Scott Forstall told Pandora to jailbreak the iPhone to make the original app

Scott Forstall, a former senior vice president at Apple, reportedly encouraged Pandora to remove the original iPhone from prison so he could gain an advantage in building the original music streaming app, according to a new report.

Forstall met with Pandora’s co-founder and CEO Tim Westergren during the early days of the iPhone – before he had the official App Store – and encouraged the company to use “back door kits” while “working together at Apple.”

Forstall: Jailbreak iPhone to get advantage

Young readers may not know that when the iPhone debuted in 2007, it did not have an App Store. You get a small selection of first-party apps that were pre-installed – such as Messages, Notes, and Safari – and that’s it.

Steve Jobs, who was Apple’s chief executive at the time, was initially opposed to third-party source software. Instead, he wanted developers to create web applications that iPhone users could download in Safari, which were apparently limited in functionality.

Thus was born jailbreaking – which allowed the installation of native third-party software on the iPhone via Cydia. Apple was publicly dead against this, but Forstall, who headed iOS in 2007, apparently encouraged it in some cases.

‘Jailbreak some iPhone’

Forstall met with Westergren and Pandora’s CTO Tom Conrad and “spent hours talking about what Pandora has learned about streaming sound by installing apps on flip phones, such as the Motorola RAZR, for cordless operators,” reports Vice.

At the end of the meeting, Conrad asked what Pandora could do to prepare for a future iPhone that would include the App Store and native APIs.

“Forstall said, it wouldn’t be a waste of your time to smash some iPhones and use backdoor tools distributed by other people to make the original Pandora app while we at Apple team up on something more formal.”

Pandora quickly heeded that advice and started breaking down the iPhone so they could make an original Pandora app that would be pretty ready to ship as soon as the App Store becomes official. And the effort paid off.

Pandora was big on the iPhone

Pandora was, not surprisingly, one of the first iPhone apps to arrive in the App Store when it opened its doors in 2008. And just nine months later, it was installed on an incredible 21% of all iPhones in use.

As for Forstall, he was forced to leave Apple in 2012 after he allegedly refused to apologize for the disastrous introduction of Apple Maps in iOS 6.

Full Vice The report is a fascinating read for those interested in streaming music and how Spotify became king. We invite you to check it out.

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Naveen Kumar

Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.

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