June 29, 2007: Apple Releases the iPhone, Transforming Much of the Modern World

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Over the past 10 years, Apple's iPhone evolved from a mobile device capable of running basic apps to a powerful computer with professional-grade cameras.

In 2005, Apple  (APPL) , at the direction of Steve Jobs, launched a secretive effort called Project Purple.

This initiative produced a phone that used a triple layered capacitive multi-touch touch screen. In other words, you could control it with your fingers. This phone would be a combination of three devices: a "widescreen iPod with touch controls"; a "revolutionary mobile phone"; and a "breakthrough Internet communicator."

The original iPhone was introduced by Jobs on January 9, 2007 in a keynote address at the Macworld Conference & Expo held in San Francisco, California. The iPhone is released at the price of $499 for the 4GB model and $599 for the 8GB model, both requiring a 2-year contract. Apple sold 1.9 million iPhones in 2007. By contrast, they sold 216.76 million iPhones in 2017.

Then-Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said in an interview at the time that the iPhone had "no chance" of taking over the smartphone market. 

However, thousands of people were reported to have waited outside Apple and AT&T retail stores days before the device's launch; many stores reported stock shortages within an hour of availability. 

In 2012, five years after the iPhone’s debut, more than 200 million had been sold.

Today's app economy is bigger than Hollywood, and WhatsApp, Snapchat, Uber, Tinder, and more are essential parts of modern culture, collectively used by hundreds of millions of people every day.

Now, everything from the way we work, communicate, shop, travel, manage our finances, and experience entertainment can be done through a smartphone. 

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