History buffs will note that it also was the first Apple product launch since Cook took over from Steve Jobs. It was judged to be a competent product demo, though hardly one that would leave them talking about it years later. And there was no "and one more thing."
Cook traveled to China for -- well, Apple never officially said why. But speculation focused on the two carriers which offered Apple's handset, China Telecom and China Unicom. He might also have been in town to try to work out a deal with China Mobile.
But beyond that, Cook had some PR spade work to do as a result of the ongoing outcry over worker conditions at Chinese factories which make Apple products. Indeed, Cook did pay a visit to the new Foxconn manufacturing plant for the iPhone in Zhengzhou, China, which employs 120,000 people.
"We have used some of our cash to make great investments in our business through increased research and development, acquisitions, new retail store openings, strategic prepayments and capital expenditures in our supply chain, and building out our infrastructure," Cook said in a prepared statement.
"Even with these investments, we can maintain a war chest for strategic opportunities and have plenty of cash to run our business. So we are going to initiate a dividend and share repurchase program," he added.
In the aftermath of growing criticism of employee conditions at Chinese factories making Apple products, Cook only one day earlier requested an immediate inspection of facilities at Foxconn in China.
"No one in our industry is doing more to improve working conditions than Apple," Cook said, adding that he had personally spent "a lot of time" in factories, including a stint at a paper mill in Alabama as well as in an aluminum plant in Virginia.
Cook also did something Jobs never did: He donated $100 million to charity.
This was a key selection. Browett filled the job left vacant by Ron Johnson, who was responsible for establishing Apple's retail stores. Johnson left to become CEO of J.C. Penney.