iPhone: A news timeline

A brief news history of Apple's iPhone

You say you want a revolution? Coups like Apple's iPhone usually come with a few twists and turns. Relive the first-generation iPhone's brief life in news.

Jan. 9, 2007: The iPhone is announced

"This is a day I've been looking forward to for two and a half years," Apple CEO Steve Jobs told the audience at Macworld '07. "Every once in a while a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything." And he was right about changing the game, but not without some almost immediate heat from an unexpected quarter.

Jan. 10, 2007: Cisco sues over "iPhone" name

Not sitting around waiting for an invitation, Cisco announced that it had filed suit against Apple in a bid to stop it from "infringing upon and deliberately copying and using Cisco's registered iPhone trademark."

June 11, 2007: Apple opens door to Web apps

At the WWDC, Jobs told developers that they would be able to create Web 2.0 applications that run on the iPhone.

June 21, 2007: Gartner: Give iPhone a miss

Gartner analyst Ken Dulaney spelled it out: Don't plan on iPhones in the enterprise. "This is basically a cellular iPod with some other capabilities, and it's important that it be recognized as such," he said.

June 29, 2007: The iPhone arrives

Buyers lined up hours early outside Apple stores and AT&T shops across the U.S. as the on-sale time neared. Right on schedule, doors swung open at 6 p.m. local time, and the first buyers rushed in for the phone. Supplies were limited and many places sold out.

June 30, 2007: The day after

As buyers weighed in on the new device, reviews were almost universally positive.

July 1, 2007: The great battery brouhaha

The fuss over the iPhone's non-user-replaceable battery started with bloggers and critics. But the first consumer action came by way of a watchdog group that called on Apple to spell out the iPhone's battery-replacement policy to prospective buyers. Later that month, the first iPhone battery lawsuit was filed, related to the battery's longevity and to the complainant's unawareness that the battery wasn't replaceable. The second suit, which centered on fees for battery replacement, was filed in August.

July 2, 2007: Activation-delay headaches

Iain Gillott had to wait 47 hours for his iPhone to be activated after having waited in the Texas heat Friday afternoon to buy one. He was not alone among among customers who were unhappy with AT&T.

July 5, 2007: The iPhone is unlocked

The first in a long line of crackers, Jon Lech Johansen, better known as "DVD Jon" for his part in creating and releasing code that broke DVD copy protection, posted a Windows work-around that let people activate their iPhones without committing to an AT&T wireless plan. One catch: iPhone owners could use the device as a wide-screen iPod and Internet communicator, but not as a phone. Months later, a free one-click unlock method and other paid software followed.

Aug. 16, 2007: The 300-page phone bill debacle

Talk about a paper trail. Justine Ezarik, a graphic designer from Pittsburgh whose one-minute video on her blog was uploaded to YouTube, wrote: "I finally got my first bill from AT&T in a cardboard box containing 300 pages." She was not alone in being vocal, and a week later AT&T stopped the tree-killing practice.

Sept. 5, 2007: iPhone price drops

In a move that stunned many of the people who had waited in long lines to buy the first iPhones, Jobs slashed the price of the 8GB version by 33%. The iPhone now sells for $399. Analysts disagreed on whether the $200 price cut meant that Apple was having trouble selling the device. But most current owners of the smart phone didn't have a problem coming to their own conclusions.

Sept. 27, 2007: Apple update "bricks" unlocked phones

Following Steve Jobs' vows to stop iPhone unlocking and a warning that it was coming, Apple released a firmware update, 1.1.1, that disabled unlocked iPhones and wiped clean any evidence of unauthorized third-party applications, users and developers reported.

Oct. 9, 2007: Third-party apps stage a comeback

Burning the midnight oil (or perhaps reams of iPhone bills), the iPhone hacking community worked through the night to restore non-Apple iPhone applications to their pre-1.1.1 firmware glory, and managed to do just that.

Nov. 5, 2007: Google unveils Android platform

Google and several other technology companies unveiled a new mobile platform called Android. As planned, the deal yielded early examples of actual phones. But whether they will be an iPhone-killer is not yet clear. More recently, Android has been strutting its stuff with developers.

March 6, 2008: Tack toward the enterprise

Shifting focus from consumers to the enterprise, Apple announced that it had licensed protocols from rival Microsoft to add Exchange support to its iPhone — and unveiled a software developer's kit that handed over the tools third-party developers needed to write native, rather than Web-based, applications for the smart phone.

March 19, 2008: Flash comes to iPhone

Ending months of speculation, Adobe confirmed that it would develop a version of Flash Player for the iPhone. This move came after Apple CEO Steve Jobs said that Flash Player for mobile devices wasn't good enough for the iPhone. Analysts also stole rich media player Flash's thunder by saying that there was no urgent need for it on the Web-centric iPhone.

April 30, 2008: 3G iPhone $199 with AT&T contract

Fortune magazine reported that AT&T will subsidize the price of new iPhones capable of accessing the faster 3G data network. AT&T's $200 rebate or subsidy would be limited to customers who signed a two-year contract; it would not be available through Apple, which also sells the iPhone. Still, Apple is a happy camper.

May 27, 2008: The iPhone comes to Norway

Its latest deal, with TeliaSonera, Apple added Nordic and Baltic countries to a growing list click of international distributors.

June 6, 2008: Out with the old

"Out of stock" messages online gave credence to the imminent arrival of a new, 3G iPhone model.

June 9, 2008: iPhone 3G and iPhone 2.0 update unveiled at WWDC '08

Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled a second-generation iPhone that offers access to faster 3G networks, more features and a lower price, starting at $199. The new phone, called the iPhone 3G, is similar in design to the first iPhone, but features built-in GPS, a black backside and a revamped headphone jack. Get all the news, analysis and perspective from WWDC '08.

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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