On Jan. 9, 2007, Apple introduced the world to the iPhone. With its all-touch interface and sleek design, the iPhone took a very different approach to the smartphone, which had been defined by front-runners like BlackBerry.
Ten years later, the iPhone is perhaps the most important device launched this century. It made smartphones a must-own device, and helped to transform how we live. Practically everything we do is through a smartphone, and the iPhone is a big reason for this shift.
So how did we get here? Here’s a look at the 10 most important moments in the iPhone’s history.
1. Steve Jobs unveils the iPhone
During a keynote at the MacWorld expo in 2007, the co-founder and CEO at the time says the concept was inspired by computers, with bitmap screens that could display any user interface and a pointer like the mouse. That’s why the iPhone ditched keyboards. As for the pointer, Jobs opted for the pointing device “we’re all born with”: our fingers. This is also the moment we learned Jobs really hated using a stylus.
A 4GB model (yes, a smartphone with 4 GB of storage really existed) sold for $499, and the 8 GB model sold for $599 when they launched in the U.S. in June 2007. Roughly two months after launch, Apple had sold 1 million iPhones.
2. Apple launches App Store
The launch of the iPhone 3G also marked the debut of the App Store, where users could download third-party applications, either free or paid. Apps like Shazam and Pandora were among the early hits. Remember games like Tap Tap Revenge? It got its start on the App Store, too. Downloads topped 10 million during the App Store’s opening weekend.
Last year, Apple revenue App Store downloads topped 130 billion. It’s the reason why many of us can’t let go of our smartphones.
3. The birth of Android
With the touchscreen and app store, smartphone makers like BlackBerry and Palm struggled to compete with Apple. Then Google decided to create its own smartphone operating system, called Android. It launched in September 2008 with the T-Mobile G1 before other smartphone makers including HTC, Motorola and most notably Samsung jumped on board. Android is now Apple’s chief rival when it comes to choosing a smartphone operating system. Android and iOS represent a 98% share of the worldwide smartphone market, according to IDC.
When the iPhone 4 launched in 2010, several consumers reported issues where the signal would quickly drop when you covered part of the steel band encasing the device. Apple confirmed “Antennagate” was a real thing, urging consumers to avoid gripping the lower left corner of the phone to avoid drops in reception. Apple would offer free cases and full refunds to customers who no longer wanted the phone because of the reception problems. Steve Jobs called the problems with the antenna overblown. “Maybe everybody thought we were perfect and that it would be fun to jump on this,” Jobs said during a 2010 press briefing. “We’re not perfect, but we figure it out pretty fast.”
5. Verizon jumps on board
Remember when the iPhone was only available on AT&T? After more than 3 years after launch, the iPhone would finally make its debut on Verizon’s network, with the iPhone 4. Later than year, the iPhone would launch on Sprint’s network, followed by T-Mobile in 2013.
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SOURCE: USA Today, Brett Molina