7th anniversary of iPhone launch celebrated

January 9, 2014 11:20 pm

Steve Jobs launches iPhone 1/9/2007

At San Francisco’s Moscone Center before a crowd of Macworld attendees on January 9, 2007, Steve Jobs introduced the world to the iPhone and launched a revolution.

At the time, the Apple CEO told the attendees, “Thank you for coming… we’re gonna make some history together today.”

In one quantum leap, the iPhone changed the way people thought about phones and computing. The new device allowed people to have a phone, a music player, and a powerful computer to check email and surf the web all in the palm of their hands.

And on the iPhone’s seven-year anniversary, the device has gained a loyal following of users.

“You don’t have to have a GPS, versus a phone, versus a camera. It’s all in one,” said Monica Marsh of San Bruno, outside the San Francisco Apple Store on Stockton.

“I own my own business, I work from my phone. I’m on the road constantly, I use every app to help run my business,” Julia Goodwin of San Francisco told KTVU.

For Ethan Einhorn, the director of online operations for SEGA in San Francisco, the device marked a mobile computing milestone.

“It’s changed not just my life, but my mom and dad’s life, my grandparents’ life, and my 3-year-old son can play games on it. That’s how accessible it is,” Einhorn told KTVU.

Einhorn was one of the early game developers who partnered with Apple engineers for the next revolutionary step, the launch of the Apple App Store at the 2008 Worldwide Developers Conference.

Einhorn remembers the excitement of working with Steve Jobs and Apple engineers leading up to the presentation.

“We knew it was going to be something that was a game changer right from the get-go because it was such a powerful device,” Einhorn said.

Apple spokeswoman Teresa Brewer says in the past seven years more than 420 million iPhones have been sold to people in more than 100 countries.

The App Store created a marketplace that gave developers a direct path to those customers.

The iPhone also spawned a new generation of devices that allow us to swipe, pinch, and double tap our way through the day.

Dag Spicer, Senior Curator at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View says the iPhone was a technical marvel.

“It’s a remarkably sophisticated computer system that even 20 years ago would have cost millions of dollars to have this functionality,” Spicer said.

He admits being skeptical when Steve Jobs announced the original iPhone.

“Cell phones just seemed completely off mission for them. Something they knew nothing about,” Spicer said, “So that to me is one of the big surprises that they really pulled it off and not only that became a market leader.”

Apple reports that the App Store broke a record with 1 billion dollars in December. Sales for 2013 totaled more than 10 billion dollars, creating a big economic impact from devices that just keep getting smaller.