Happy Birthday! After 1 Billion Sold, The iPhone Turns 10

By Paul Riegler on 29 June 2017
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Ten years ago today, on June 29, 2007, the first iPhone went on sale. The move followed the January 2007 introduction at Macworld where the late Steve Jobs told the world he was introducing three products.

“An iPod, a phone, and an internet communicator. Are you getting it? These are not three separate devices,” Jobs said at the time. “This is one device.”

Despite the iPhone’s early limitations, the first-generation virtual keyboard was hard to get used to; it used 2G EDGE, with no high-speed data support; and there was no copy/paste function. Apple went on to reinvent the mobile phone and the mobile phone market, much like it had done with the Macintosh for personal computers in 1984 and the iPod for media players in 2001.

The road to success wasn’t always smooth, however. Apple didn’t even have the rights to use the name “iPhone” as the trademark was owned by Cisco, and Steve Jobs had to uncharacteristically compromise in order to be able to use the name.

Thousands of people waited outside AT&T (the only mobile phone operator authorized to sell the iPhone at the time) and Apple stores waiting for the phone to go on sale that year.

Today, Apple is a very different company than it was in 2007: Steve Jobs died in 2011 and the speed with which the company’s devices are completely rethought and redesigned has slowed down considerably (the current iPhone’s design remains largely unchanged since 2014). Still, industry watchers believe that the iPhone that will be introduced later this year will bring back some of that magic as it’s rumored to have an edge-to-edge OLED display (eliminating the current model’s top and bottom bezels), a glass body, wireless charging, and the Touch ID feature is expected to be built in under the glass. Siri will also be the beneficiary of a major overhaul.

At its launch, the iPhone was termed a “game-changer” for both Apple and the mobile phone industry, and its success has made Apple one of the most valuable publicly traded companies in the world as well as a trusted brand. As a result, there are high hopes for the tenth anniversary edition of the smartphone and some pundits, including FBT Editorial Director Jonathan Spira, have suggested that Apple might rename the device “Apple Phone” in keeping with its current nomenclature à la Apple Watch.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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