Eight years ago, Steve Jobs unveiled iPhone and changed the world again

“Eight years ago, on January 9, 2007 to be exact, the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs took the stage at the Moscone Center in San Francisco to introduce the first iPhone.

“Today, Apple is going to reinvent the phone,” Jobs proclaimed.

Jobs wasn’t overstating the impact of his announcement. The iPhone, like the Mac and iPod, redefined the category. It was the world’s first modern smartphone and it became the template for wannabes the world over. The smartphone revolution started by the iPhone has put a powerful computer into the hands of billions of people worldwide.

Steve Jobs’ iPhone unveiling in January 2007 is one of the most important milestones in computing history.

MacDailyNews Take: There are a lot of smartphones on the market today, but only one company makes brilliantphones.

Steve Jobs’ iPhone unveiling starts around 21:10:

We miss you, Steve!

32 Comments

  1. Thank The Lord Above it was not Bill Gates, Master of deceit. Yes you are sorely missed Steve. Don’t do what Steve would have done but do The Right Thing. Tim is @ the helm boys & girls. Steady as she goes. Be patient people that spacecraft will be here soon enough.

  2. Pffft. Steve Ballmer knew consumers weren’t going to buy some over-priced toy and it was going to be a monumental flop. Palm’s CEO definitely knew that some wannabe company with a fruit logo wasn’t going to succeed against companies that were already fully entrenched in the smartphone business. One percent smartphone market share in a year? Is that man crazy, or what? No way. No how. iPods is one thing. Smartphones is a whole ‘nother thing altogether.

    /s

    1. Actually, none of us know how long we have to live. A car accident, a stroke, a toilet lid from the MIR, some fanatic on a cause, or you can have cancer and live another 40 years. Its a crapshoot.

      So, don’t waste time and aggravation on crappy products that take more time than they give. Enjoy Apple’s great products and its joy of life.

      Just saying.

  3. Striking to me how few illuminated computer screens were in the audience. Same type of venue today is full of iPhones and iPads recording some of the event, blogging, or keeping up with life. My how times have changed in just 8 years.

    1. Me too. I really was stunned at how much Steve trusted the audience to make the leap that the three devices were really one. In a world where most marketers want to club you over the head with heavy handed messaging that was fantastic.

      1. It was a phenomenal day.
        Drooling like a child, I stared savouring such a wonderful accomplishment by Apple. And the birth of Apple Inc. Truly an incredible innovation that placed a dent in this universe for Apple.

        If only, patents would have protected the iPhone like Pharmaceutical Drugs are protected from competition. If only if contracts and business agreements were set and sound as seen in the automotive industry — if so, only today would we see the copy cats and clones come about. And Apple would have had not just 1 year lead but 8.

        Still to this day, I wonder why the iPhone was only mentioned to be a device – with these three things: a web browser, a music player and a phone… when it also was a fantastic camera too.

        iPod
        (was already the primo music player device)

        Safari
        (had already taken off as a very successful browser – and on a mobile device no one else had done something so perfect)

        Phone
        (a new area for Apple yet often sought of)

        Camera
        (some research and product experience here – Apple Quick Take — which baffles me still as to why the iPhone was not marketed claiming great portable photography – funny after a year it came about that people found less need to carry around a second device for quick takes)

        Newton
        (provided a real stepping stone to the iPhone – and please remember Palm was a spin off company from which Apple’s Newton paved the way. No other personal organizer, other then Palm came close to Newton making Palm a important spring board for Apple to reclaim its technology as iPhone).

    2. And in our little investor group at the time, we had been speculating for months, “What if they put a phone in an iPod?” Many in that group of amateur Apple investors are retired rich today.

      1. The day Apple created a sub OS from OS X by which iPod OS was designed from – and even way back when the Newtons OS was created; Apple thought of so many other implementations for many devices… sorry to say your investors group ain’t the visionaries.

        1. Oh, and is that why none of us got rich?/s If things were so obvious to everyone else, why didn’t EVERYONE buy Apple shares just prior to the introduction of the iPhone?

          1. Happy you are made a gain from your investments and became rich. And its all good to speculate that Apple would make a phone. That happens to be noted well back far before your investment group first ever gathered together.

          2. For many here commenting these last few years, they look at Apple similar to the analysts we all mock. That Apple is only a company to earn from; as if nothing else matters. Buy – Sell.

            I had invested when Apple was sinking; before Jobs returned.
            Should I say to you, I honestly had prayed for Steve to return to Apple, and actually thought he would be this amazing iCEO?

            Why didn’t your little group then invest?

            By saying your group was speculating a iPod with a Phone somewhat says you were all Visionaries. However, there are plenty of articles leading up to Apple entering the phone market long before the introduction. And many articles before that with talks of Palm and Apple. And more way back when Newton was born. Apple has toyed with many ideas. So I am just saying, good you invested, but by no means pat yourselves on the back for a job well done nor wow we must be smart we predicted the iPhone. Big Lol.

            1. In 2005 nobody was predicting an Apple cell phone based on the iPod. I personally have read the most relevant news and analyst research available on Apple every day since 2001, and the idea simply wasn’t out there. The providers were in complete control of the cell phone market, including what passed for smart phones. Nobody thought that any computer company could break that control.

  4. I pushed everything I had in my retirement IRA account into Apple shares not long after Steve came back to Apple, early in 1997. At a price (share split adjusted) of less than $2/share. The share price was only $12/share on the day Steve announced the first iPhone.

    I’m almost completely out now – this is a feat no company can repeat. However, Steve Jobs and Apple made me a multimillionaire, and changed my life – for one thing, I retired in my 50’s.

