It’s hard to put into words the iPhone’s massive impact on society over the past decade. But we tried! In this week’s Cult of Mac Magazine, we’ve rounded up our best coverage (including stories from our collaboration with Wired UK) of the iPhone’s 10th anniversary.
This week on The CultCast: You’d never know it from Steve Jobs’ effortless keynote introduction, but the original iPhone was plagued with huge design and production issues that almost made Apple call it quits — right up until the day it was released! To commemorate the iPhone’s 10th anniversary, we’ll recount some of the incredible stories behind iPhone’s beleaguered early days, and celebrate how Apple pulled off one of the greatest device launches in history.
Our thanks to Shutterstock for supporting this episode. Kickstart your next interactive project with video clips or music tracks from their collection, and save 20 percent for a limited time at shutterstock.com/cultcast.
This an excerpt from Unsung Apple Hero, an e-book about UI designer Bas Ording’s career at Apple. Ording is responsible for a big chunk of today’s computing interfaces, but is little-known because of Apple’s super-strict privacy policies. Hit the link at the bottom of this post to get a free copy of the e-book.
One of the key design decisions that Apple’s Human Interface Team made early on while developing the iPhone was to go all in on big, simple gestures. They wanted to make a single, simple swipe accomplish as much as possible.
It’s a bit ironic. After investing so much in multitouch technology, which relies on multiple touch inputs, one of Apple’s key edicts was to make as many gestures as possible work with a single finger.
The iPhone’s success has been nothing short of spectacular. With more than 1 billion units sold as of June 2016, rival consumer electronics companies can only dream of building a product that popular.
It’s not easy to foresee how the iPhone will evolve in the future. Some things are obvious — like faster processors, more advanced cameras, and even better displays — but we must look beyond these to get a sense of Apple’s biggest ambitions. Here’s some of the many ways the iPhone might get better, stronger and faster in the next 10 years.
The iPhone has changed enormously in the 10 years since it launched, but some people still think the first iPhone was the best.
Take, for instance, Minnesota photographer Joe Cunningham, who owns not one but two of Apple’s breakthrough smartphones. He doesn’t view them as investments, either. Even though the original iPhone goes for big bucks on eBay these days, Cunningham continues to use both handsets on a daily basis.
Over the past decade, the iPhone has changed pretty much everything, from communication and gaming to the way in which we consume news and pay for our groceries. But how has the device impacted the lives of tech titans?
Find out from Eben Upton, creator of Raspberry Pi; Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia; Tony Fadell, founder of Nest and “godfather” of the iPod, and more.
Apple collector Hap Plain can observe the iPhone’s 10th anniversary today by powering up two extremely rare iPhone prototypes — and you can see them in action, too.
The prototypes, which likely passed through the hands of Apple execs including Steve Jobs, Tony Fadell and Scott Forstall, offer a unique glimpse at iPhone development. You can see Plain fire them up in the video below, the latest entry in Cult of Mac’s collaboration with Wired UK to recap a decade of the iPhone.
One day in early 2005, interface designer Bas Ording was sitting in a secret, windowless lab at Apple HQ when the phone rang. It was Steve Jobs.
The first thing Jobs says is that the conversation is super-secret, and must not be repeated to anyone. Ording promises not to.
“He’s like, ‘Yeah, Bas, we’re going to do a phone,'” Ording told Cult of Mac, recalling that momentous call from long ago. “‘It’s not going to have any buttons and things on it, it’s just a screen. Can you build a demo that you can scroll through a list of names, so you could choose someone to call?’ That was the assignment I got, like pretty much directly from Steve.”
It’s cool to own an original, first-gen iPhone. But if you really want to show that you were among the Apple faithful — a true believer who queued up for Cupertino’s inaugural handset back on June 29, 2007 — you’re going to want an extra accessory: the custom paper bag it came in.
More than just an oddball Apple collectible, it’s an early example of the extraordinary care Cupertino puts into packaging its magical devices.
Damon Rose is 46, and has been blind since he was a teenager. In 2012, the iPhone changed his life.
