Ten years ago today, Steve Jobs delivered his greatest speech ever. And in announcing the iPhone, he and Apple forever changed personal technology.
Oddly, I’m seeing a number of stories claiming that today is the “10th anniversary of the iPhone.” That date is actually June 29, as Apple released the iPhone on this day in 2007.
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OK, that’s semantics. And regardless of which date you choose to commemorate—I suspect many of those same sites will later remind us that June 29 is also the 10th anniversary of the iPhone—the impact of this announcement cannot be overstated.
Indeed, over the past year, I’ve repeatedly described the iPhone as the asteroid that destroyed the Windows dinosaur. Yes, that’s very dramatic, and purposefully so. And, yes, one could argue, pedantically, that the cataclysmic event that set up human beings as the dominant species on the planet happened quickly, while Windows, and the PCs it runs on, will be with us for a long time.
Fair enough. But the change ushered in by the iPhone cannot be denied. I saw it, you saw, virtually everyone saw it, though representatives from mobile companies like Motorola, Nokia, Palm, RIM (Blackberry), and others were either lying publicly to save face or just living in denial for the first year or two. But they all failed in responding to the iPhone threat, and now they’re either gone or worthless. (Microsoft failed too, of course, though as I’ve explained, Steve Ballmer was Right About the iPhone back in 2007.)
To put the iPhone in perspective, consider Apple’s next big new product launch, in 2010, for the iPad. At that time, I accurately described the iPad as nothing more than a giant iPod touch, and I boldly (and perhaps childishly, though I have my reasons) declared that anyone who thought the iPad was The Next Big Thing was “a tool.”
Apple actually mocked me in one of their keynotes for this declaration. But, surprise: For once, I was right. And as I write this in early 2017, the iPad has suffered from 2.5 years of straight sales declines, with ongoing revisions like iPad mini and iPad Pro doing nothing to reverse this downfall. Today, the iPad is a solid business, sure, and the dominant if fading tablet. But tablets never did surpass PCs, and in the most recent quarter, iPad was a smaller business than the Mac by revenues, and represented just one-sixth the revenues, and one-fifth the unit sales, of iPhone. In other words, it is not The Next Big Thing. Sorry, Tim. And hey, thanks for calling me out for being right.
I didn’t have that reaction to the iPhone. In fact, I wrote so much about the iPhone, and, ultimately, about its inability to integrate with Microsoft’s Exchange/EAS infrastructure for businesses, that year that people started asking me if I was going to rename my site—the SuperSite for Windows, at the time—to the SuperSite for iPhone. Point being, I may not have been wowed by iPad—or subsequent products like Apple Watch, or the recent MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops—but I was absolutely wowed by iPhone.
And rightfully so. Despite the many limitations of that first device, the iPhone in 2007 represented a peek at a future we are all now living in, even if we use competing devices like those based on Android. (Which, sorry Apple, most of us are.)
And that presentation was masterful. I’ve watched it again and again, and of course the description of the event and its build-up in the official Steve Jobs biography is simply amazing too.
So, here’s to Apple for showing us the way. It wouldn’t be ready for six more months, but the revolution started ten years ago today when Steve Jobs bounded up on the Moscone Center stage at Macworld 2007 in San Francisco. It’s an event that historians will be studying for years to come. And it deserves to be remembered.
<p>Sometimes I don’t understand Paul’s mind when it comes to technology, because it always seems that his heart for Microsoft dominates his thinking, not often, but always. This post, I feel, is just added evidence.</p>
<p>For one thing, it’s hard for me to believe that Paul wasn’t wow’d by the Apple Watch, especially since it’s capabilities just overwhelmed the limited features and functionality which is now the defunct Microsoft Band.</p>
<p>Secondly,I know Paul has been poo-pooing the iPhone 7 as an uninteresting and unexciting phone in 2016. He just hasn’t been doing this recently, but for some time now. However, I am very very surprised he hasn’t even brought up the interesting theory that Apple was doing this on purpose, in order to make iPhone 8 "the 10 year anniversary edition" very special. So many other tech analysts have expressed this theory. Pretty much all, except for Paul.</p>
<p>I’ve been following Paul, since episode One of Windows Weekly, and because of him I was this really big Microsoft fan, until I just turned into a general tech fan of many companies. I remember when the iPhone came out, Paul complained about it too. Paul mimicked Ballmer, when Ballmer mocked the iPhone’s lack of tactile feedback in the keyboard. I remember Paul saying and writing about that too on the Supersite. NOT JUST that, I remember Paul complaining about possible smudge on the iPhone screen.</p>
<p>Lastly about the iPad, why is Paul declaring that the iPad or tablets have never surpassed PCs? Was this ever a race? I don’t think so. Technology evolves. PC sales are also declining; tablet sales are also declining; but smartphones are not. LOL…what does that tell you? I think this tells you that the state of tablets and PCs have been good for sometime that the need to upgrade is not necessary.</p>
<p>As for Tim Cook, can someone point out to me where he literally called Paul’s name and said that he was right? That’s because Paul said that he did that, didn’t he? Paul was so clearly wrong, when he said that the iPad was not a game changer, when in fact it was. Let’s not forget the success of the iPad led to the creation of the Surface/Surface Pro….version 1. How did the first generation of Surfaces do? Paul can spin this any which way he wants, but his words are on public record and pretty much self explanatory in the most simplest of context.</p>
<p>Unless Paul comes out of his Microsoft bubble and argues his statement about his view on the iPad years ago (lol), …. and I am not talking about with Leo Laporte….. his desire to "revise" history will never happen.</p>