Monday, Jan 10, 2022, 14:35 iOS: Hardware

15 Years Ago – The Release Of The First iPhone

Fifteen years ago, the world we all lived in was quite different. Mobile internet was still in its infancy, and mobile communication was only possible via (usually quite costly) SMS. Although a few mobile telephones could access the internet and also came with support for e-mail – true "smartphone" technology had not yet become as accessible to the general public as it is today, nor was it anywhere near as commonplace. At the time, Apple made its income from and subsisted of two divisions: the iPod and the Mac. However, Apple refused to simply rest on the success of the iPod but was willing to sacrifice the new device for the next big project – the iPhone.

Almost Exactly 15 Years Ago Today
Almost exactly 15 years ago, on January the 9th, Apple introduced the iPhone to the general public for the first time at the MacWorld Expo. The Keynote presentation is counted amongst one of the most successful product presentations in the world, and thanks to then CEO and presentation talent Steve Jobs; it also serves as a masterclass in product presentation.

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A Great Product... With One Obstacle – It Wasn't Quite Finished
The development of the iPhone was a huge undertaking, and at the time of its debut, it was still far from finished. Developers and engineers held serious concerns that the device would fail during the presentation, losing either its cellular or WiFi connection. AT&T even installed an extra radio mast near the stage to ensure a good connection. Jobs also had to perform the presentation in a specific sequence to prevent the iPhone from crashing.

Delivery To Begin Later
Of Course, Apple knew that the iPhone was still far from a finished product – which is why the revolutionary smartphone didn't arrive on the market until 6 months later. In the USA, customers were finally able to purchase the new device on the 29th of June in 2007 – for US$499 with 4 GB of space and US$599 with 8 GB. However, these prices only applied when a 2 year cellular contract was also signed. In November 2007, the iPhone finally arrived in Europe.

Markets Completely Changed
The iPhone permanently changed the entire cellular industry. Other manufacturers were now trying to compete with the Apple newcomer, whilst others missed the chance to take part in the new trend. Blackberry (at the time – Research In Motion) and Nokia, more than any other companies, serve as perfect examples. The two didn't manage to release a competitive device quickly enough to maintain their place within the market.

A Number Of Missing Features
Many of the features which iPhone users of today have come to rely on did not exist during its first release. The First iPhone did not have an App Store – and the App Store wasn't released until the summer of 2008 (against Steve Jobs' will). There also wasn't any iMessage – SMS was the only short message service. Even some home screen backgrounds weren't supported at the time. Additionally, the hardware specifications of the first iPhone pale in comparison to those of today. Apple's first smartphone only had a 3.5" display with 320x480 pixels. The camera was really only suited for daylight snapshots with a resolution of 2 megapixels. As a processor, the first generation iPhone used a 32-bit ARM processor from Samsung downclocked from 620 to 417 MHz.

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