Birth of The Jesus Phone

You know, everybody has a cell phone, but I don’t know one person who likes their cell phone. I want to make a phone that people love.

Steve Jobs

Every once a while a revolutionary product comes along, that changes everything.

On January 9,2007 at the Macworld convention 2007 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone. This wasn’t any other ordinary launch in the mobile phone industry. It was a launch that turned the rapidly growing industry upside down. This day not only sent shock waves to the silicon valley, but it changed the thinking of human brain how a simple device in our hand can make such extraordinary things.

This wasn’t the first time Apple was totally redefining a pre-established industry. It has happened twice in the past, In 1984 Apple introduced a stupendous product called Macintosh which led to a totally new design and architecture in the field of computers. Again in 2001, they changed the way we listen to music by giving 1000 songs in our pockets(The iPod), leading to an end of walkman era. Innovation drives Apple, its been in its DNA since Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak started from the garage.

Ever since the iPod was launched, there was a buzz in the air that next thing will be a phone and that actually came to be true on January 9th,2007. The preparations of iPhone started just after the iPod was launched because Steve Jobs never liked the idea of having two separate devices, one for calling and the other one for music. So he gathered up 1000 best men working for Apple on a secret project named “Project Purple”. The rule of these hirings was you can hire anyone from inside the company but not a single head from outside of the Cupertino campus. Once you are hired in the “Project Purple”, you cannot talk about what’s happening inside with anyone who is not the part of this project.

“The first rule of Fight Club is not to talk about Fight Club”

In 2003, Apple began working on tablets which will later become iPad. But in 2004, they totally shifted the gears from a tablet to a phone which later turned out to be iPhone. Since Steve never liked the so much hyped product Newton, he actually shifted his gears from tablet to a revolutionary phone which will turn out to be a market leader in the upcoming years. The “Project Purple” team build 3 iPhone prototypes (some claim 6) until one final design was accepted.

The smartphones earlier to iPhone era were not so smart as they had the clumsy plastic keypad fixed to the lower half of its body which was always there even if you don’t want it there or even if you have no use of the keys. These phones had a fixed set of command buttons which were the same for every application. You have to press the same button for options in your Photo app and even in the music. There weren’t any specific set of options for every single application. Because the companies only cared about calling feature and few like Research In Motion(RIM) cared about emails too.

Buttons and the control cant change in earlier smartphones.

When iPhone was launched, Apple consolidated three products in a single device:

  • Widescreen iPod with touch controls.
  • Revolutionary mobile phone.
  • Breakthrough internet communicator

AND THE REST IS HISTORY!!

The iPhone was a leapfrog product, it was way smarter that anyone has ever built. Every application needs a different set of UI (user interface), and it exactly promised the same by providing a slightly optimised set of buttons for every application.

The iPhone had three killer features:

  1. Multi-Touch Technology: This gave us rid of clumsy stylus introduced in Newton. It was a total magic as it gave our fingers the complete freedom to touch and make multi-finger gestures. It was far more accurate and also ignored the unintended touches.
  2. Revolutionary UI: Redefining the UI is the speciality of Apple, it dates back to the Macintosh era where the Mouse was introduced. Then came the Click Wheel of iPod, and iPhone was blessed with the totally new Multi-Touch technology. The software in iPhone was easily 5 years ahead of any other phone. iPhone ran on OS X, which was used on the mac. It was like running an entire mac in the palm of your hand.
  3. Design: The design part of iPhone was the unique feature, it had a 3.5-inch screen with a 320×480 pixel resolution at 163 ppi,2:3 aspect ratio,18-bit (262,144-color) LCD. It had a home button jus beneath the screen which was used to navigate back from any application or widget to the home screen. The iPhone was made so simple to use so that any layman can use with ease. For the very first-time album art was introduced in the music app and so does the cover flow, you can actually touch the music. Photos app had the pinch to zoom feature where you can zoom in or out with using your fingers. It was just brilliant back then.

You had me scrolling.

The massive launch event at the Moscone Center in San Francisco witnessed the tech giants like the CEO of Google Eric Schmidt, CEO and Cofounder of Yahoo! Jerry Yang and the CEO of iPhone’s network partner Cingular Stan Sigman.

Apple had a special relationship with all these three companies as iPhone used the powerful maps app of Google which featured maps, satellite images, turn by turn directions and even traffic (Yes in 2007!). When Eric Shmidt was called up on the stage by Steve he even jokingly spoke about the merger of APPLE and GOOGLE and renaming it to APPLEGO.

Yahoo! provided free IMAP mail services to the iPhone’s mail app. The app featured rich HTML mail service and also support for POP3 email services like Gmail, AOL etc. Yang even promised the future services to be offered by Yahoo! in the times to come.

Cingular at that time was the leading network operator in The United States with over 58 million active subscribers and Apple had a 4-year agreement with them. Just a few months before the iPhone launch Cingular merged up with AT&T. The first iPhones were sold exclusively by only AT&T in the US.

Apple has always had a charm about it. From Macintosh in 1984 to iPhone in 2007, Apple always brought something new from its pocket and if not all then most of the credit goes to the Steve Jobs who spearheaded the innovation culture at Apple. At the closing moments of the presentation of iPhone in 2007, the clicker abruptly stopped working and Steve handled it wonderfully by talking about his high school days adventures with Woz where Woz built a TV jammer jus to had fun with the guys around the dorm.

In the end of the keynote, Steve promised to cover 1% of the mobile market by 2008 which was nearly 10 million units. And we all have witnessed Apple delivered way more than it was promised in January 9,2007 and currently is the most profitable company in the world.

Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me. Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful, that’s what matters to me.

Steve Jobs

 

 

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