Ten years ago today, Steve Jobs introduced the device that would come to define the biggest tech company in the world.
The iPhone was introduced as ‘a widescreen iPod with touch controls, a revolutionary mobile phone and a breakthrough internet communications device.’
“These are not three separate devices,” Jobs said during the January 9, 2007 keynote. “This is one device! And we are calling it: iPhone. Today, Apple is going to reinvent the phone.” And reinvent the phone they did.
Exactly ten years on, Apple is celebrating that announcement, remembering the ‘revolutionary product’ that Steve Jobs promised – and the famous keynote that introduced it to the world.
When you have a product as omnipresent as the iPhone, it’s hard to remember life without it.
As Jobs stepped onto the stage at Macworld 2007, gone were the days of T9 and QWERTY keyboards – the dawn of the smartphone age was here.
— Harry McCracken 🇺🇸 (@harrymccracken) January 9, 2017
Apple’s original iPhone site, pulled from the depths of the Internet by Internet archive Wayback Machine, echoes Job’s three-in-one device.
As well as being a functional phone, the then-CEO described a device that could play movies, podcasts, and TV shows, as well as transfer your browser bookmarks and sync your photos.
But the first iPhone wasn’t an assured homerun: It was expensive – costing between $499 to $599 (£410 to £500); It was available on just one carrier (AT&T); Apple didn’t own the ‘iPhone’ name and the tech giant had no phone experience at all.
What the iPhone had going for it back then was mystery. Since then it has become an iconic piece of Apple’s marketing machinery. It’s been redesigned and revolutionised times over, quickly becoming the most popular smartphone in the world.
And the device remains Apple’s most important, as current CEO Tim Cook noted in today’s memorial post:
iPhone is an essential part of our customers’ lives, and today more than ever it is redefining the way we communicate, entertain, work and live.
A decade later, it’s hard to believe we won’t be seeing Steve Jobs introduce the tech giant’s anniversary model – the iPhone 8 – later this year.