Eight years ago, on this very day, Apple changed the way we perceived smartphones.
As Steve Jobs climbed on stage during Apple's yearly Macworld conference on Jan. 9, 2007, the world watched with bated breath as he announced: "We're gonna make some history today."
The audience was misled into believing that three devices were going to be unwrapped: an iPod Touch, an Internet communications device and a mobile phone. Apple did live up to its promise of making history, but unveiled only one product: the first ever iPhone.
At a time when the concept of a touchscreen was alien and cell phones with keyboards, like the Nokia E62 and Moto Q, were the norm, the iPhone brought with it a fresh approach. The all-in-one device was a mobile phone with a capacitive touchscreen; it could play music and let you surf the Internet. The first-ever iPhone revolutionized the cell phone industry.
There was a paradigm shift: the cell phone became the smartphone, which not only made phone calls but also performed a multitude of other tasks. Moreover, with the arrival of Apple's iOS App Store, the way software was developed also underwent a sea of change. Currently, the App Store has generated over $25 billion in revenue for developers and boasts over 1.4 billion apps.
However, not everyone was a fan of the iPhone when it was launched in 2007, writing it off as too expensive. Some market analysts even suggested that Apple "pull the plug on the iPhone."
"$500 fully subsidized with a plan?" mocked Microsoft's then-CEO Steve Ballmer. "That is the most expensive phone in the world -- and it doesn't appeal to business customers."
While the first iPhone may have had its share of problems, such as losing Internet connection, dropping calls, shutting down randomly and even freezing, it surely has come a long way to become the most desired smartphone.
The current iPhones may look different from the one eight years ago, but the underlying philosophy of the company remains unchanged: to innovate.
As the iPhone celebrates its 8th birthday, check out Steve Jobs unveiling the first-ever iteration of the iconic smartphone.
Happy birthday, iPhone. Here's to many more years!