Every time Apple starts a new patent trial I think how Apple wasn’t that innovative in that some aspects of iOS were found in Symbian’s touch screen OS UIQ. However, it’s my belief that Apple’s deserved success came through being able to cleverly commercialise the innovations when others had failed.
I have previously mentioned how tapping on something such as a telephone number or address to cause an appropriate action isn’t new, was found in UIQ and is almost certainly prior art. In fact, actioning (as opposed to tapping – because we had no touch screens) an item and performing an appropriate action was an early Psion innovation.
Today, John Pagonis, an ex-Symbian employee mentioned on Twitter that Steve Jobs had a UIQ phone and even had a licence to the Symbian UIQ source for evaluation. This licence forbid Apple from pursuing its own mobile OS. John mentioned he knows this because he was sitting near the account manager who was responsible for the Apple account. This tends to explain how some aspects of UIQ ended up in iOS. Many innovations, whether from Apple or Samsung, are based on previous innovations.
UPDATE: As ex-Symbian Keith Playford mentions on twitter, UIQ owed more to Newton and Palm than iOS owed to UIQ. Symbian even had ex-Apple Scott Jenson on-board.