If you ask me on most days what I was doing nine years ago I will give you a blank stare as an answer. But I know precisely what I was doing nine years ago today. That's the day -- January 9, 2007 -- that I sat in absolute awe in a huge conference hall in San Francisco and watched Steve Jobs introduce the first iPhone.
I had awoken at about 3 AM to get into the line for the Macworld keynote, and by that point I was well back in line. However, by the time they finally opened the doors and started letting us in, it was nice to find out that I was in the main room, albeit near the back of the crowd. Fortunately, Apple had provided a number of projection screens for those of us further back in the expansive room, but my eyes were focused on the real Steve Jobs on the stage.
That announcement was seriously one of the most exciting product reveals I've ever seen and it truly did change the world. Here's video of the announcement from YouTube:
When the exhibition hall opened that day, most of the crowd spent at least a few minutes gazing at the iPhone prototype that slowly revolved on a pedestal, protected by a glass cylinder. It would take until June 29, 2007 for me and other Apple fans to get our hands on an iPhone. Fortunately, I recorded that day for posterity and part of that video actually appeared in the documentary "Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine." That day was probably the second most exciting of 2007 for me, although I wasn't actually able to get the iPhone activated until the next day.
Nowadays, it's almost difficult to think of the state of mobile phones before the iPhone. At the time I was using a Palm Treo 680 smartphone, which -- to be honest -- wasn't bad. But in comparison to what we have today, that thing was a heavy, fat, and underpowered beast. There was no huge accessory ecosystem for any particular phone like we see today; instead, there were scattered manufacturers that made a few cases and car adapters. And an App Store? Well, there wasn't one for the first iPhone either, but finding apps for the most popular phones was a hit or miss proposition.
I sincerely hope that some day soon we'll have another reveal from Apple of a product that ends up being as much of a life and world-changer as the iPhone.