REACH OUT AND TOUCH [SCREEN] SOMEONE
Propelled by a consumer demand to have a convergence of features on one device, Steve Jobs and his design team went into the lab for two-and-a-half years and spent $150 million to come up with the first generation iPhone, which became available for purchase in the U.S. on June 29, 2007.
Tech geeks littered the sidewalk outside of Apple’s New York City flagship store to get their hands on the groundbreaking $599 device, which Time magazine named the invention of the year and bloggers dubbed the “Jesus Phone.” The wisest smartphone on the market came loaded with capabilities and features unmatched by any other mobile phone available. It had the ability to download music directly from iTunes, held about 1,500 songs on 8 gigabytes of space, featured a multi-touch interface, a 2.0 megapixel camera, an ambient light sensor that adjusted screen brightness based on need and web-surfing capabilities; albeit on AT&T’s shoddy, much-complained about EDGE network. But even the biggest gripes (and that jaw-dropping price tag) couldn’t keep the revelation in mobile technology from selling like hot cakes. Apple sold one million iPhones in 74 days, a milestone it took the iPod two years to achieve.
By the time Apple discontinued the original iPhone on July 11, 2008 with 6.1 million units sold—making room for the second generation, which sold a staggering 6.9 million units during the first quarter of its availability—the company reported its best quarterly revenue (at the time) surpassing $10 billion. But that was just a mere bag of shells compared to what was in store when the latest iPhone dropped on October 14, 2011.
Just eight months after Apple released the iPhone 4, it put out another winner when the fifth-generation iPhone 4S became the most successful product launch in the company’s history, smashing previous sales records with 4 million units sold in one weekend. The top-selling mobile phone of the year and one of the best-selling electronic devices of all time, contributed $24 billion to Apple’s first quarter sales. Currently available in more than 70 countries, the refreshed model included Siri voice recognition, the FaceTime video calling software, iCloud capabilities, and an 8-megapixel camera for $199.