Apple's iPhone turns 7 years old

Posted:
in iPhone edited March 2014
When Steve Jobs bounded on stage at the Macworld Conference in San Francisco seven years ago, few in attendance could have realized the presentation they were about to see would mark the beginning of a new technological era.

Best Buy iPhone 5c offer


"Every once in a while, a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything."

This was the standard Jobs set for Apple's newest creation. The iPhone's success would be judged, he implied, by no less a yardstick than the Macintosh --?the computer whose 1984 introduction literally changed the way the world worked, enabling entirely new industries and minting countless fortunes in the process.

The handset Jobs famously pulled from his pocket that January morning was far from perfect. Critics said it wasn't fast enough, it wasn't cheap enough, and it wasn't open enough.

They were wrong.

Apple brought smartphones to the masses, upending the mobile phone industry in what seemed like an afternoon. The shift was so fast and violent that?even Motorola and Nokia, old warhorses who laid the foundation for the entire business, fell to their knees and were picked through like spoils of battle.



In the iPhone's shadow grew an ancillary economy, one that now supports hundreds of thousands of workers around the world. Apple has paid out more than $15 billion to developers on its App Store and untold billions more have been fished from the iPhone's vast ocean of accessories.

Once on the brink of bankruptcy, Apple is now the biggest technology company on earth. The iPhone unit, which rakes in more than 90 percent of the mobile phone industry's profits, is itself larger by revenue than blue chips like Boeing and Coca-Cola.

The iPhone's greatest legacy, though, is this: no matter what the future holds for Apple, there is now an entire generation that will never know life without "the internet in your pocket." In just seven years, Apple has again changed the way the world works.

Revolutionary, indeed.
«13

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 58
    fracfrac Posts: 480member
    The best product presentation....ever.
    Pure Steve Jobs.
  • Reply 2 of 58
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,612member
    Critics said it wasn't fast enough, it wasn't cheap enough, and it wasn't open enough.

    They were wrong.
    They were a little bit right about not cheap enough. Apple dropped the price pretty quickly, then moved to a more normal carrier subsidised business model for the 3G.

    Apple sold a fair few at the original price, but it wasn't the runaway success that it later became.

    There's decent arguments in the fast enough (assuming this means 3G rather than processor) and open enough (no third party apps at launch)

    All rectified of course, to Apple's credit and benefit, but not perfect at launch.
  • Reply 3 of 58
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,405member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Frac View Post



    The best product presentation....ever.

    Pure Steve Jobs.

     

    It was electrifying, wasn't it?

  • Reply 4 of 58
    Awesome article, glad to see someone take a moment and enjoy the fruits of a revolutionary company's labors. And there doesn't seem to be too many haters in the comments either. This was one product that was a win for everyone. Good job Apple. And it wouldn't have happened without Steve.
  • Reply 5 of 58
    crowley wrote: »
    They were a little bit right about not cheap enough. Apple dropped the price pretty quickly, then moved to a more normal carrier subsidised business model for the 3G.

    Apple sold a fair few at the original price, but it wasn't the runaway success that it later became.

    There's decent arguments in the fast enough (assuming this means 3G rather than processor) and open enough (no third party apps at launch)

    All rectified of course, to Apple's credit and benefit, but not perfect at launch.

    He's using a little artistic license.. he's just saying the iPhone wasn't doomed like many said for those reasons.
  • Reply 6 of 58
    clemynxclemynx Posts: 1,509member
    Jobs looks so young in that image!

    I remember first coming to AI to see that keynote. 7 years already!
    I know you are out there Ric.
  • Reply 7 of 58
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Crowley View Post





    They were a little bit right about not cheap enough. Apple dropped the price pretty quickly, then moved to a more normal carrier subsidised business model for the 3G.



    Apple sold a fair few at the original price, but it wasn't the runaway success that it later became.



    There's decent arguments in the fast enough (assuming this means 3G rather than processor) and open enough (no third party apps at launch)



    All rectified of course, to Apple's credit and benefit, but not perfect at launch.

    I remember. I bought two! And then with the rebates I bought....Leopard? I think! And that BT earpiece that only lasted 3 hours. 

