With the release of the iPhone Friday, Apple will complete what some are calling the most hyped product launch in technology history. Whether or not that's true, there's no doubt that the frenzy has reached epic proportions, with constant articles, photo galleries and commentary in this and countless other publications. But the iPhone is hardly the only tech product to launch with a high hype factor and heavy expectations. Here is a look back at some of the other high-profile launches that got the tech industry talking.
Here, Steve Wozniak, a man who knows something about changing the world, rides the Segway, the product that was supposed to change the world but didn't.
Prior to its launch, the Segway was known by its code name, "Ginger," and was expected to change the way people would get around--and even factor in to the way cities were designed. The product was hyped by people like Steve Jobs far ahead of its launch. But while it is a sophisticated product, its high price never allowed it to have the impact its inventor, Dean Kamen, hoped it would.
When it launched in November 2005, Microsoft's Xbox 360 ushered in the next-generation video game console wars. It began with a 30-hour marathon event in the Southern California desert, where gamers could play their favorite titles all night, even though temperatures dipped to near freezing.
In its first month, the new Xbox sold 323,400 units, according to NPD, and after three months had moved 854,300 units. It is now in second place among the three next-gen consoles, ahead of Sony's PlayStation 3, but trailing Nintendo's surprise hit, the Wii.