Ten years ago today, Apple announced the iPhone.
Demonstrating the new pocket communicating computer at Macworld in San Francisco, Steve Jobs said:
Every once in a while, a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything… today, we’re introducing three revolutionary products… 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…. An iPod, a phone, and an Internet communicator…These are not three separate devices, this is one device, and we are calling it iPhone.
Walter Isaacson in Steve Jobs:
The iPhone was immediately dubbed the “Jesus Phone” by bloggers. But Apple’s competitors emphasized that, at $500, it cost too much to be successful. “It’s the most expensive phone in the world,” Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer said in a CNBC interview. “And it doesn’t appeal to business customers because it doesn’t have a keyboard.”… By the end of 2010, Apple has sold ninety million iPhones and it reaped more than half the total profits generated in the global cell phone market.
The press mocked the cultish manner in which iPhone was unveiled. Steve Ballmer, at the time Microsoft’s chief executive, famously laughed at the device, calling it “not a very good email machine” that wouldn’t appeal to business users.
“We all laughed at him,” Fadell remembered.
“We also laughed at Blackberry. Whenever I create a new product , and I learned this with Steve [Jobs], if the incumbents laugh at you and the press laugh at you, you go, ‘we’ve hit a nerve’.”
Since that day, more than a billion iPhones have been sold, helping make Apple the richest company in the world.
In 2017, 2.35 billion people, more than half of the world’s mobile phone users, will regularly use a smartphone, according to eMarketer. And by 2020, smartphones will account for more than 60.0% of mobile phone users worldwide.