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Who Designed the iPhone?

Comments(4)Filed under: Digital Implementation, iPhone

When people ask you what you do for a living, is your response as clumsy as mine?  "Um, you see, well I uh, work for this company that sells software that helps people design computer chips?" is typically what I say.  I sometimes say "I'm an Applications Engineer for Cadence Design Systems," and leave it at that.  Either way, the reaction seems to be about the same- the person I'm talking to quickly changes the subject presumably to avoid an awkward conversation about what exactly this means (or worse yet, end up discussing what "EDA" stands for).

Unless you work for a company that sells directly into the Consumer Electronics space, I bet a lot of you probably work for similarly unfamiliar companies that make chips that go into fantastic products like the iPhone.  When someone asks "Who Designed the iPhone?" I bet most everyone would say "Steve Jobs" or "Apple".  But what about the people who designed the chips that make the iPhone possible?  There is an amazing amount of technology packed into a smartphone and such products wouldn't even be possible if not for advancements made in chip design over the years.  The engineers responsible for delivering the chips that go into the iPhone surely worked under some of the most aggressive and stressful design environments one can imagine.  I hope that these folks get the recognition they deserve for their accomplishments.

Which leads me to our Question of the Day: "Does the Digital Design Community receive the credit it deserves for designing the iPhone?"

Please post a comment below with your thoughts.


By asedehi on July 23, 2008
Of course not! Like you said, the majority of people will say apple...it is hard to think about the people that make the chips that enable all of this great technology to come to fruition....

By jasona on July 27, 2008
The worst part is that an engineer may play a role in the design of one of the chips of an iPhone and after they tell people they design a chip that goes into the iPhone in response to the "what do you do for a living?" question, then Apple picks some other device for the next version of the iPhone and it's back to square one with no good answer again.

By BobD on July 28, 2008
asedehi and Jason- thank for taking the time to leave a comment!  I appreciate it.  I think there is an important personal satisfaction that comes from being recognized for your contributions that we're talking about here.  There is also Wall Street's view to consider.  If a company generates enough profit from their participation in a successful product it will undeniably be recognized over time (either that, or investors have a great opportunity on their hands to buy a cash cow for a less than it is worth).  Along those lines, I thought the following article was interesting as it lists a number of companies that aren't necessarily household names that do have chips in the iPhone:

By Patrick McCutchan on June 6, 2009
Patrick McCutchan sent the  initial drawing, start specs and actions concept to Jobs, Woz and other Apple heads. They did most everything that was on that concept. They promised compensation and have not come through with it.
The concept was sent from iampatrick@mac.com 2002-03 after I was asked how to make Dot Mac better.... I ended up sending them allot more than just that.......
Seeded Concepts ©02' Patrick McCutchan: iPhone & Touch, Uni-Body with removable HD or SSD, Multi touch Mouse pad to start  getting use-to using jesters for the future.
Patrick McCutchan
Patrick Now lives in Golden Valley MN. 55422 Photographing Weddings and creating portraits. www.patrickmccutchan.com

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