7 years ago today, Steve Jobs unveiled the first iPhone

Steve_Jobs first iphone

It’s hard to believe, but it was 7 years ago today that Steve Jobs took the stage at the Moscone Center in San Francisco to give what would become one of the most remarkable keynotes of his career. It was January 9, 2007, the day that Apple reinvented the phone.

Few people in attendance could have realized the significance of what Jobs would be introducing that day. It was a new product that would not only put Apple on track to become the most valuable company in the world, but it would also revolutionize an entire industry…

Though I’m sure most of you have already seen it countless times, here’s the video of the presentation:

This is a day I’ve been looking forward to for two-and-a-half years. Every once in a while, a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything. And Apple has been — well, first of all, one’s very fortunate if you get to work on just one of these in your career. Apple’s been very fortunate. It’s been able to introduce a few of these into the world. 1984, introduced the Macintosh. It didn’t just change Apple. It changed the whole computer industry. In 2001, we introduced the first iPod, and it didn’t just change the way we all listen to music, it changed the entire music industry. Well, today, we’re introducing three revolutionary products of this class. The first one is a widescreen iPod with touch controls. The second is a revolutionary mobile phone. And the third is a breakthrough Internet communications device. So, three things: a widescreen iPod with touch controls; a revolutionary mobile phone; and a breakthrough Internet communications device. An iPod, a phone, and an Internet communicator. An iPod, a phone…are you getting it? These are not three separate devices, this is one device, and we are calling it iPhone. Today, Apple is going to reinvent the phone.

And Jobs was right on the money. Just like the first Macintosh and iPod, the iPhone would completely redefined its category. Seemingly overnight, Apple upended the smartphone space, knocking heavyweights like Nokia, Motorola and BlackBerry back on their heels.

Before and after iPhonemobile industry before and after the iPhone

The iPhone went on to launch 6 months later, on June 29, 2007. It was expensive, with an entry-level price tag of $499 (for a 4GB model), and thought to be under-spec’d. But that didn’t stop Apple from selling somewhere around 1.4 million of them in the first three months.

A lot has changed in the last 7 years, and despite a horde of competitors and declining marketshare, Apple and its iPhone continue to thrive. How much longer can it last? Who knows. Some say the company can no longer innovate without the visionary Steve Jobs at the helm; others believe it’s just getting started.