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These Five Videos Capture The Dramatic Debut Of The First iPhone

Unlike those of the first Ford automobile, for example, the biggest moments of 21st century products are captured for posterity.

These Five Videos Capture The Dramatic Debut Of The First iPhone
Steve Jobs unveils a new mobile phone that can also be used as a digital music player and a camera, a long-anticipated device dubbed an “iPhone.” At the Macworld Conference January 9, 2007, in San Francisco. [Photo: Tony Avelar/AFP/Getty Images]

Much has already been said and written about the global impact of the iPhone. I won’t add to the pile of superlatives. But given how important the device has become over the past decade, it’s fun to watch the footage on and leading up to the day the iPhone launched a decade ago on June 29, 2007.

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Jobs Sets The Stage In January

After months and months of hype and speculation, Steve Jobs officially set the stage for the launch of the iPhone when he announced the device at MacWorld Expo on January 9, 2007. “This is a day I’ve been looking forward to for two and a half years,” Jobs said, referring to the time interval between the envisioning and completion of the iPhone.

One interesting thing about the announcement (at 2:05 in the video): Jobs described the iPhone as three things, in this order: an iPod (wild applause), a phone (wild applause), and an internet communications device (tepid applause). The world, apparently, wasn’t quite ready (or didn’t know it was ready) for an always-with-you internet in your back pocket. That would change rapidly after the first year.  

Jobs Talks To ABC On iLaunch Eve

There is a major breakthrough headed for American consumers–it’s the iPhone, an iPod, a cell phone, and a portable internet all in a little lightweight package, said host Cynthia McFadden to open the segment. Jobs told ABC: “We don’t really worry about that. We just try to build products that are wonderful and that people might want.”

Launch Day

The iPhone didn’t exactly fly off the shelves in the first year, but there was still a lot of excitement among tech nerds and Apple faithful on launch day.

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The Mossberg Review

“In my 16 years of reviewing tech products I can’t remember any product having this kind of hype and expectations around it,” said the Wall Street Journal‘s Walt Mossberg to open his review of the iPhone. He was one of four journalists who got one in advance, and he mostly loved it.

1,001 Unboxings

People who waited in line at the local Apple Store hurried home with their booty afterward and hurriedly hooked up their web cams. Carefully and reverently, they revealed the new iThing to the world on YouTube. Touching, in a way.

Do you remember where you were on June 29, 2007?