Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple in 2005, came across an idea of having a touch screen computer to interact with in such a way that one can directly type onto the display; by-passing the use of keyboard and/or mouse. He assigned the task to a group of engineers to investigate the idea and develop a prototype. On reviewing the prototype, it clicked his mind that it would be much better to implement this technology onto a cellular phone. This effort was given the name Project Purple 2.
On 9th January, 2007 at the Macworld Conference & Expo in San Fransisco, California, Jobs introduced the original iPhone for the first time. According to him, it took a hard work of two and a half years to reinvent the phone. At that time the most popular features of the high-end mobile phones were standard keyboard keys or touch with stylus (a pointed small stick like utensil used for writing). Steve Jobs replaced those with multi-touch interface. The iPhone was going to be a combination of three electronic devices, iPod with touch system, mobile phone and internet communicator.
In the early days, iPhone was not able to connect to the internet, independent of WiFi, which made it lie in the category of computer with an additional call making feature. However, the mobile web was integrated so effectively into the handset that people for the first time could go online as easily as they could send a text message. The first iPhone’s features were quite limited- 3.5 inch screen, 320×480 resolution, 128 MB RAM, 400 MHz processor, 2 megapixel camera, up to 16 GB storage capacity. But despite the limitations, the iPhone’s sales were exemplary.
On 29th June 2007, iPhone was released in US and people despite some missing features and high price tags ($499 for 4 GB model and $599 for 8 GB), were very excited to get the revolutionary mobile phone and hundreds of people lined up at Apple stores nationwide. UK had to wait another five months to get the iPhone and in November 2007, it reached UK. It was a simple to use full featured mobile phone and portable media player.
In June 2008, when apple discontinued the original iPhone (and released its next version iPhone3G), over 6 million units had been sold out in just four countries of the world but the impact of iPhone was felt far beyond those countries.