“There were multiple times where we nearly shelved the phone because we thought there were fundamental problems that we can’t solve,” said Sir Jony, speaking at a British Business Embassy event to coincide with the Olympics. One problem involved an early prototype “where I put the phone to my ear and my ear dials the number”… accidentally.
Proximity sensor engages during a phone call. When the sensor senses the ear within a certain range it turns off the display. It’s a simple solution, when you look back, but it must have been an excruciatingly difficult problem to solve at the time.