The iPhone, first released in 2007, has taken the world by storm ever since, and now it’s hard to imagine life without it. But how did this incredibly advanced device come to be?
Who had the idea to make one? And who made it happen? Find out everything you need to know about the history of the iPhone right here!
iPhone – Where did it all begin?
If you go back a few years, most people probably wouldn’t have thought that Apple would make a phone. Steve Jobs famously said We don’t want to sell just a phone, we want to sell an experience. It seemed too risky an idea to launch a new product category and Apple was already struggling to keep up with its competition with computers. But as it turned out, they were wrong; Jobs knew exactly what he was doing when he made his billion-dollar gamble on smartphones. He had seen Android (Google) do extremely well on their mobile platform, but they lacked design and simplicity which he believed were key ingredients in making things easy for users.
Here are a few interesting facts you may not know about Apple and their launch of one of history’s most successful products: – Did you know that Steve Jobs originally wanted to make a computerized watch? He realized that there was a trend toward mobile technology, but thought watches could be too cumbersome. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to get it off the ground and before his death, Jobs asked Samsung Electronics Chairman Kwon Oh-Hyun if they would have any interest in working on it together with him.
You’ve probably heard of Steve Jobs being kicked out of Apple. He actually was there for 12 years, but he was given a deadline to return to Apple or else he would be fired. He returned just over a year later with his new company NeXT and offered $22 million for 51% control. Before long, Steve Jobs owned 100% of Apple once again and took back his position as CEO in 1997. In 2006, he sold off his remaining shares and retired from full-time work at Apple after 21 years!
Three versions before the launch
The iPhone, launched in 2007, is a smartphone developed by Apple Inc. that revolutionized how people use phones to surf and interact with their worlds. It’s hard to believe now, but there was a time when smartphones were about as popular as flip phones, when Steve Jobs had fallen out of favour at Apple, and when no one thought Apple would ever catch up to Nokia—let alone Google or Samsung. So what changed? A lot! And it wasn’t all good news for Apple…or its competitors. Here are three versions before Jobs unveiled his phone in 2007
It’s worth noting that while these prototypes didn’t make it into production, they’re still interesting to look back on and compare to what we have today. The first prototype was built by Jonathan Ive (Apple’s Senior Vice President of Industrial Design) who came up with an idea for a touchscreen device that could display images sent from a computer.
What did Jobs introduce with his first demonstration of what would eventually become an iPhone?
What did Jobs introduce with his first demonstration of what would eventually become an iPhone? – Third Paragraph: And why were Apple and AT&T willing to work together on a major launch, when they’d been bitter enemies for years? It wasn’t just that Apple needed a new network or that AT&T had customers who might like to use their phones as iPod accessories. There was a political agenda: If a third-party company could get its hands on all those e-mails and Web pages in transit, then government spies (and anyone else) could do it too.
What went wrong with the iPhone 1?
No mass market (audience)? Just think back to a time when texting wasn’t a word that even existed, and then try to imagine people walking around with expensive cell phones in their pockets. Apple’s signature phone was pricey and only appealing to tech-savvy early adopters. Even some top Apple executives didn’t get it at first—the company’s then-chief financial officer, Heidi Hemmat, supposedly said during a meeting: People don’t want to carry a phone and a computer in their pocket. It’s hard to envision such opposition from higher-ups now that iPhones are seen as status symbols. But history is full of instances where common sense has clashed with technology or trends.
Yet for all its faults, you have to wonder what Apple would be like today had it followed through with a different first-generation product. After all, big tech flops don’t always spell doom. A prime example is Amazon’s first attempt at launching a smartphone in 2014: The Fire Phone. It was hyped up as an innovative must-have device with three-dimensional display technology called dynamic perspective but was ultimately a massive failure that led to an $83 million writedown on unsold units and eliminated 3,800 jobs by December 2015. Just two years later, however, Amazon is set to release its next phone with more advanced features than ever before—including a virtual assistant, which Alexa built right in.
Why did Apple sue Samsung?
Patents are a major cornerstone in any company’s intellectual property (IP) portfolio. Most tech companies, including Apple and Samsung, have spent billions building up their patent portfolios to protect their own innovations as well as to use them offensively against rivals. When it comes to smartphone patents, both Apple and Samsung have thousands that they rely on in lawsuits like those between them. Here’s a look at some of those patents and how they apply to both companies’ competing products.