    1. good for you,
      there is nothing like investing
      and succeeding in life, on the shoulders of greatness
      to basically never lifting a finger yet becoming a winner
      to gain so much without the sweat from hard work
      and honest earned pay from what came from yourself
      still, seeing risk and playing the game is good
      and happy it has done so many so well;
      Apple is insanely great.

      1. Investing in Apple and Steve in 1997 was a fairly easy decision. As someone who believed that the government would never allow Microsoft to kill off their only viable competitor, it was clear to me that Apple would survive.

        However the hardest part after buying was holding. I held Apple when it went down. I held when it went up. A good friend of mine had more shares than I did, and bailed at $60, showing a profit that any investor would be proud of. It was over $200 (unadjusted) when the crash came, and I scraped together some more money and bought another 200 shares at $90, about the low point. Then it started up again. . . .but I never expected what’s happened. I got out a few months after we lost Steve Jobs. Clearly there is now been more upside, but now I’m diversified (including a couple million in real estate – what we learned from the crash is: while real estate goes up, and goes down, it rarely goes to zero. I had one stock, Washington Mutual, that disappeared on a weekend and the liars running that company should have gone to jail).

        Steve Jobs changed my life. Thanks, mate.

        1. excellent and honest account
          thank to shed a light on things
          and to share your story with all of us
          steve changed all our lives
          no joke and sincerely
          happy he touched yours too

  5. My favorite blast from the past is Palm’s CEO Ed Cooligan responding to the iPhone with this classic gem, ““We’ve learned and struggled for a few years here figuring out how to make a decent phone,” he said. “PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They’re not going to just walk in.”

    Always good for a laugh!

    1. hahaha
      that was said after the introductory of iPhone?
      how foolish
      i would have thought that was said before iPhone
      was introduced, oh well sorry palm

      my spin:
      Palm guys were given Newton to clone
      Palm guys are PC guys
      funny Palm never made a phone
      it took Apple guys not PC guys

  6. I really like watching that video, but at the same time I get pissed off when I think about what has happened since.
    The new features, the UI and the multitouch gestures all had the crowd gob-smacked. No-one had seen anything like it before. Features like slide to open, scrolling with rubber banding and pinch to zoom had the crowd in awe. For weeks and months afterwards the internet was abuzz about how revolutionary the iPhone was.

    Yet after years of litigation, Apples patents that were supposed to protect this breakthrough IP have been largely rendered impotent.

    Samsung has successfully avoided any punishment through delaying trials, finding loopholes and wildly flailing around finding prior art that only vaguely resembles anything that came from the iPhone.
    Even the patent cases that Apple have won (the billion dollar damages award) are in danger of being cut down at the knees. Many of the patents are now being considered for rejection by the patent office because they have been challenged by an ‘anonymous’ party (Samsung) as being too obvious. (Of course they are obvious 8 years later, after the phone industry has been freely using them without punishment.)

    Judge Koh also made both parties whittle the case down to a few key patents. This allowed Samsung to run a FUD campaign that Apple contributed nothing to the smartphone industry, but rounded corners and a few minor and obvious patents.
    Now in the latest appeal, Samsung defence is that a loss of sales can’t be directly tied to a single patented feature.
    But It is judge Koh that limited the case, that has allowed this defence. The whole case was set up in Samsungs favour from the start.

    A lot of people say Apple should forget about litigation because Samsung has been struck by karma and been obliterated by iPhone 6/Plus sales.
    But if Samsung had been truly struck by karma, they should have been smashed by the courts as well.

    Now because the courts were so ineffectual, the copycats have absolutely nothing to fear.
    The Apple watch has already been ripped off and it is not even out yet.

    During the patent trials, the juries should had been made to watch the video above and imagine themselves back in 2007.
    The trial would have been over in 30 minutes and Samsung would have been fined billions.

    1. No one but Microsoft’s Surface Table – still being developed and most by third parties slowly experimenting. A project well over budget and incredibly expensive to mass produce. It had a UI and functionality like pinch to zoom – yet like Xerox was not quick to market. Furthermore, Macrosloth did not own these gestures (mainly due to third party development). It was FingerWorks who did plenty of the ground work… and actually patented its work. Happy to say Apple bought them. So honestly, I can not see why any company is even allowed to use these gestures or anything close to them. The Touch Interface is and remains to be owned by Apple. Unless others can prove different.

    2. Totally agree.

      The US legal system (and Judge Koh) failed Apple miserably, and made a complete farce of the legal system as enforcer of Intellectual Patent protection claims. Shameful.

  7. It was a great reveal and it has not been replicated by any company since.
    Just compare the iPhone 6 with the original and you can see here has been no major design shift since Day One.

    I would also note however that Moores Law has continued to hold and yet Apple still offers their entry level iPhone with the SAME size of Storage chip – and with a bigger slice taken by the OS.

    Equally SJ was right that the phone size was about 4″. But in the 8 years since introduction the phone element has become the 20% function and games, social media and all forms of rich messaging and video has taken over. Hence the larger screen size for these new uses work better with a bigger screen.
    These new uses are far more storage intensive and an 8GB product is virtually useless – so why continue to sell it? even 16GB is pretty much a minimum.
    This unnecessary limitation is in danger of working against Apple as the user experience is diminished when upgrades cannot be installed in the entry level phone because even with the smallest of music and video collections you have not got the headroom to do it without connection to a PC or Mac.
    If a good experience requires 16 or 32GB then be honest, make that the entry level and sell them for a higher price if it is truely necessary to make the economics work for Apple.

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