The story of the iPhone, beginning with the original in 2007, which wowed the world with multitouch while being locked to AT&T in the U.S.
On January 9, 2007 the late Steve Jobs put sneaker to Macworld stage to give one of the most incredible keynote presentations of his life - a life filled with incredible keynotes - and in the history of consumer electronics. There, he said he would be introducing a wide-screen iPod with touch controls, a revolutionary mobile phone, and a breakthrough internet device. And we got it. It wasn't three products. It was one product. It was the iPhone.
After setting up and knocking down everything from the physical keyboard and stylus pens that dominated BlackBerry, Motorola, and Palm smartphones of the day, Jobs went over the multitouch interface that let the iPhone smoothly pinch-to-zoom, and the delightful interface that included touches like rubber banding in the scrolling, and the multitasking that let him move seamlessly from music to call to web to email and back. Apple:
“iPhone is a revolutionary and magical product that is literally five years ahead of any other mobile phone,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “We are all born with the ultimate pointing device—our fingers—and iPhone uses them to create the most revolutionary user interface since the mouse.”
Such was the impression it made that, legend has it Scott Bourne of MacBreak Weekly jumped up, threw his Treo to floor, and stomped on it right there on the spot... before finding out the iPhone wouldn't ship until June.
Features alone weren't enough
The original iPhone had a 3.5-inch screen at 320x470 and 163ppi, a quad-band 2G EDGE data radio, 802.11b.g Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.0 EDR, and a 2 megapixel camera. In addition to the hardware keyboard and stylus pen, it lacked GPS and most importantly, a removable battery, as much if not more of a cardinal sin in the eyes of road warriors and smartphone nerds at the time. It had a 1400 mAh battery, however, and it could be charged - and synced to iTunes - via the same 30-pin Dock connector as Apple's incredibly popular iPod.
Powered by an ARM-based Samsung 1176JZ(F)-S processor and 128GB of RAM, The iPhone did include several sensors to enhance the user experience, including an accelerometer that could automatically rotate the screen to match device orientation, a proximity sensor that could automatically turn off the screen when close to the face, and an ambient light sensor to automatically adjust brightness. It also had a remarkably good web browser and rendering engine, especially for its time, in Safari and WebKit.
It lacked compatibility with Verizon's CDMA and EVDO Rev A network - not that it mattered; it was exclusive to AT&T in the U.S. - and it lacked MMS - multi-media messaging - and an exposed file system, copy and paste or any form of advanced text editing, and, critically to many, any kind of support for third party apps.
The iPhone also debuted with 4GB and 8GB models at $499 and $599 respectively, on-contract. That made them expensive, which wasn't unheard of at the time - early Motorola RAZR flip phones were expensive in their day as well. However, it wouldn't allow Apple to penetrate the mainstream market.
Less for more
On June 6, 2007 Steve Jobs again took the stage at Moscone West, this time for Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference, again showed off the original iPhone, and announced the launch date: June 29, 2007.
At Apple Stores, especially flagship stores like the glass cube in New York City, lineups formed and people waited for hours. It was an event. The novelty and experience were so good, many people simply didn't care about missing features or high price tags. Walt Mossberg and Katherine Boehret of The Wall Street Journal