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Happy Anniversary, iPhone.
Monday marks 16 years since the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs first introduced the small touchscreen gadget to the public.
The reveal took place during a presentation at the Macworld Expo in San Francisco, where Jobs teased a “revolutionary product” that would change “everything”.
“Today we’re introducing three revolutionary products,” Jobs told the January 9, 2007 audience. “The first is the widescreen iPod with touch controls. The second is a revolutionary mobile phone. The third is a breakthrough in Internet communication device.”
“So three things. Panoramic iPod with Touch Control. A revolutionary mobile phone and a groundbreaking Internet communication device. iPod. Telephone. Internet messenger. iPod, phone… get it? he continued, drawing laughter from the audience.
“These are not three separate devices,” he finally revealed. “It’s one device. And we call them the iPhone.”
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Before he showed the design, Jobs threw his wrath at the physical keyboards that were popular with most mobile phones of the time.
“[Keyboards] they’re there whether you need them or not,” Jobs said.
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“What we’re going to do is get rid of all those buttons and just make a giant screen,” he continued before showing off the design of the iPhone to a cheering audience.
The presentation can be viewed here.
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Since then, the iPhone has proven to be one of the most influential devices since personal computers began to appear in homes in the late 1970s and 1980s.
By September 2007, just three months after its release, over one million first-generation iPhones had been sold. The original iPhone sold over 6 million units before its successor, the iPhone 3G, was released a year later in 2008 according to Ars Technica.
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The iPhone’s touchscreen design formed the basis of many competing phones that followed, with phone makers that marketed for the keyboard’s functionality—namely Blackberry—following the Blockbuster route.
The device has also become a mainstay of popular culture and has become a status symbol of sorts, which has been a long time since Carrie Bradshaw gave away her iPhone in the episode Sex and the city when she couldn’t figure out how to use it.
(However, Carrie is using a 2016 iPhone 7 and a 2018 BlackBerry Key2 in 2021 Sex and the city take the right steps And that’s right.)
iPhones have been so popular since their inception that a factory sealed edition of the original was auctioned for $39,000 in October 2022 according to CNBC.
Jobs’ vision of having one “giant screen” was finally realized in the 2017 iPhone X, which removed the bottom home button that has been present on every iPhone since its inception.
In September, Apple released its latest version, the iPhone 14.
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In the 16 years since the original iPhone debuted, Apple has introduced similar technology to other devices such as the iPad and Apple Watch lines.
Jobs, who co-founded Apple with Steve Wozniak on April 1, 1976, died of pancreatic cancer on October 5, 2011 at the age of 56.
He resigned as CEO of Apple in August 2011, handing over the reins to Tim Cook, now 62.