Like many tech companies, Apple patents new inventions and products regularly. And like any company with a large portfolio, it has both broad and narrow patents on various products. One patent Apple has asserted in its case against Samsung is U.S. Patent No. 7,469,381 for a portable multifunction device. In layman’s terms, that describes Apple’s iconic smartphone design — a rectangular touchscreen with rounded corners and edges with what appear to be speaker grilles on either side of it on most models today.
iPhone’s massive growth
The iPhone’s massive growth started in 2007 when Apple released its second-generation model. This one was sleeker and had a better camera, among other improvements. Within 10 months, Apple sold 6 million units. In 2008, Apple came out with a third-generation model that boasted GPS and 3G connectivity; it sold 8 million units within five months. By 2012, there were hundreds of apps available on Apple’s App Store—and they were selling fast: more than 15 billion downloads per quarter! (In fact, September 2013 marked an incredible milestone for app developers: 100 billion apps downloaded!) An abundance of new models, colours and software updates further contributed to skyrocketing sales numbers; 2013 saw more than 40 different versions of iPhones sold worldwide.
Despite some criticism that Apple’s iPhones aren’t as revolutionary as they used to be, a 2013 survey revealed that 68 per cent of smartphone users planned to buy an iPhone. It’s clear why: Between 2007 and 2012, Apple had sold more than 370 million iPhones worldwide. In fact, in its fiscal year ending September 30, 2013—just one quarter after its 40th birthday—Apple reported selling 74.5 million iPhones. With every new generation that comes out and every impressive new feature it adds (hello, fingerprint scanner!), it looks like we can expect more growth in years to come!
iPhone’s massive growth – Third Paragraph: Did you know?
Competitors enter the scene
In September 2000, Finland’s Nokia Corporation unveiled its 3650 smartphones. It had a 176-colour screen and allowed users to send short text messages and play polyphonic ringtones. In 2002, Blackberry debuted its first device that allowed users to access e-mail on a mobile device. Apple released their first iPhone in 2007. For many years afterwards, they dominated smartphone sales while other companies scrambled to catch up. But even though these two were ahead of the curve when it came to making smartphones accessible for consumers, neither could have predicted what would happen over the next decade: mobile apps!
In 2007, Apple released their first smartphone and in that year alone sold 1.4 million iPhones. Within two years, Apple had sold over 7 million iPhones; a feat that even surprised Steve Jobs. When it comes to app development, there are three main options: native apps, mobile web apps and hybrid apps. Native apps are installed on a device and designed for one specific platform or operating system (e.g., iOS, Android or Windows). Mobile web apps can be viewed from any mobile browser without having to download an app and tend to be simpler than native applications when it comes to features and content.
Steve Jobs resigns from Apple in 2011
On August 24, 2011, Steve Jobs announced that he was resigning as CEO of Apple, with immediate effect. I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come. he said in an email to employees. I hereby resign as CEO of Apple. I would like to serve, if the Board sees fit, as Chairman of the Board … I believe Apple’s brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it.
At first, he and then-COO Tim Cook both served as acting CEO. In August 2011, Apple’s board officially named Jobs CEO once again. He remained in that role until his death on October 5, 2011. From his second stint as CEO until his death, Jobs received $1 in annual salary but held over one million shares of Apple stock, valued at over $570 million at the time of his death. His leadership resulted in a period of exceptional growth for Apple. Sales grew from $8 billion to $150 billion from 1997 to 2011; by comparison, HP Inc.’s sales grew from around $27 billion to around $112 billion during that time frame.
Tim Cook becomes CEO of Apple in 2011
As you can see from looking at his history with Apple, Cook is arguably one of (if not THE) most important figures in Apple’s recent history. Since Steve Jobs stepped down as CEO due to health issues, Cook has been a steady hand at helming operations at Apple, which continues to be one of the most successful companies in the world today. On top of that, he was instrumental in getting Apple into its massive business partnerships with China Mobile and China Telecom. His job might appear easy on paper—he merely runs a company—but Cook has definitely done more than just that since taking over for Jobs: He’s helped redefine what it means to be a CEO at Apple and how it will navigate an ever-changing market going forward.
If you’re interested in more details about Cook’s history, you can check out his official bio on Apple’s website. It’s definitely worth reading if you have time. For our purposes, it’s probably enough to say that Cook is one of (if not THE) most important figures in Apple’s recent history and that his role as CEO is crucial to understanding how Apple functions today. He may not be making keynote speeches at WWDC or SXSW anymore, but he continues to play a key role in Apple’s future nonetheless.
In 2007, Apple released its first iPhone. Since then, it’s become a cultural phenomenon. From apps to selfies to emojis, one thing’s for sure: Apple has changed our world forever. Though future iPhones may be thinner or faster or lighter than ever before, you can bet that their impact on society will always remain legendary. But what makes an iPhone so special? Is it different from all other phones? Read on to find out more about how we got here and where we go next.
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