Happy 5th Birthday, iPhone.


The iPhone was released five years ago tomorrow.

At about 3pm that day, I walked into the Apple store for 3 hours of hands-on training and playing with this new device. It was probably the most publicized piece of electronics in history, but it was quite remarkable to hold it in my hand. Internet access on the fly.

Outside the store, there were about 300 people who’d been waiting since as early as 6am. Here’s a clip of what the scene was like as the clock counted down the seconds to the 6pm launch time. You can’t see me, but I was inside the store about 15 feet behind the clock. It was an exciting event, one of my favorite Apple moments.

By today’s standards the (original) iPhone was pretty simplistic. There were no 3rd party apps, it ran on AT&T’s slowest data network (and only on AT&T), you couldn’t talk and do stuff at the same time, and it was pretty slow. Oh, and one more thing, there was no carrier subsidy – everyone paid full price.

I was one of the fortunate Apple employees who received a free iPhone. It was a brilliant marketing move – I must have shown that phone to 1,000 people. It was a novelty and people asked to see it.

Look around now…doesn’t it seem like everyone’s got one of these things in his/her hand?

How much do you do on your iPhone now, that you did on a computer 5 years ago? A lot, I bet.

I just picked up my iPhone 4S and here are the apps I currently have open – basically the ones I’ve used in the past 24 hours:

Mail – 4 email accounts,
Clock – I use the timer and alarms all the time,
WeatherBug – to track the thunder storms in the area,
MLB At Bat – Baseball scores and highlights on demand,
Netflix – I watched part of a movie at lunch,
Paypal – checked my balance,
TheChive – for funny pictures and stuff,
Facebook Pages – to manage my Facebook page for Safe and Sound Video,
Calendar – it runs my life,
Phone – yeah, I do still use the phone part,
Facely HD – to access my work Facebook account,
Star Walk – one of the most awesome apps ever,
Compass – what direction is SSW?,
Flyby – I’m such a geek I go outside at night and watch the satellites fly by,
AP Mobile,
App Store,
WordPress – to keep track of who’s commenting on my 3 blogs,
Weight Watchers Mobile,
iTeleport – so I can control my desktop computer on the go,

Some of this stuff I was doing before my iPhone, but it was on my desktop computer, not out and about.

And that’s the thing – you’re mobile – you’re on the go and still connected to anyone and anything you want to be connected too.

Steve Jobs said it was “a revolutionary internet device” and he wasn’t kidding.

One Response to “Happy 5th Birthday, iPhone.”

  1. I remember being so frustrated (ok, insert stronger words here) that the iPhone was only available on AT&T. I bought my first Apple product – a Mac – in 1986. And have been pretty much on the cutting edge of Apple products ever since. I have one of the original laptops, bought my son a Blueberry iMac, had an original Airport. And to be left out of the coolest, most revolutionary moments of Apple history killed me. But with the iPhone now available on Sprint – I’ll be getting mine shortly!

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