(This article was first published on 29 June 2015. It has been reposted from The Quint’s archives to mark the day the first iPhone was unveiled by then CEO Steve Jobs.)
Project Purple 2 began in the year 2005 at Apple, spearheaded by one of the greatest innovators the world has witnessed till date, Steve Jobs.
Two years later, Jobs’ side project was finally complete. Suddenly, everything changed.
The idea began as a multi-touch display, that could receive input without the actual need of a physical keyboard or a navigation key (like a mouse or a trackpad on a computer).
The ‘iPhone’ was unveiled.
Jobs and his team had made it possible by spending close to $150 million in research and development, over a period of 30 months.
Apple’s achievement made other tech companies and mobile phone manufacturers rethink their future strategy. What could they possibly do to better this, to upstage Apple?
The situation was all-too apparent – sink or swim.
Why is it a Big Deal?
To say that the world of smartphones changed completely after the first iPhone, would be a gross understatement.
Steve Jobs announced the iPhone on 9 January 2007 and it first went on sale on 29 June 2007 in USA. There were huge lines outside Apple stores, many of which quickly ran out of stock. Such all-consuming demand for a new age phone had never been witnessed before.
These were the phone’s key specifications:
- Display: 3.5 Inch, LCD Screen, 320X480 Pixel resolution, 163 ppi Pixel Density Weight: 135 Grams
- Processor: Samsung 32-bit RISC ARM 1176 JZ clocked at 620 MHz
- RAM: 128 MB (Yes MB)
- Storage: 4 GB, 8 GB and 16 GB
- Battery: 1400 mAh Li-ion
- Rear Camera: 2 Megapixel
- Front Camera: None
- Connectivity: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and Quad Band GSM/GPRS/EDGE
Twelve years on, Apple Inc has completely transformed the iPhone and continue to be market leaders. After the bezel-less iPhone X launched in 2017, many are looking forward to the next generation iPhone this year.
Imagine using a phone with the above specifications now. Outdated as it might seem today, the iPhone was a gold standard in smartphones eight years ago. Apple ended up selling 6.4 million iPhones worldwide!
In India, if you had an iPhone in 2007 and were in your twenties, you ruled the social scene. It was quite like owning a V8 sports car.
Apple’s slogan at that time seems only too appropriate now – It’s only the beginning.
And boy, was it right.
Watch: How the First iPhone was Introduced by Steve Jobs
Over the years, Apple has added more muscle to the phone and kept it lean. The iPhone has seen many firsts – like the fingerprint scanner that got biometrics to the phone.
The Android-powered competitors ganged up against the iPhone, but it still took them almost five years to catch up with its absolute awesomeness. The only flaw that the phone ever had was affordability, and that is changing now.
A war between Android fans and Apple fans was imminent, as the smartphone boom took over in India. One of the main reasons for the clash was, which operating system was better, and you could find proponents of each on either side – neatly divided by smartphone lines.
Truth be told, while Android had many takers, the lure of an iPhone was irresistible. One always wanted Steve Jobs’ ingenious creation more than anything else.
An iPhone still continues to fascinate people the world over, no matter how many smartphones are launched in a year. An iPhone launch remains the most awaited one for technology enthusiasts.
Steve Jobs truly created history when he carved that magnificent piece of handheld technology.
Love it or hate it – if you don’t have an iPhone, you don’t have an iPhone.
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