While it’s possible Apple took visual cues from Braun’s design, the inspiration for the wheel itself came from a different place. “It was a Bang & Olufsen phone,” explains the source. “B&O did a phone, like a home phone, and they used a wheel to scroll. [Apple marketing SVP] Phil [Schiller] had seen it, and said, ‘Well, we should do that.'”
It was the Bang & Olufsen BeoCom 6000. And do that Apple did.