The world changed forever 14 years ago today with the launch of the OG iPhone26
Today, June 29th, is an important date in the history of the iPhone. For it was on June 29th, 2007, that the product that changed the world first launched. It was January 9th of 2007 when then Apple CEO Steve Jobs held up the iPhone in his hand for all to see and said "today, Apple is going to reinvent the phone."
The world changed 14 years ago today when Apple launched the OG iPhone
But the iPhone did more than that as changed the way people on the planet accessed news, sports, weather, data and how they communicated with each other. Soon, words like apps became mainstream and faster than you might have imagined, almost everyone was sporting a touchscreen smartphone. Of course, Apple has seriously upgraded the capabilities of the iPhone since releasing the original generation model and some recent speed tests reveal how slow it was compared to the current versions of the phone.
The first iPhone was equipped with connectivity to AT&T's slow as molasses EDGE network which was just too slow. The only way to get a decent image from the dedicated YouTube player on the OG iPhone was to find a Wi-Fi hotspot to connect to. This changed the following year when the iPhone 3G was released. On this date 14 years ago, the iPhone was available as an AT&T exclusive carrying a 3.5-inch display with 4GB and 8GB of storage priced at $499 and $599 respectively.
To say that the iPhone was universally praised following Jobs' introduction of the device would be a falsehood. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer laughed at the device noting that there was only a virtual QWERTY making it useless for businessmen who use their smartphones to write and send emails. Famously, Ballmer called the OG iPhone the most expensive phone in the world and spoke about the great Windows Phone handsets that Microsoft was working to deliver.
Three months after the iPhone was held aloft by Steve Jobs, Ballmer said, "There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance. It's a $500 subsidized item. They may make a lot of money. But if you actually take a look at the 1.3 billion phones that get sold, I'd prefer to have our software in 60% or 70% or 80% of them, than I would to have 2% or 3%, which is what Apple might get."
Not everyone in the tech industry had the ability to foresee what the launch of the Apple iPhone in 2007 would lead to
BlackBerry co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie had a number of things to say about the iPhone, some of which we captured in a 2012 story. The former praised Apple saying that "these guys are really, really good." The latter stated, "It's OK, we'll be fine." But the truth was that BlackBerry's days as one of the leading players in the smartphone industry were numbered.
You can easily understand how the iPhone launch led to the collapse of BlackBerry by going through some of the comments that Lazaridis and Balsillie made in response to the competition it faced from the iPhone. As late as May 2008, Lazaridis said, "The most exciting mobile trend is full Qwerty keyboards. I'm sorry, it really is. I'm not making this up."
According to Statista, for the period between June 29th, 2007 and the rest of the year, Apple sold 1.9 million iPhone handsets. And while the company stopped releasing iPhone sales data in 2018, the latest available information shows that in 2017, 216.76 million iPhone units were sold. And last year Apple started selling its first 5G capable iPhone models.
And the very first iPhone launch took place fourteen years ago today and it would not be an exaggeration at all to say that the world changed on that date.