When I first became a blogger for TechnoLogical, my initial thoughts were “sweet, now I have a place to go rant about Apple and a few people might even read it.” These last few posts I found myself lost in space, but never fear, I’m back on Earth now, more specifically in the middle of Silicon Vally.
Writing a full history of Apple Inc., would fill untold volumes from Wozniak to OSX Lion, so I’ll just focus on the part of Apple that everyone cares about: Apple TV.
Just kidding; nobody cares about Apple TV. I’m talking about the iPhone.
The year was 2007, and the rumors had been buzzing for years before. In fact, the iPhone won the 2004 Gizmodo awards for most anticipated gadget — three years before it’s release when virtually nothing was known about the phone. The rumors really heated up in 2005 and raged on through 2006 as a steady trickle of patent reports and alleged leaks dribbled out of Apple’s almost mythical iron fortress of secrecy in Cupertino, Calif.
Despite the unprecedented speculation about the iPhone, going into the January 2007 Macworld, nobody knew anything about the iPhone except that it was coming. After the pathetic failure of the “iTunes Phone” (also known as the ROKR E1), which Apple collaborated with Motorola to put out in 2005, Apple coerced AT&T (called Cingular at the time) into letting them do everything for the iPhone in house. It was part of a long Apple tradition: lock the doors for a few years and then come out with a product that everyone wants because it has a shiny apple on the back.
But back to Macworld 2007. The stage was set. The house was packed. Steve Jobs’ black turtleneck and jeans were ironed. It was the moment the world had been holding it’s breath for for four years.
What Apple unveiled that day would change the world of smartphones forever. Before the iPhone, smartphones were something reserved for Wall Street executives and event planners. Their “smart” capabilities were basically limited to archaic e-mail clients and clunky internet browsers navigated with clumsy trackpads (basically it was Windows Mobile and Blackberry).
The iPhone made the smartphone fun, sexy, media-friendly and accessible for everyone. It set a new standard that phone makers and mobile OS designers would strive to live up to for years to come. They still struggle to keep up today.
As far as sales went, the iPhone was a colossal hit, selling a million units just 75 days after launch. The updates that followed annually (iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS) achieved similar success until the iPhone 4 came out this summer and sold 1.5 million in a day.
In addition to its own sales numbers, the iPhone’s influence drove up the worldwide sales of all smartphones five-fold over four years.
One phone. One company who made it. One carrier who supports it. One day. 1.5 million units sold. Just let that sink in for a minute. The word “revolutionary” comes to mind.
The iPhone has been worshipped by fanboys and converts alike, crucified by critics, exalted by other critics and endlessly debated by everyone for four years. Hate it or love it, the iPhone is here to stay and it is a force to reckoned with. Get used to it.
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