Happy Fourth Birthday, iPhone

The iPhone: that one device that started the smartphone revolution, the touchscreen renaissance, and the best iPod ever made.

It all happened four years ago, when Steve Jobs took the stage for Macworld 2007 on January 9th, 2007.

The original price was $499 for a 4 GB iPhone, and $599 for the 8 GB model. In the US, it was originally slated for Cingular, who gobbled up AT&T, but retained and assumed their branding. The iPhone had a staggering number of apps when it launched: 0. The App Store wouldn’t be invented for another year and a half, but it didn’t matter: you could browse full websites, with an experience as smooth as a desktop could provide.

The iPhone was then shipped to consumers six months later, following one of the, in my humble opinion, most cunning and memorable ad campaigns of all time.

Crazy to think that, in four short years, RIM has failed to produce a true iPhone competitor, Google and their Android platform have risen to become the de facto iOS competitor, Microsoft has fallen (Windows Mobile), and then risen again (Windows Phone), and Palm–a former mobile powerhouse–has fallen, been saved by its own product, fallen slowly again, before being purchased by HP. Yet, after all of that, iOS–arguably–continues to be the choice platform for smartphone buyers.

And yes: after four years, it looks like we’ll be getting a Verizon iPhone.

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