Happy birthday, iPhone! Jason Snell wrote a great piece about the iPhone’s launch five years ago at MacWorld Expo. Gruber chimed in, talking about how far ahead of the competition Apple was at the time and arguably still is. He then linked to a photo of the phone that was in his pocket when the iPhone was announced:
That got me thinking about which phone I was using at the time. It was a Motorola KRZR, a recent upgrade from my Motorola V710C (the phone Jack Nicholson uses in the Departed, coincidentally). Neither phone was fast, small, or feature-rich, yet each cost between $100-200. Just think – spending that much cash on a phone when signing up for a three-year contract now nets you a BlackBerry, an Android, or an iPhone.
Those phones were also very much locked down. The carrier controlled which features were enabled. The software was not upgradable. I remember reading about some serious issues with each phone, but I was stuck with the software that was loaded on them when I purchased them. That just sounds so archaic now.
A year later, I remember calling TELUS the next after it was announced that Rogers would be carrying the iPhone 3G and they were trying to sell me on the Samsung Instinct. I thought about it for about a second before asking them to cancel my account. I got the iPhone 3G, which I loved, but spent two unhappy years with horrible Rogers service before coming back to TELUS to get an iPhone 4. For my money, the iPhone has been the best phone on the market since its release. There have been some serious competitors, but none have toppled the iPhone’s dominance, especially when it comes to user interface, easy of use, and the ecosystem of iTunes, App Store, OSX, etc.
It’s been a fantastic five years of technological innovation, and the iPhone really started the revolution. The winners are the users – we now have phones that we can perform software upgrades on, we have a multitude of incredible apps that make our lives easier, and we have beautifully-designed, easy to use phones.
So, which phone was in your pocket in January, 2007?