How the iPhone Prototype began with Gumstix

July 10, 2017 | Karen Schultz

It’s been 10 years since the first iPhone hit the market in 2007. As we know, all good ideas start with a prototype. It just so happens that the Apple smart phone began with a Gumstix board.

So, how did the iPhone really start?

Here’s the backstory:

Excerpt from “Dogfight: How Apple and Google Went to War and Started a Revolution

“Jobs wanted the iPhone to run a modified version of OS X, the software that comes with every Mac. But no one had ever put a gigantic program like OS X on a phone chip before. The software would have to be a tenth of the size, and even then there wasn’t a phone chip being made in 2005 that could run it fast enough and with a long enough battery life.
Initially we just worked on Gumstix boards…,” said Nitin Ganatra, one of the early software engineers. “We started with the Mac address book — a list of names — and to see if we could scroll [on a screen] at between thirty to sixty frames a second…. We just wanted to figure out if there was any way to make this [OS X on a phone chip] work — whether we were even in the ballpark.If we couldn’t get it to work on a Gumstix board, we knew we might have a problem.

– Fred Vogelstein, Macmillian, 2013

What happened to iPhone after?

Here’s every iPhone released over the last 10 years and what changed along the way in the evolution of the iPhone.

Prototype with Gumstix

Whether you’re thinking of building the next iPhone or a drone or something extraordinary that will save people lives in the medical field, Gumstix, and our free online design tool, Geppetto is your way to go! Design your custom board for a prototype with Geppetto and have it delivered in 15 business days. Iterate, do better, and when you’re ready to go to market, we’ll produce your boards up to the quantities you need.

Interested? Learn about Geppetto, and if you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to contact us at