes and primary thrust of the book.

My favorite, though, is this one, from the online magazine of bulk business book seller 800 CEO Reads. They do a killer summary and appreciate the theme and aim of the book.

The Apple blog folks are into it, though, understandably, some wanted even more Apple; here’s a nice Mac Rumors writeup.

I feel like every author is doomed to be reviewed by at least one or two writers who clearly do not in anyway understand what you’re trying to do—behold, the USA Today review, which, in the course of reviewing “The Secret History of the iPhone” complains that I did not write enough about the iPad or Google’s Android phones. Oh well.


June 20th talk at Seattle’s Town Hall

In conversation with Fast Company’s Alex Pasternack, one of the best journalists on the tech/science beat going. Should be a great discussion—looking forward to this one.

Here’s the event descrip:

“Odds are that as you read this, an iPhone is within reach. But before Steve Jobs introduced “the one device,” as he called it, a cell phone was merely what you used to make calls on the go. How did the iPhone transform our world and turn Apple into the most valuable company ever? In The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone, veteran technology journalist Brian Merchant reveals the international inside story you won’t hear from Cupertino. Reporting on interviews with the engineers, inventors, and developers involved in the iPhone’s creation, Merchant, in conversation with journalist and producer Alex Pasternack, explains how the cutting-edge tech that makes the world work—touch screens, motion trackers, and even artificial intelligence—made their way into our pockets.”