This morning we’re marking a major birthday, not of a person, but of a device. Amazing upon its release ten years ago this week, the gadget is all but ubiquitous now. David Pogue, tech critic for Yahoo Finance, reports our Cover Story:
Ten years ago this week, the iPhone arrived in stores — and the world was never the same.
Because of the iPhone, we now take it for granted that we’re on the Internet all of the time. Because of the iPhone, we have everything from an old Radio Shack ad in our pockets: Computer, calculator, camcorder, alarm clock, phone, music player, answering machine, and tape recorder.
Because of the iPhone, hardly anyone buys maps anymore, or pocket cameras, or watches.
But long before we became a nation of distracted drivers, distracted walkers, and distracted dinner companions, cell phones were clunky. The Blackberry was king. And Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was working in complete secrecy at the company’s California Headquarters on a device that would soon change
In January 2007, Jobs took the stage to unveil it: “An iPod, a phone, and an internet communicator. … Are you getting it? These are not three separate devices. This is one device. And we are calling it iPhone.”
That iPhone wouldn’t actually go on sale for another six months. During that time, nobody outside Apple was allowed to see the phone or touch the phone.
The hype machine went into overdrive, especially after 40 million viewers saw this commercial on that year’s Oscar broadcast:
And then, two weeks before the phone went on sale, Apple quietly handed iPhones to four tech reporters to review: Steven Levy, editor in chief of Backchannel, who worked at Newsweek at the time; Ed Baig, of…