It was January 9, 2007, when Steve Jobs strolled confidently onto a San Francisco stage to unveil the very first iPhone.
Wearing his trademark black turtleneck, blue jeans, and white sneakers, the then Apple boss told the expectant audience at the Macworld Conference at the Moscone Center: “Every once in a while, a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything.”
Six minutes and 36 seconds into his keynote, those in the auditorium got their first proper look at the iPhone, a surprisingly sleek handset that offered a touch interface and did away with clunky physical keyboards — a device that went on to utterly transform the mobile phone industry.
“I didn’t sleep a wink last night,” Jobs said at the end of his famous keynote. “I was so excited about today, because we’ve been so lucky at Apple. We’ve had some real revolutionary products. The Mac in 1984 is an experience that those of us that were there will never forget, and I don’t think the world will forget it either. The iPod in 2001 changed everything about music, and we’re going to do it again with the iPhone in 2007. We’re very excited about this.”
And he had every right to be, for the iPhone, with its cutting-edge design, easy-to-use interface, and promise of innovative apps, quickly became a global hit and transformed the fortunes of Apple beyond expectations.
By today’s standards, of course, the first iPhone was super basic. It featured a touchscreen just 3.5 inches in size (described by Jobs at the time as “giant”), far smaller than the standard 6.1-inch screen seen with the most recent iterations of Apple’s handset. The first cost iPhone cost $499 and shipped with just 4GB of storage (8GB for an extra $100), a far cry from the terabyte offered with the recently released iPhone 13 Pro Max, though that particular device will set you back $1,599. And let’s not get started with the camera tech on that very first device.
To mark 15 years since the iPhone’s introduction, we present that special moment when Steve Jobs unveiled Apple’s first smartphone, setting in motion a chain of events that has completely transformed the way we communicate with one another and while away countless hours.