Apple’s iPhone Was Unveiled Five Years Ago, Today

“This is a day, I’ve been looking forward to for two and a half years. Every once in a while a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything.”

That was Steve Jobs’ build-up to his Macworld keynote, where he would go on to introduce the iPhone.

The most iconic part of the keynote, at least according to us, was his prelude to the phone Apple was going to reveal:

“Today we’re introducing three revolutionary products. The first one, is a wide screen iPod with touch controls. The second, is a revolutionary mobile phone. And the third, is 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. Today Apple is going to reinvent the phone.”

Jobs continued, talking about how flawed, and difficult to use, smartphones were back then. The slide from his keynote that described this, went on to become a representation of the pre “modern smartphone” era, where phones came with small screens and hardware keyboards.

smartphones before the iPhone

Since then, the iPhone has, no hyperbole intended, revolutionized the way modern mobile devices look and function.

The iPhone introductory keynote is considered not just Jobs’ best performance, but also, one of the best product launches ever. You could literally see people in the audience stand up and pump their fists.

Of course, with Steve’s great presentation skills, Apple also had an amazing product. So amazing, in fact, that RIM, in a meeting a day after the launch, thought that Apple was lying and that it wasn’t possible to run such a device without an “insanely power hungry processor.”

Palm had interesting things to say as well:

“We’ve learned and struggled for a few years here figuring out how to make a decent phone. PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They’re not going to just walk in.”

This was Palm’s then CEO Ed Colligan, talking to the NYT in 2006, before the iPhone was unveiled, and when the hype about the Apple-phone was at its peak. (Fascinating commentary on this by John Gruber over at Daring Fireball.)

So what is the scenario five years after the launch of the iPhone?

RIM is in trouble. Palm, on the verge of bankruptcy, sold to HP, which subsequently dumped Palm’s main product WebOS in the open-source territory. Microsoft, once a leader in the smartphone space, had to start from scratch with Windows Phone. Nokia abandoned its in-house Symbian OS in favor of Windows Phone.

The leaders in the smartphone space right now, Google and Apple, weren’t even in this business five years ago.

Clearly a lot has changed.

Interesting tidbit: During the keynote, when Steve Jobs made the first public phone call with an iPhone to Jonny Ive, he was using the Motorola Razr (as was Phil Schiller).

And with that we’ll leave you to watch the introduction of Apple’s iPhone on this day, 5 years back:

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  • dan bradley

    Pretty crazy how much technology has grown is a matter of just five short years, huh?

  • Axe

    No way!!! I was just watching these iphone introduction 2007 on youtube again few hours ago. What a coincident !!! iPhone running OSX… a revolutionary mobile phone that is going to be at least 5 years ahead of other phones. True enough if you flash back.

  • xaffier

    What a pity he is gone… Each of his product gave back life to other manufacturers in a form of challenge. Some needs to reflect

  • JRmedic19

    Apple often uses the saying “this changes everything”, and sometimes a little to freely. In the case of the iPhone though? This device literally did change everything in terms of mobile devices. Ive never heard those quotes given by other manufactures of the time. Pretty ironic where the industry has gone. Everyone who said it wasn’t possible is now left in the dust. Congrats to google and apple for having enough forethought to grab these good ideas and make them even better over the course of these last five years.

  • AT&T rapes me

    And you sir have no testicles if you prefer using another brand.
    iPhone you’re not just another phone your a friend…..
    Steve Jobs will definitely be missed…
    Using Siri on my iPhone to type this, thanks Siri and thank you Steve

  • dan bradley

    I just watched these two videos again. Pretty crazy to me how you look back now and all of this technology was brand new, revolutionary. Now the iphone isn’t even good enough for most, because they want the iphone 5, and their phones to talk to them, to do everything voice activated. It just shows you how much we actually just take for granted, Steve Jobs was a remarkable man, and do not think there will ever be another innovator of his caliber.

    • http://www.iphonehacks.com/ iPhoneHacks

      Yup, we miss him.

  • Wite Boy

    Motorola Razr is still one of the best phones i used though. loved the texting on it. iphone is number one though. Galaxy S2 is starting to annoy me and i cant wait to get a 4s

  • moe

    he says all these features are cool, and yet my iphone 4s DESTROYS IT!

    • Doobs

      I used to have just a 3GS about 6 months ago, now I also have an iPhone 4, an iPhone 4S, and an iPad 2. I never liked using the Mac Computers at work, as they were different to PC’s that I had gotten used to. Looking back I would never had thought I would ever own four Apple devices, which are all capable of doing the same thing, with there own little differences. Thanks Steve

  • Grime

    Can’t believe he’s gone in less than 4 years since he released the iphone to consumers. I feel like I’ve been using these all along. The crazy part is that there was nothing like this before, and “every” smart phone since has attempted to copy it, but no one has come close. Apple products are too well thought out and polished. Google’s made a nice go, but nothing is as cohesive as Apple products. As much as I hate Apples high priced products, if it wasn’t for Steve Jobs I’d probably still be using a motorola razor, not knowing what I was missing and loving it. lol

  • marcello

    i will skip watching the keynote & yes, we had noticed all this change in just about 5 yrs. in 2006 i was on nokia phone again switching from ericsson i had for a short time. i remember selling my ericsson phone to someone who then quickly moved to London (uk) and didn’t finished paying until we randomly met a couple of yrs later when i got the standing balance paid.
    anyway i disagree with nokia moving to windows phone from symbian, as far as i can see windows phone isn’t anything i’d go for & nor it’s google’s android. (roman catholic church supported project which in fact is an attempt to control non catholic member of the of the community, by monitoring calls & data exchange) . marcello

  • Jose C

    If 5 years before the thinnest phone was the original iPhone with 11.6mm deep, I wonder how thin will the iPhone be in the next 5 years if right now its 9.4 mm deep??????

  • Crazy

    I’m using my phone to type this message is well. Isn’t it crazy though, sissone

  • http://www.sublogic.net Android Sucks

    iPhone iOSX… now that’s scary!

  • Sajeev James

    The History is divided into two eras.. Before iphone and after iphone. :)