When Steve Jobs Announced the iPhone in 2007

Steve Jobs reveals the iPhone 4 at a conference in 2010.
Steve Jobs reveals the iPhone 4 at a conference in 2010. / Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The world looked very different in 2007. George W. Bush was president; the final Harry Potter book hadn’t been released yet; and while smartphones existed, they weren’t mainstream. But that last part began to change on January 9, 2007, when Steve Jobs announced a "revolutionary product"—the first-generation iPhone—in a keynote speech at the Macworld 2007 expo in San Francisco.

The iPhone was sold as a mobile device, but as Jobs described, its potential wasn’t restricted to phone calls. As he described it, the gadget was "a widescreen iPod with touch controls, a revolutionary mobile phone and a breakthrough internet communications device." People could use it to communicate, and also to listen to/watch entertainment, store photos, and surf the internet.

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

Not everyone was enamored with the iPhone. Some people said it was too expensive; others complained that it was only available on Cingular (later AT&T Wireless), or only came with 2G telephone technology. Plus, some people still loved their flip phones (remember the Motorola Razr?).

Still, the iPhone's popularity began to soar, slowly and steadily, after its official release on June 29, 2007. That year, as market intelligence agency Mintel points out, standard mobile phone sales declined for the first time, and smartphone sales exploded to more than $12 billion. And in the past 10 years alone, Apple claims, the company has sold over one billion iPhone units.

By now, the iPhone has been redesigned many times—it's come a long, long way from the first-generation product that Jobs initially presented in 2007 years ago. But today, we can take a few minutes to remember the clunky gadget that changed technology (and our lives) by watching the video below.