  • Reply 8 of 58
    clemynxclemynx Posts: 1,509member
    One of the best parts was :
    "A stylus! We are going to use a stylus, right?.. No."
    Others could have thought of the touchscreen. Jobs realized that they couldn't use a stylus. It would have made the iPhone a little like many other phones. Multitouch is truly the one thing that made it successful, if we oversimplify everything to a minimum.
  • Reply 9 of 58
    poochpooch Posts: 768member
    It was electrifying, wasn't it?

    still is!
  • Reply 10 of 58
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Anyone know how much involvement Tony Fadell had with the iPhone once OSX was the chosen software? I've always wondered why Mark Papermaster was brought in as head of devices engineering rather than giving Fadell that role. Once Papermaster was out Bob Mansfield took over.

    Also I've always wondered why Steve's first phone call was to Ive (and Schiller) and not Forstall. If he was really the father of the iPhone it seems odd that he wouldn't have been the one Steve called first.
  • Reply 11 of 58
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    crowley wrote: »
    They were a little bit right about not cheap enough. Apple dropped the price pretty quickly, then moved to a more normal carrier subsidised business model for the 3G.

    Apple sold a fair few at the original price, but it wasn't the runaway success that it later became.

    There's decent arguments in the fast enough (assuming this means 3G rather than processor) and open enough (no third party apps at launch)

    All rectified of course, to Apple's credit and benefit, but not perfect at launch.
    Just imagine if that happened on Cook's watch. Everyone would be calling for him to be fired. And people complain that Apple only does incremental updates. As if what they did under Jobs was always monumental.
  • Reply 12 of 58
    macinthe408macinthe408 Posts: 1,050member

    This presentation contains the world's greatest use of the pregnant pause. 

     

    ....

     

    "This is a day..." 

  • Reply 13 of 58
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,593member
    "When Steve Jobs bounded on stage at the Macworld Conference in San Francisco seven years ago, few in attendance could have realized the presentation they were about to see would mark the beginning of a new technological era."

    Well, I wasn't there but I certainly believed that the presentation marked the beginning of a new technological era.

    What does that make me? Nothing more than a brilliant Monday morning quarterback. Mwa ha ha ha!
  • Reply 14 of 58
    laytechlaytech Posts: 125member
    What made it brilliant, was that it just worked. The seamless way you could navigate, intuitively and how there was a 360 work flow, you searched for a location on the maps, then you clicked contact and then you clicked call. Simple but brilliant. Large, screen and a beautiful design. I know at the time this was going to revolutionise the mobile market, but for some unknown reason, i didn't buy apple stock!... something i deeply regret.
  • Reply 15 of 58
    Did you notice the photographer with the camera adjacent to Steve? Haven't seen one of those cameras at an iPhone unveiling since...well, this one. Great job Apple.
  • Reply 16 of 58

    What I think makes this presentation all the more remarkable is knowing how much the engineers were sweating it out in the front row. They knew how fragile it was, how buggy, how very much NOT ready for prime time it was ... and yet, they managed to hold it together long enough for the presentation, and then they managed to get it ready for actual sale within months. Fantastic!

  • Reply 17 of 58
    The only thing sad here is realizing how sick Steve really was when this was being made, and how fast he declined afterwards.

    That said, for this shining day, he was that same kid who priced his computer at 666.66$, introduced us to the GUI and to a shiny blue plastic all-in-one.
  • Reply 18 of 58
    Originally Posted by saintstryfe View Post

    The only thing sad here is realizing how sick Steve really was when this was being made, and how fast he declined afterwards.

     

    iPhone began development long after 2004 and long before 2010.

  • Reply 19 of 58
    Apple shook the pillars of the world.
  • Reply 20 of 58

    I loved watching the presentation. And knowing about the drinking game the engineers were having as the presentation went on makes it more enjoyable!

     

    7 years later, I have 7 iPhones (haven't gotten the 5c yet!). The first iPhone was purchased in the grey market since it was never launched in India. But the magic of opening the box and pulling out the phone was something that can never be expressed fully in words.

     

    Even now, when I travel to UK, I use a PAYG SIM with the 1G iPhone. And it still works!

Sign In or Register to comment.