I’m : a programmer, writer, podcaster, geek, and coffee enthusiast.

Ten years of iPhone

I’ll never forget watching the iPhone keynote live.1

It was a cold Tuesday afternoon in New York. My hair was still brown. We were supposed to be working, but even David had to suspend his usual workaholism for a few minutes in awe of what we were seeing.

Everything about the iPhone seemed impossible to the technology world of early 2007.

“You can’t make a good phone without buttons.”
“You can’t fit a desktop-class OS on a phone.”
“There’s no way that’s a full-blown web browser.”
“That has to cost a thousand dollars.”

Yet over the course of an hour, Steve destroyed every rule we thought we knew.

Not only was it truly mind-blowing at the time, but in retrospect, so much of modern computing was invented for the first iPhone and revealed to the world in that hour. Just watch the software demos: most modern UI mechanics and behaviors, large and small, began that day.

When it shipped six months later, it was possibly the best 1.0 in tech history, followed by a decade of relentless hardware and software improvements with the highest success rate and fastest advancement of any product line I’ve ever seen.

I’ve seen a lot of major product launches and technology changes in my life and career so far, but nothing else I’ve seen has ever come close to the surprise, magic, and magnitude of the first iPhone, and I don’t expect it to be surpassed in my lifetime.

  1. This was before Apple events were streamed, so “watching it live” really meant watching liveblog transcripts with occasional photos from people who were there. ↩︎