When working on the prototypes of the very first iPhone, Jony Ive, the head of industrial design at Apple, began, as usual, with the iPhone’s story. As he later explained, it was all about how the user would feel about the device. He believed the iPhone would be all about the screen.
In their earliest discussions, his designers agreed that nothing should detract from the screen, which Jony likened to an “infinity pool,” those high-end swimming pools with an invisible edge. “What that did was make it very clear in our minds that the display was important, and we wanted to develop a product that featured and deferred to the display,” he said. “Some of our early discussions about the iPhone centred on this idea of the infinity pool, this pond, where the display would sort of magically appear.”
It was all about the perception of the product, not in a physical sense, but in a perceptual sense.
To learn more about how many of the famous Apple products came to be, check the book: Jony Ive — The Genius Behind Apple’s Greatest Products by Leander Kahney.