On This Day in History – January 9th, 2007
Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveils the iPhone in 2007
(Originally published by the Daily News on January 10, 2007. This story was written by Greg Wilson.)
Apple brought its vaunted “cool factor” to the cellular world yesterday, unveiling the iPhone, a sleek mobile phone, camera, music player and Web surfing device company founder Steve Jobs said will “reinvent” the industry.
The high-tech pioneer also wowed Apple legions – and Wall Street – with a new wider-screen iPod that will transmit downloaded movies to your TV from your computer.
But it was the phone – set to be available in June starting at $499 for a 4-gigabyte model – that commanded the spotlight at the annual Macworld convention in San Francisco.
Jobs, with characteristic bluster, said the device makes competing smart phones such as BlackBerry and Q a “waste of time.”
“Every once in a while a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything,” Jobs said. “It’s very fortunate if you can work on just one of these in your career. … Apple’s been very fortunate in that it’s introduced a few of these.”
The rectangular phone’s entire front surface is a touch screen, and all of its functions are activated by touch.
It’s not the first cell phone capable of playing music, but predecessors like Motorola’s Rokr, which used Apple’s iTunes software, could only hold 100 songs.
The black and buttonless iPhone, for which the company sought 200 separate patents, will hold up to 2,000 songs.
The name caught some Apple watchers by surprise. While the company is world renowned for its iPod and iMac, the trademark for iPhone had been owned by Cisco Systems.
But the Internet networking giant apparently reached a deal with Apple for rights to the name.
Demonstrating the phone in his presentation, Jobs played a voicemail from former Vice President Al Gore congratulating Jobs on the iPhone. Gore, an Apple board member, recently led a special committee that exonerated Jobs of wrongdoing in the company’s options backdating controversy.
Shares of Apple, which officially dropped “Computer” from its corporate name, stock shot up 8.3% yesterday, or $7.10, to $92.57 on four times normal trading volume. The stock has nearly doubled since July.
Shoppers at the Apple store on 59th St. and Fifth Ave. were quick to react to the iPhone announcement.
“MP3 cell phones have already existed, but I think their design sucks,” said Gabriel Cira, 20, a tourist from Boston. “I think the iPod one would look better.”
Yoruba Holmes, 39, a legal secretary from the South Bronx, said the gadget’s astonishing capabilities put her on overload.
“I wouldn’t buy that,” she said. “It’s just too much in a phone – too many features.”