Rose, a senior broadcast journalist at the BBC, uses GPS to get around unfamiliar areas, with an earbud stuck in one ear, and uses a third-party app that tells him what shops he’s walking past. It’s “amazingly helpful,” he told Cult of Mac. “I can look at menus on restaurant websites while I’m sitting there with my first drink of the evening,” instead of having the waiter read out the menu.
The iPhone might not have been the first phone with accessibility features, but it was certainly the first popular pocket computer to be easily useable by the blind and the hearing-impaired.
You don’t have to visit a Foxconn factory to see an iPhone built from scratch.
Visit China’s black market and you’ll meet traders with the components, tools, and know-how to build you a working handset for a fraction of the price you would pay Apple. The whole process is complete by the time you’ve finished your coffee.
As the iPhone turns 10 years old this week, the Apple’s long streak of dominance makes it seem like iPhone will rule the tech world for the forseeable future. Nothing last forever though, so what could the iPhone look like in 2027 when technology is more seamlessly embedded in our lives?
Cult of Mac is collaborating with Wired U.K. all this week for an in-depth look at the iPhone’s lasting impact and possible future. Tech experts that Wired talked to are pretty optimistic that the iPhone will still exist in some form 10 years from now. But interacting with it will be completely different.
Buying a birthday present for your boss can seem impossible. But the friends and co-workers of MacPaw CEO Oleksandr Kosovan — a diehard Apple fan — saw an opening after he bought a treasure trove of vintage Macs to create a museum at his company’s headquarters.
MacPaw’s mini Apple museum, filled with vintage gear auctioned off by fabled Apple repair shop Tekserve, contained no iPhones. Leaving out the smartphone that changed the world seemed like a glaring hole in a collection that otherwise did a good job of showing Apple’s role in revolutionizing personal computing.
As Apple scrambled to create the first iPhone, the company’s engineers tore apart literally dozens of rival products to work out what made them tick, according to a new interview with former Apple exec Tony Fadell.
He may be best known today as the founder of Nest, but Fadell was one of the fathers of the iPhone — which, if you haven’t heard, celebrates its 10th birthday this week. Fadell reveals more about Apple’s reverse engineering efforts in an interview with Wired U.K..
Cult of Mac is collaborating with Wired U.K. all this week for an in-depth look at the iPhone’s first decade — and the device’s lasting impact.
When the iPhone launched in 2007, the tech world went into conniptions about the device’s price tag. At a time when carriers offered most cellphones for free, the iPhone’s $500 starting price seemed downright crazy.
Well, guess how much an original iPhone costs now?
It might be the most successful smartphone on the planet, but the iPhone didn’t become what it is today without some failures along the way.
Even before the device made its much-anticipated debut in 2007, Apple overcame big missteps and mistakes. It tried putting iTunes on other phones. It believed we didn’t need native apps. It entered into embarrassing partnerships with big bands.
As Cult of Mac looks back over the iPhone’s history to celebrate the device’s 10th anniversary, in collaboration with Wired UK, 10 big failures stick out like a sore thumb.
Predicting the future is tough, even for the experts. That’s the only lesson we can learn from looking back at these horribly misguided iPhone predictions that greeted the device at its launch 10 years ago.
Before most people had even wrapped their fingers around Apple’s first-gen smartphone, tech pundits, analysts and competing CEOs were already writing off the iPhone as a disaster similar to Apple’s previous excursions into video game consoles and the like.
Here are just a few of the laughable reactions that greeted the iPhone in 2007.
The iPhone packed a lot into its first astonishing decade. Not only has the device itself evolved significantly since its promising-but-by-no-means-perfect beginnings, but it’s transformed Apple’s business — and many of our very lives — in the process.
All this week, Cult of Mac’s “iPhone Turns 10” series will look at the innovative device’s massive impact on worldwide culture. The iPhone, which launched on June 29, 2007, truly changed the world.
What iPhone milestones have passed since Steve Jobs introduced this stunning hybrid device, which combined a widescreen iPod with touch controls, a revolutionary mobile phone, and a breakthrough internet communications device? Check out our handy guide to 10 years of iPhone history.