7 years ago today, Steve Jobs introduced Apple's iPhone

7 years ago today Steve Jobs put sneaker to Macworld stage in what was arguably the greatest keynote in his and Apple's history of keynotes. Following the industry changing Mac and the iPod, Jobs claimed Apple was going to introduce 3 more revolutionary products - a widescreen iPod with touch controls, and revolutionary phone, and a breakthrough internet communicator. He asked if we got it. We did. We got the hell out of it. Not 3 products but 1. The iPhone. And nothing in consumer electronics has been the same again.

Instantly everything that came before was rendered obsolete. Google pivoted on a dime and went from Android competing against BlackBerry and Windows Mobile to targeting Apple. Palm rebooted with webOS and the Pre. BlackBerry tried to make a go of the Storm. Microsoft started over with Windows Phone 7, and then again with Windows Phone 8c. BlackBerry 10 launched.

7 years ago screens were mostly square, keyboards were mostly hardware, web browsers were mostly unusable, the most basic of apps were $30 and crashed, a lot, and simply getting email to work while mobile was considered magic. Now we have computers in our pockets as powerful or more than the ones on our laps and desks were back then.

As I watched him show off the interface, my Treo 680 felt more and more like an obsolete lump in my hand. I wanted it immediately. I was sold on this new vision of mobile.

Steve Jobs is no longer with us, but his 2007 keynote will live on forever. Here it is again. Watch it, and let me know — what phone were you using back then, and looking back now, how much has changed for you?

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Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, Vector, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

7 years ago today, Steve Jobs introduced Apple's iPhone


I had a sprint ppc 6700 and wanted to throw it against the wall. I remember buying the phone and I was like look at me I have Bluetooth, Ir and wifi, no phone is ever gonna touch this. My life hasn't been the same since. Tech changes to quickly now.

I had just started my final semester at college this time 7 years ago. I graduated in May. Had my first big boy job by June. To me signing up for my own cell phone plan and buying the original iPhone on launch day was my first adult purchase (and my first monthly bill!). My parents were a little upset at first with the ETF they had pay Tmobile; forgot I was still under contract. Can't actually remember what phone I had at the time, some Windows Mobile device and a Razr.

A lot has changed for me in those 7 years in my life. But the one constant is my trusty iPhone. It's a lot more than just an iPod, Phone, and Internet device now. But to me at it's core it remains the same device that works every time I pull it out with no fuss.

Here’s a story about my wife. She is a stay-at-home mother of 6 (I’m the 7th kid), volunteer for multiple charitable organizations and her favourite pass time is to take wool straight off of sheep, process it, spin it, and then with one of her looms or knitting needles, turn it into clothing for her lucky family.

I was there in San Francisco too Rene. When I arrived home (4000 miles from San Francisco), I played the keynote for my wife. She pointed at the screen and said, “THAT is the first electronic gizmo I ever wanted. I can use that.”

Being in Canada, we had to wait a year, but we picked up one for me and one for her on the first day. I set her up so it synced with her Mac and she was scheduling, doing emails and texting right away. After 2 weeks of using it, she says to me, “Hey, it makes phone calls, too!”

She had completely grocked the idea that the iPhone was a little laptop and the telephony for her was just icing on the cake.

I would love to see little popups to the video that shows what is currently happening. For example, "50 million TV show downloads 7 years ago. Now, (just a guess) 1 billion TV show downloads." I think this needs to be done.

Love the audience reaction to iTV, I mean AppleTV. :) Of course, before the iPhone was introduced.

I believe I was using a Motorola Razr when they announced the iPhone.
I can't even remember not being able to get email on a cell phone.
iPhone changed the game for sure.
It's the Fender Stratocaster of mobile devices.

Sent from the iMore App

I had a Cingular 2125, a Windows Mobile smartphone, and a Toshiba Pocket PC. That day, I decided that Google's Android was too far in the future and too unknown. I bought the iPhone in November 2007 and just bought my fourth, the 5s.

Thank you, Apple. And thank you, Steve Jobs for introducing an amazing product that just keeps getting better and better every year to the world.