Report: Apple did not design the Scroll Wheel | iLounge News


Report: Apple did not design the Scroll Wheel

Eliot Van Buskirk, Section Editor, Technology for has discovered that Apple is not responsible for designing the Scroll Wheel. “I’d always assumed that this bit of design genius sprung from Apple’s R&D labs, but, in fact, I discovered that a company called Synaptics, which primarily makes touchpads for laptops, actually designed this little piece of navigational heaven, in accordance with Apple’s stringent design requirements.” Synaptics designed and manufactured the Scroll Wheel/Touch Wheel and the current Click Wheel.

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Apple has already given Synaptics credit on the scroll wheel.  I remember an article where Jobs mentioned that.  Can’t remember the source but I do remember reading some article.

Edit by Jeremy Horwitz, March 2005: iPodlounge has deleted a collection of negative and derogatory comments from “audiogeek” on our site, which we discovered have been posted by a writer for competing publications. As he has trolled and posted obnoxious comments in a number of threads, picking fights with our readers and editors, he has been banned from the site, and we strongly oppose his repeated mischaracterizations of various products and our editorial opinions. This comments thread was affected by his posts, and has therefore been modestly edited. If any of the other comments below do not make sense in the context of these deletions, we apologize.

Posted by overcast on September 20, 2004 at 10:42 AM (CDT)


yeah this is old news

Posted by jon on September 20, 2004 at 10:47 AM (CDT)


how about the scroll wheels on B&O telephones?  they have it for may be over 5 years

Posted by lok on September 20, 2004 at 11:33 AM (CDT)


You mean Apple did not invent the wheel?  Some people here are about to have their faith shaken.

Posted by ape on September 20, 2004 at 12:42 PM (CDT)


I don’t understand how the fact that the wheel was manufactured by another company would mean that Apple had nothing to do in the design.

Apple designers had the idea of putting a scrollwheel on the front of the iPod, they called Synaptics and asked them to design/make a scrollwheel according to their specifications. Really, I fail to see what is the scoop about this.

Posted by Zippy on September 20, 2004 at 1:09 PM (CDT)


i thought the cavemen invented the wheel? =D

Posted by sarcasm on September 20, 2004 at 1:30 PM (CDT)


Cheers to Synaptics for “inventing” the wheel, and Apple for selecting Synaptics as a vendor!

Posted by Lynx on September 20, 2004 at 2:45 PM (CDT)


Click wheels have been around since the dawn of time: like the 1970s. The Intellivision console had these gnarly little touch-wheel controllers. The Atari 5200 also had little annoying clicky wheel controllers. As an earlier poster pointe dout, high-end telephones have been using click wheels to navigate through menu options since the late 1980s.

Can technology editors manage to use Google to look for information, or do they sit around smoking dope waiting for inspriation to hit?

Posted by Wheels on September 20, 2004 at 3:02 PM (CDT)


I think the writer of this little report should dig a little deeper.  Just because Apple doesn’t manufacture the part doesn’t mean they didn’t design it.  News Flash!!!  Most computer parts are made by someone else.  But they are built to the specs designed by the company that contracted them to manufacture the part.  I’m sure there was a collaboration there, but Apple did have a part in the design of the Scroll wheel.

Posted by roehlstation on September 20, 2004 at 3:45 PM (CDT)


In related news as circulated 20 years ago: Apple didn’t design the mouse!!!!!

Same FUD, different day.

Posted by goofrider on September 20, 2004 at 4:47 PM (CDT)


It’s funny that his “first generation” example isn’t a first-generation iPod. The touch wheels are only in the later iPods - the original rotating wheel used an entirely different mechanism.

Posted by Mark on September 20, 2004 at 7:20 PM (CDT)


well this is kind of obvious, infact apple would have been stupid to not go to synaptics to make it, since they are the market leaders in touch sensitive pads!

Although the pictures of what the scroll wheel looks like underneath are interesting.

Posted by m00j on September 20, 2004 at 8:47 PM (CDT)


What is the big deal about this information? Apple did not design a lot of parts that went into the iPod.

Posted by Sol on September 20, 2004 at 11:34 PM (CDT)


The point is that you Apple fanboys are so busy sucking teh dirt from teh bottom of Jobs shoes you should know that not everythign Apple sells was touched by the hand of job himself. Some thing sthey use came from outside of Cupertino CA.

Pathetic Apple freaks.

Posted by No big deal on September 21, 2004 at 9:46 AM (CDT)


In the commercial with the line dancers, who does that song? I’m dying to know!

Posted by frances on September 21, 2004 at 10:33 AM (CDT)


I invented the “Click”

Posted by Dave Chappelle on September 21, 2004 at 11:00 AM (CDT)


It doesn’t matter who actually invented it. What matters is who patented it. Whoever patented the thing is the one who would get the money. I don’t know if Apple did that or not.

Posted by Doesn't matter on September 21, 2004 at 12:44 PM (CDT)


So far, Apple did not even invented the iPod :-), any thoughts?:

Cult of Mac

Posted by Cat in a lan on September 21, 2004 at 3:37 PM (CDT)


No Big Deal would have us believe that Apple did not invent the G5 iMac either; after all, Hitachi made the hard drive, Samsung made the LCD screen, IBM made the CPU, nVidia made the GPU, etc. Like a typical Windows user he shows no imagination and has difficulty grasping that the whole is more than the sum of its parts. Of course that may be because he put together his last Pee Cee from parts that were found in the rubbish bins of various computer stores.

Posted by Sol on September 21, 2004 at 4:52 PM (CDT)


“Like a typical Windows user he shows no imagination and has difficulty grasping that the whole is more than the sum of its parts.”

Your Macs are strictly mid-range over-priced under-performing toy computers. Although they look kind of flashy, Macs usually feature low- to medium-priced components that are rarely cutting edge or the fastest or best available.

Dig this baby.

Posted by beat this fat boy on September 21, 2004 at 5:42 PM (CDT)

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