Phone is single biggest medium to get connected and communicate with anyone across the world. Mobile has made life even simpler with calling/ receiving message on the go. Motorola was the first company to demonstrate handheld device called mobile phone. The device evolved over a period of time and newer and fascinating features got added. Yet, primarily mobile phones remained dorky and were used strictly for communication – voice or text.
In 2007, history-defining event happened and the industry never remained the same. Steve Jobs introduced the first ever iPhone to the world. Having played the launch video over and over again on YouTube, I can tell you the crowd and the world were amazed to see what Steve was presenting on large screen. The immediate question that most of them had, “is that for real? Is this a concept or a reality!” The reasons were obvious because nobody ever thought what a multi touch screen phone without a keypad would look like. No company ever before gave so much importance to the design and customer experience. The streets were cautious over the success and competitors had written off the device at the launch itself.
When Steve Ballmer then CEO of Microsoft, considered as biggest competitor, was asked to give his first reaction on the iPhone after its launch he said:
"Five hundred dollars fully subsidized with a plan! I said that is the most expensive phone in the world and it doesn't appeal to business customers because it doesn't have a keyboard, which makes it not a very good email machine…”
Clearly companies were not looking at innovation. Most of the companies were in disbelief of the features that iPhone was to offer. They thought it would be very high on battery and may not last long in market.
Over the years, the device has become a style statement. It is a lifestyle product now with owners oozing an edge over others when in public. It has redefined the way people use phones. Be it Apps or messaging, communication has taken a giant leap forward.
Today, at every launch, millions of people wait outside Apple Stores to grab the latest offerings. The device comes for a price (read heavy price) but then you cant put a price on the experience you derive from such high end products.
Even I waited for six years to buy first ever iPhone. The feeling was euphoric. I was on cloud nine and I praised Steve Jobs for conceiving such a brilliant idea. Even he would have become happy up there, looking at me since his long term admirer was finally buying his product, two, and not just one. The company stock prices closed up 3% that day on the NASDAQ.
I carefully opened the box as if I was handling a newborn baby. Delicate and beautiful with ‘Designed in California’ all over it. I saw it over and over again. I started remembering notes from Steve Jobs’ Biography, book I read in its first week of launch. How much effort and deliberations were done to bring this masterpiece out to the World. Every body part is skillfully crafted giving highest pleasure to the user.
For iPhone and for the innovation, take a bow, Sir, Steve Jobs.
PS: I bought two iPhones for my relatives as I was visiting my native place on vacation. The wait to own one still continues with my wife promising to gift it on my next Birthday!