Blast from the past: Steve Jobs debuts iPhone (video)

For the history buffs out there, enjoy this pivotal moment when Steve Jobs unveiled -- with his usual flair for understatement -- "a revolutionary mobile phone."

His sales pitches are now legendary but this one stood out from the rest. On the approach of the five-year anniversary of Apple's iPhone, we dug out this video of Steve Jobs at his mesmerizing best.

It was vintage Jobs, striding across the stage as he teased the crowd into bursts of applause and whoops of delight while the features appeared on the big screen behind him.

"An iPod, a phone, and an Internet communicator...are you getting it? These are not three separate devices. This is one device. And we are calling it iPhone. Today Apple is going to reinvent the phone."

It was a pivotal moment in Apple's history. Up until then, the company had been known primarily as a computer manufacturer that had successfully branched into the portable music player business (thanks in no small part to its very successful iTunes media service). But a smartphone maker? More than a few people at the time thought this was a stretch. In fact, as my CNET colleague Josh Lowensohn recounts , there was no shortage of skeptics who believed the iPhone was too expensive and hampered in other ways. Long story short, they took a dim view of Jobs' ambitions to become a player in the cell phone business.

Apple has since gone on to sell more than 218 million iPhones.

 

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