No product ever manages to fully live up to its sales hype — but the original iPhone arguably came close. On January 9, 2007, Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone to the world. “Every once in a while, a revolutionary product comes along and changes everything,” he told the audience at MacWorld.
And it’s true: Today’s app economy is bigger than Hollywood, and WhatsApp, Snapchat, Uber, Tinder, and more are essential parts of modern culture, collectively used by hundreds of millions of people around the globe every day. Seven years ago, none of that existed.
As such, it’s fun to cast your eyes back to see how Apple framed the launch of its debut smartphone. It didn’t hold back: “Apple Reinvents the Phone with iPhone,” a press release screams.
“Combining three products,” it is “a revolutionary mobile phone, a widescreen iPod with touch controls, and a breakthrough Internet communications device with desktop-class email, Web browsing, searching and maps,” all packaged into “one small and lightweight hand-held device.”
“Today we are introducing three revolutionary products,” Steve Jobs teased during the event. “The first one is a widescreen iPod with touch controls. The second is a revolutionary mobile phone. And the third is a breakthrough internet communications device. So, three things. A widescreen iPod with touchscreen controls, a revolutionary mobile phone, and a breakthrough internet communications device. An iPod, a phone, and an internet communicator. An iPod, a phone … Are you getting it? These are not three separate devices, this is one device. And we are calling it … iPhone.”
While the iPhone 6 has an 8-megapixel camera, and the 6s is expected to have another significant upgrade, the first-generation device boasted a lowly 2 megapixels. Similarly, its “stunning 3.5-inch widescreen display,” that “offers the ultimate way to watch TV shows and movies on a pocketable device,” is put to shame by the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus’ respective 4.7 and 5.5 inch screens.
The iPhone also included Google Maps, “Google’s groundbreaking maps service” — but let’s not forget that upon launch, the original iPhone didn’t even allow the install of third-party apps.
Here’s the first part of the press release:
Apple Reinvents the Phone with iPhone
MACWORLD SAN FRANCISCO – January 9th, 2007
Apple today introduced iPhone, combining three products — a revolutionary mobile phone, a widescreen iPod with touch controls, and a breakthrough Internet communications device with desktop-class email, Web browsing, searching and maps — into one small and lightweight handheld device. iPhone introduces an entirely new user interface based on a large multi-touch display and pioneering new software, letting users control iPhone with just their fingers. iPhone also ushers in an era of software power and sophistication never before seen in a mobile device, which completely redefines what users can do on their mobile phones.
“iPhone is a revolutionary and magical product that is literally five years ahead of any other mobile phone”, said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “We are all born with the ultimate pointing device — our fingers — and iPhone uses them to create the most revolutionary user interface since the mouse”.
Feeling particularly nostalgic? Here’s the full keynote:
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