Apple launched the iPhone on this date 12 years ago



It was 12 years ago today, a large percentage of many of our readers' lives, when Apple released the iPhone. Long lines snaked around Apple Stores where some had been camped out for days waiting to shell out $499 for the unit with 4GB of storage and $599 for the 8GB model. The phone was actually unveiled by the late Steve Jobs on January 9th of that year and instantly captured the imagination of the public and the media. It was sleek, it was new, it was a breath of fresh air for a smartphone industry mostly focused on business users.

While the OG iPhone was hardly zippy (it ran on AT&T's slow as molasses EDGE network and Wi-Fi), features like the touchscreen, multi-touch and that large (for the time) 3.5-inch display helped sell the device. Still, it didn't have MMS or the ability to shoot video, users couldn't cut and paste, and without 3G the iPhone could not receive calls while the browser was being used.

The iPhone helped Apple reach a valuation of one trillion dollars


The competition responded in one of two ways. Some, like Microsoft's Steve Ballmer, made fun of the device. Ballmer's response was to laugh and point out that the lack of a keyboard meant that the iPhone would not be attractive to the enterprise. He predicted that Apple might get 2% to 3% of the market and later admitted that he was wrong. A month after the unveiling of the iPhone, BlackBerry co-CEO Jim Balsillie wasn't worried at all. The executive stated, "[Apple and the iPhone is] kind of one more entrant into an already very busy space with lots of choice for consumers … But in terms of a sort of a sea-change for BlackBerry, I would think that's overstating it." Other companies responded by trying to copy the iPhone. Even feature phones like the LG Voyager and the Samsung Instinct carried touchscreens.



From June 29th through the end of 2007, Apple sold 1.39 million iPhones (via Statista) rising to 11.63 million in 2008, the first full year the phone was available. The numbers rose steadily, peaking at 231.22 million by 2015. While Steve Jobs practically bet the entire company on this one device, it was a gamble that paid off big time for Apple. And the success of the iPhone led to the introduction of the App Store in 2008 and the release of the iPad and the Apple Watch. Last year, Apple became the first publicly traded U.S. company to be worth a trillion dollars and the iPhone XR is by most counts the largest selling smartphone model this year. 

But this was all in the future on June 29th, 2007. At the time, the handset was an AT&T exclusive and neither it or Apple sold the product online. Apple limited purchases to two per customer while AT&T was selling just one unit per person.

Last year, Apple released a trio of iPhone models ranging from the "more affordable" iPhone XR ($749 and up) to the iPhone XS ($999 and up) and the iPhone XS Max ($1,099 and up). Over the years we have told you about Antennagate, Bendgate, and Batterygate. We have seen Apple makeover the iPhone in 2010 (iPhone 4), 2012 (iPhone 5, still the best many say), 2014 (iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus), 2016 (iPhone 7) and 2017 (iPhone X). Screen sizes have expanded from the original 3.5-inch display to as large as 6.5-inches. Features like the FaceTime camera, Siri, Touch ID, and Face ID were added. And it all started 12 years today when a brand new smartphone went on sale.

Related phones

iPhone
  • Display 3.5" 320 x 480 pixels
  • Camera 2 MP
  • Storage 16 GB
  • Battery 1400 mAh(8.00h talk time)

FEATURED VIDEO

23 Comments

1. jjface

Posts: 229; Member since: Jun 07, 2017

Can't even give sammy the day for their 10th birthday

6. Alcyone

Posts: 312; Member since: May 10, 2018

I agree. Of course there won't be anynews on Samsungs 10th. That's not allowed by the powers too be. The LG Prada deserves the real article, considering it was commercially released BEFORE the og iphone. And hence, probably in development BEFORE the og Iphone. 12th anniversary of Apples copying, is more appropriate.

20. Leo_MC

Posts: 7204; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

“Guys, lg announced the Prada smartphone; you have less than 1 month to copy it.” “Not a problem, boss, it could take even 5y to design and think a new device, but we’ll do it in 2 weeks.”

13. lyndon420

Posts: 6737; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

That won't happen. Not here...

23. matistight

Posts: 980; Member since: May 13, 2009

Not really. The Galaxy S was 2010, and sure, Samsung is celebrating the Galaxy from 2009, no one cares about the original Galaxy, let alone the first Galaxy S 1

3. Xavier1415

Posts: 174; Member since: Feb 26, 2012

The day I will always hate

5. Pureviewuser1

Posts: 150; Member since: Mar 28, 2016

I'm not an apple fan at all still love my Lumia 1520 but you got to give it to apple for a job well done .

8. domfonusr

Posts: 1083; Member since: Jan 17, 2014

Gotta give credit where credit is due... Apple and its iPhone changed the world of smartphones forever in just a few short years. An industry once dominated by BlackBerry and Nokia, among others, was up-ended completely by the end of the decade, just three years later. I bought one of those phones... a Nokia E75, and enjoyed it immensely for as long as I had it... but it was basically among a series of Nokia phones that represented the last gasp of Symbian. Neither Nokia nor BlackBerry could keep up with Apple, (and while Windows Phone was interesting and different, and fast, it was not compelling enough to stick the landing with developers, and thus was shorthanded on apps) and the only major contender was Google's Android. Now both Nokia and BlackBerry use Google's Android, and while they have each survived as a brand (in some fashion), neither will be competitive with Apple, in terms of either marketshare or profit margins, any time soon. Apple dethroned the giants, and became a giant itself; but now, everybody is gunning for Apple... trying to become the next "Apple"... because that is where the money went.

10. lyndon420

Posts: 6737; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

I remember this day...and thinking that there obviously has to be something better... Those apple commercials were so lackluster and...well...very lacking... Oh wait... that's when I first discovered Android... Yes this is a good day :)

11. lyndon420

Posts: 6737; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

Oops...I should be careful. PA/Alan sent me an email warning this morning regards to something I said regarding Google's Dark Mode. Lol...leftists and their desire to be victimized ;)

12. lyndon420

Posts: 6737; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

Do it...ban me. Prove me right....

14. oldskool50

Posts: 1326; Member since: Mar 29, 2019

The day Americans sunk to an all time low in society...lol

16. darkkjedii

Posts: 30966; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

The iphone was a major game changer, that turned the industry on its ear. I've used them since the first one, and they've been very dependable, but could use some features that are missing.

17. Vancetastic

Posts: 1104; Member since: May 17, 2017

Who celebrates a 12th anniversary?

18. fakenewzz

Posts: 133; Member since: Nov 15, 2018

And I took a sheet on an iterd 12 years ago. Who gives a rats arse

19. darkkjedii

Posts: 30966; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

That was a stupid post.

22. Charlie2k

Posts: 121; Member since: Jan 11, 2016

Alan wrongfully called the original iPhone a smartphone, when in fact it was a featurephone.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.