iPhone anniversary: How the first iPhone beat the criticsEight years after Apple's first iPhone went on sale, we look back at the gadget that rocked the tech world, despite lacking some crucial features.
It's the eighth anniversary of the iPhone going on sale. Here's how Apple's very first smartphone defied the critics, and set the company on the road to smartphone domination. Announced in January 2007 by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, the iPhone promised a miracle touchscreen device that would change technology forever. Today we know it would go on to be a massive hit. But at the time, fierce debates raged about the device's potential. What bothers me, is saying goodbye to my phone for a few days. Mm. Yeah, they'll cross-ship me a loaner for $29, but the whole idea of being without my phone, with my contacts and data and photos and stuff on it, Right. that gives me the willies. They really need a removable battery in this product. And finally, Steve, what are you gonna do? Indeed, the very first iPhone was a long way from the ultra sophisticated smart phones of today, the first iteration lacked 3G, it couldn't shoot video, it had no removable battery and as Microsoft's Steve Ballmer helpfully pointed out, it was quite expensive. $500 Fully subsidized with a plan, I said that is the most expensive phone in the world and it doesn't appeal to business customers because it doesn't have a keyboard which makes it not a very good email machine. In retrospect, it seems crazy to bet against the iPhone. But to be honest, these were very reasonable reasons to doubt the phone's potential. but while the iPhone's critiques worried about these missing features, the general public reacted very differently. [UNKNOWN] Kent German reviewed the first iPhone and remembers the atmosphere at the launch. They said it would go on sale at 6pm, local time Time. So I went down to the store in San Francisco to actually pick up our review model at 6 PM and the line was, they had actually closed down the street cuz there were so many people. This is the first time I'd ever seen people line up around the block for a phone. And then cheer as they came out with it. 74 days after it went on sale, Apple confirmed it had sold its first million iPhone It was the iPhone 3G in 2008 that really set its mobile on a meteoric course, however, with Apple selling 1 million iPhone 3Gs in a single weekend. [MUSIC] The iPhone 3G did, as the name suggests, introduce 3G as well as GPS powers and more features But it still held something back. In fact reminiscing now those early mobiles at a real theme to the iPhone, if you want new features you're gonna have to wait. I think Apple's condition is to think in a way that well they don't put it in the first round because they want it to work the way they really want to. They want control of everything. They want to perfect it from beginning to end and they have a vision for it and I think if a feature is so new that it's not going to fulfill it. They're willing to wait and Apple fans, I think have come to expect that and just accept it and well we'll get it when, if they're going to get it working right The iPhone has always made us wait for multitasking to biggest screens and much more. But, with over 700 million iPhones sold, Apple's slow and steady approach has clearly worked. In fact, from uncertain beginnings, it's helped the iPhone rise to what may be eventually remembered as Apple's greatest achievement. So it's another happy birthday for this unassuming slab of technology. But what comes next? Let us know your thoughts on the fate of the iPhone and stay tuned to CNET.