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First iPhone Announced

Apple CEO Steve Jobs announces the first iPhone at the Macworld Expo in 2007.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs announces the first iPhone at the Macworld Expo in 2007.

On January 9, 2007, Apple revolutionized the phone with the introduction of the iPhone. Apple’s first forays into the world of mobile handset technology changed the entire industry.

At the annual Macworld Expo in San Francisco, Apple CEO Steve Jobs prepared to announce to a packed crowd something Apple had been working on for the past two years. He started out his keynote speech with, “Every once in a while a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything… today, we’re introducing THREE revolutionary new products.” Jobs went on to explain that Apple had developed an iPod with a wide screen, a phone, and a “breakthrough internet communications device.” Surprising the crowd, Jobs then announced that these three revolutionary products were actually combined into one unit – the iPhone.

The new iPhone featured “Multi Touch,” a new input technology which allowed users to control the phone by touching the 3.5-inch display screen with their fingertip. This seamlessly crafted device also only featured a single button below the screen to take users back to their homescreens, and a wake/sleep button on top to lock the screen and prevent unwanted actions on the phone. Jobs also wowed the crowd when he announced that the device would run Mac’s OS X, which would allow the phone to sync data with any Mac, PC, or internet device, allowing users to have all of their iTunes music and videos, contacts, calendars, photos, notes, bookmarks and e-mail accounts in the palm of their hand. The revolutionary phone also included a 2-megapixel camera and three different smart sensors. The first of these sensors was a proximity sensor, which would turn off the display and prevent touchscreen capability when the phone is held next to the ear. The second was an ambient light sensor, allowing the screen to adjust brightness and save power based on surrounding ambient light. The last sensor, an accelerometer, knows when you turn your phone and adjusts what you’re looking at to portrait or landscape mode.

On top of all this, the original iPhone was then announced to have EDGE and WiFi capabilities (3G coming in the future), allowing it to automatically connect to the Internet. The Safari web browser included on the iPhone allowed users to view standard Web pages and HTML-capable e-mail. Jobs also informed the audience that Yahoo would be offering free push e-mail to all iPhone customers. Other features announced were a Google Maps feature which could be used to look up locations and directions and satellite map imagery. Along with this were other dashboard widgets like the weather widget and a stock widget. Now standard on smartphones, the original iPhone also introduced photo management software that allowed users to zoom in and out using a “pinching” motion.

Though these other features were mind-blowing to the Macworld crowd, Jobs boasted that the most impressive thing about the new iPhone was how it redefined the way phone calls would be made. A conference call function made it easy to have a phone conversation with more than just one person. A visual voicemail display allowed users to skip to voicemails they wanted to listen to rather than having to wait through others. Text messaging matched that of iChat on Mac computers as far as sounds and looks, with a touch keyboard appearing at the bottom of the screen.

When this “magical” phone, as Jobs put it, came out, two versions were available - a 4GB, $499 model and an 8GB, $599 model. On June 29, 2007, hundreds of U.S. customers lined up outside of each store offering the revolutionary product across the country. Media outlets were dubbing the new product the “Jesus phone.” The iPhone has since revolutionized the way phones are made, with most smartphones borrowing features introduced by Apple and Jobs in 2007. The iPhone is now in its seventh generation, with the 5S and 5C which were introduced in September 2013.

Sources: Macrumors, BBC, Macworld

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First iPod Released

The original iPod, released October 23, 2001.

The original iPod, released October 23, 2001.

The first line of the groundbreaking Apple iPods were released on October 23, 2001, approximately 8.5 months after iTunes was released. The unexpected announcement of the portable music player was a major turning point for the world of digital music and Apple as a company.

When Steve Jobs, Apple’s now deceased CEO, was given the first prototype of the iPod, he told the engineers who had worked on it that it was too large. He was told that with all of the technology that was packed into it, it could not be made any smaller. Upon hearing these words, as the story goes, Jobs dropped the prototype in a fish tank. As air bubbles rose out of the drowning iPod, Jobs told engineers that if there was air, there was space, and insisted that they make it smaller. This perfectionism started a revolution in digital music technology.

The iPod was not completely embraced by the general public at first because of it’s “Mac only” status (iTunes was not yet available for Windows users) and its high price tag of $399. Since it was also not the only MP3 player on the market at the time, many were skeptical of its effect on the industry. A New York Times article from the day of the iPod launch said, “It’s a nice feature for Macintosh users, but to the rest of the Windows world, it doesn’t make any difference.” Aside from the skepticism, the iPod began to garner attention because it was able to hold 1,000 songs and boasted 10 hours of battery life – something no other MP3 player at the time could do. These factors, along with its ability to transfer songs quickly from your computer and it’s small size made the iPod turn into a mass market product, selling 125,000 units by that Christmas.

In the summer of 2002, the iPod phenomenon began to take off when they made a Windows compatible version of the device which held up to 4,000 songs. Apple launched the iTunes music store with over 200,000 songs for just 99¢ in April of 2003 along with their third generation iPod which was their lightest version yet and capable of holding 7,500 songs. By June 2003, Apple sold it’s one millionth iPod. By the end of 2003, that number doubled. Sales began to skyrocket and by the end of 2004, Apple had sold 10 million iPods. By 2010, a staggering 275 million iPods had been sold. The iPod Touch with built-in Wi-Fi capabilities was introduced in 2007, and the most recent version of the Touch introduced in 2012 has 16, 32, or 64 GB worth of storage space, and has an audio battery life of up to 40 hours.

In recent years, the iPad and iPhone have overtaken sales of the iPod, with iPod sales only making up 8 percent of Apple’s revenue. While the future of the iPod is uncertain, its legacy is something that will go down in history.

Sources: Apple.com, PCMAG.com, The Telegraph, Wikipedia

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Steve Jobs Dies

American inventor and entrepreneur Steve Jobs died on October 5, 2011 at the age of 56. He is best known as the co-founder of Apple Inc. and having spearheaded development for much of the company’s innovative technology, such as the iMac, iTunes, iPod, iPhone, and iPad.

Steve Jobs co-founded Pixar Animation Studios and was also a member of the board of directors for The Walt Disney Company. He founded NeXT, a computer platform development company, during his absence from Apple in 1985. Widely seen as a pioneer in the technology and electronic industries, Steve Jobs is recognized as the man behind the personal computer revolution.

In 2003, Steve Jobs was diagnosed with a pancreatic tumor and in 2009 underwent a liver transplant. With his health declining in 2011, Jobs resigned from Apple Inc. to focus on his health and died of respiratory arrest due to his tumor on October 5, 2011.

Sources: Biography, Wikipedia

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Isaac Newton Dies

Noted as one of the greatest scientific minds of the 17th century, Sir Isaac Newton was born on January 4, 1643 in Woolsthorpe, England (although some sources say his actual birthday was on Christmas Day in 1642). He attended Cambridge University in 1661, which was where he truly honed his interest in the fields of mathematics, optics, physics and astronomy.

In 1687, Newton published ‘Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica’ (‘Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy’), which is widely regarded as the most influential book on physics. This is where he highlights his Universal Law of Gravitation, which he allegedly discovered when an apple fell on his head from an apple tree.

Newton’s scientific peers held him in extremely high esteem; he was elected the president of the Royal Society in 1703 and knighted in 1705. According to most reports, Sir Isaac Newton died on March 31, 1727, although some accounts say that he died on March 20 of the same year.

Sources: Biography, BBC

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