Incredible as it may seem, the iPhone has turned a decade old today. When then-CEO Steve Jobs took the stage on January 9, 2007 at San Francisco and announced the iPhone, he said, “Every once in a while, a revolutionary product comes along that changes the world. Today Apple is going to reinvent the phone.” Just how prescient he was can be judged from these 10 facts about the iPhone that you probably didn’t know.
If the iPhone were a Bollywood star, it would pack the power of the three Khans combined – and then some. The iPhone is Apple’s biggest bestseller of all time and the major reason why the company is richer than entire countries today. It is estimated that 70 percent of Apple’s $200 billion cash reserves are due to the iPhone.
It might sound incredible but when Steve Jobs first introduced the iPhone, critics were far from impressed. The common hypothesis was that the phone was just a shiny piece of hardware that was trying to do too many things. The lack of a stylus and secure server for business users (Blackberry was the gold standard in 2007) made tech reviewers wary.
Everybody with a smartphone essentially interacts with apps. Apple introduced the App Store a full year after launching the iPhone, following which Google launched its Play Store for Android operating system. Today, apps are a multi-billion dollar market.
It’s true. Every seventh person on the planet has an iPhone. Every iPhone gives Apple a profit margin of approximately 70 percent to become “the most profitable product in history” according to The Independent. Apple has sold over a billion iPhones in these 10 years to become a firm favourite of modern zeitgeist and the envy of all other smartphone manufacturers.
Scott Forstall, who was tasked with creating the iPhone by Steve Jobs, was told to select the best engineers from Apple to work on the device in top secret mode to prevent any leaks. Another restriction was that no one outside Apple was allowed to join the iPhone development team. The selected engineers were not even told which team they were joining until they had been joined the team.
The product advertisements of iPhones always show the display time as 9:41 AM. Ever wondered why? That’s because the iPhones were planned to be unveiled 40 minutes into the presentation during its Keynote event. Interestingly, the display time on earlier iPhone models used to be 9:42 AM.
While the first iPhone was displayed to the world on this date, commercial production wasn’t slated until five months later. As a result, the phone that Steve Jobs used as a demo was filled with glitches that hadn’t been ironed out. When the presentation went off smoothly, the engineers behind the team couldn’t believe their luck!
Originally, the iPhone trademark was owned by telecommunications giant Cisco. Jobs still went ahead and called his mobile the iPhone at the 2007 launch. The two companies later settled the dispute with both companies agreeing to work together in the future. We’re still waiting for the fruits of the duo’s collaboration.
We’re celebrating the iPhone’s tenth anniversary but believe us when we say that Apple has yet to optimise the device. One look at its patents will convince you that the iPhone is only going to get bigger and better. From sidewall displays (imagine a screen where your power and volume buttons are) to VR headsets to solar charging and 3D photos, the best of iPhone has yet to arrive.
There are strong rumours that the iPhone this year will be called iPhone 10 in honour of the device’s anniversary. Apple is going all out to get loyalists back in its camp after a slew of clones have threatened to disrupt its premier position. The 2017 iPhones are slated to launch with a full revamp of the product line with OLED displays, removing the home key, big updates to the dual lens camera and a hugely improved A11 chipset. For now, we just have to wait and watch how Apple reinvents the game.
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