On January 9, 2007 Steve Jobs stepped onto the stage at Macworld 2007 and made an announcement that would forever change the face of the mobile phone market. Six years ago today Jobs introduced the iPhone to the public.
Ryan Block was there to witness the announcement and live blogged the event for engadget. The following are Jobs’ words as recorded by Block:
“Well today, we're introducing THREE revolutionary new products. The first one is a widescreen iPod with touch controls.”
“The second is a revolutionary new mobile phone.”
“And the third is a breakthrough internet communications device. An iPod, a phone, an internet mobile communicator. “
“An iPod, a phone, an internet mobile communicator.... these are NOT three separate devices!”
“And we are calling it iPhone!”
With those words, the mobile phone industry changed. I owned a “smartphone” prior to purchasing an iPhone in 2007. It was cumbersome and the interface was anything but intuitive. To make matters worse, the stylus often fell out of the device, leaving me with no effective way to utilize the advanced features of the phone.
When I upgraded to the iPhone, I was in technological bliss. The phone was intuitive and easy to use. When the price dropped a few weeks later, I was a bit annoyed. I was an early adopter, why was I being penalized? Thankfully Apple realized that this move was upsetting to its core audience and offered a $100 iTunes gift card to offset the big price drop. That was enough to make me happy.
Now here we are six years later and I’m sporting the new iPhone 5. I don’t upgrade every time Apple comes out with a new model, it’s just not necessary in my opinion. However, there are a lot of customers who do upgrade to the latest and greatest iPhone as new models are released and this is reflected in the company’s sales figures.
In the first three days after the iPhone 5’s launch in September 2012, Apple sold more than five million units. When the phone expanded to China in December, the company sold more than two million units in three days.
It’s hard to believe that six years ago, no one outside of a small group of Apple employees had even heard of an iPhone. Now, all of the kids in my neighborhood know what an iPhone is.