Steve Jobs’ iPhone unveiling showed ‘the computer for the rest of us’

Apple's revolutionary iPhone
Apple’s revolutionary iPhone

On January 9, 2007, once again eclipsing the entirety of CES, including Bill Gates’ keynote, Apple’s Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone in an extraordinary, even for him, presentation.

William Gallagher for AppleInsider:

Context is everything. On Sunday, January 7, 2007, Bill Gates gave the keynote address at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Hammering home Microsoft’s buzz phrase ‘Digital Decade’, he talked about how great hardware wasn’t enough, that we needed connected experiences…

Two days later and around 400 miles away, Steve Jobs introduced the very device, the very experience that Gates said was missing. He introduced the iPhone at Macworld San Francisco. While Jobs didn’t use the term ‘post-PC era’ then, that’s what the iPhone created.

MacDailyNews Take: We remember that January 9, 2007 keynote very fondly and our own SteveJack saw the iPhone like this:

The only thing really wrong with Apple’s iPhone is its name (January 9, 2007)

Apple really only botched one thing with the iPhone – its name.

Apple’s “iPhone” isn’t really a phone at all. It’s really a small touchscreen Mac OS X computer, a Mac nano tablet, if you will. Here’s how misnamed the iPhone is: Some people are complaining that Jobs didn’t spend enough time on the Mac in his keynote! Folks, iPhone is not only a Mac, it’s the most radical new Mac in years! What’s to stop Apple from making a 12-inch model (and larger, and smaller) one of these days (use the headset for the phone, please) and calling it a Mac tablet?

It has an iPod built in, yes, so it can be used solely as a “true video widescreen iPod,” if that’s what you want… But, the main thing about the “iPhone” is that it’s really a pocket Mac. It has email, SMS, full-featured Web browsing, and much more. But, beyond that, it is a platform that’s just sitting there waiting for Apple to sell software for it. Just imagine games with the large multi-touch display and the built-in accelerometer!

Imagine all of the other software possibilities, too…

Maybe Apple named it iPhone because of all of the free publicity and buzz that name has already garnered. Maybe they want this trojan horse to slip into the market first under the guise of being the best smartphone available and they’ll exploit its capabilities as a full-fledged platform later. Perhaps it’s easier to explain and sell as a phone first…

So, yeah, it can be a phone, even the very best smartphone, but it’s so much more and holds so much promise that the name “iPhone” hardly does it justice.SteveJack, MacDailyNews, January 9, 2007

See also, five years prior: Is Apple building ‘The Device?’SteveJack, MacDailyNews, December 10, 2002


  1. The name “iPhone” may have hardly done it justice, but at the time, people might have been scratching their heads over the name “iPocket Computer”.

    It needed a name that was simple and within most people’s frame of reference.

    And remember, it wasn’t nearly as robust as the iPhones of today; it was a simple device (comparitively). It’s just that it was such a paradigm-shifting device / interface that it became the standard by which all other phones / pocket-devices were judged. Good times.

  2. Can’t call it anything but a phone, since then people will be open to the notion of buying it. If you called it a Newton or a Knowledge Navigator, or a PDA or a Handspring, or something similar, then lots of people won’t pay attention. The only logical name was iPhone.

    And once you’re in their pocket, then they’ll find out they bought the most personal computer.

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