History of the iPhone
The history of the iPhone line of phones begins with Steve Jobs' direction that Apple Inc. engineers investigate touchscreens and a tablet computer, which later came to fruition with the iPad. Also, many have noted the device's similarities to Apple's previous touch-screen portable device, the Newton MessagePad. Like the Newton, the iPhone is nearly all screen. Its form factor is credited to Apple's head of design, Jonathan Ive.
- 1 Origins
- 2 Exclusivity tying of the iPhone to AT&T
- 3 Advertising
- 4 Domain name
- 5 United States release
- 6 European release
- 7 Southeast Asian release
- 8 Australian release
- 9 New Zealand release
- 10 Canadian release
- 11 Non-exclusive deals
- 12 World timeline
- 13 Activation and SIM lock bypassing
- 14 See also
- 15 References
In April 2003 at the "All Things Digital" executive conference, Jobs expressed his belief that tablet PCs and traditional PDAs were not good choices as high-demand markets for Apple to enter, despite many requests made to him that Apple create another PDA. He did believe that cell phones were going to become important devices for portable information access, and that what cell phones needed to have was excellent synchronization software. At the time, instead of focusing on a follow-up to their Newton PDA, Jobs had Apple put its energies into the iPod, and the iTunes software (which can be used to synchronize content with iPod devices), released January 2001. On September 7, 2005, Apple and Motorola released the ROKR E1, the first mobile phone to use iTunes. Jobs was unhappy with the ROKR, feeling that having to compromise with a non-Apple designer (Motorola) prevented Apple from designing the phone they wanted to make. In September 2006, Apple discontinued support for the ROKR and released a version of iTunes that included references to an as-yet unknown mobile phone that could display pictures and video.
On January 9, 2007 Steve Jobs announced the iPhone at the Macworld convention, receiving substantial media attention, and that it would be released later that year. On June 29, 2007 the first iPhone was released.
On June 11, 2007 announced at the Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference that the iPhone would support third-party applications using the Safari engine on the device. Third-parties would create the Web 2.0 applications and users would access them via the internet. Such applications appeared even before the release of the iPhone; the first being "OneTrip", a program meant to keep track of the user's shopping list. On June 29, 2007, Apple released version 7.3 of iTunes to coincide with the release of the iPhone. This release contains support for iPhone service activation and syncing.
Exclusivity tying of the iPhone to AT&T
When Apple initially released the iPhone on June 29, 2007, it was sold exclusively with AT&T (formerly Cingular) contracts in the United States. The tying arrangement between Apple's smartphone and a specific service provider caused some controversy, bringing the concepts of jailbreaking and bricking into the mainstream debate over the future of smartphone technology.
After a year and a half of negotiations, Steve Jobs reached an agreement with the wireless division of the telecomm giant AT&T (Cingular at the time) to be the iPhone's carrier. In return for five years of exclusivity, roughly 10 percent of iPhone sales in AT&T stores, and a thin slice of Apple's iTunes revenue, AT&T granted Apple roughly $10 a month from every iPhone customer's AT&T bill. In return, consumers were unable to use any other carrier without heavily modifying their device.
Apple retained complete control over the design, manufacturing, and marketing of the iPhone.
Since some customers were trying to jailbreak their iPhone to avoid the AT&T network, AT&T decided to charge consumers if they were to leave the network. This caused complaints among many consumers, as they were forced to pay an additional early termination fee of $175 to end the contract, and the device would remained locked. Other companies such as Google complained that tying encourages a more closed access based wireless service.
After the iPhone was released, questions arose about the legality of Apple's arrangement, and in October 2007 two class-action lawsuits were filed against Apple, one in federal court and the other in state court. The suits claim that Apple's exclusive agreement with AT&T violates California antitrust law. The suit was filed by the Law Office of Damian R. Fernandez on behalf of California resident Timothy P. Smith, and ultimately sought to have an injunction issued against Apple to prevent it from selling iPhones with any kind of software lock, in addition to $200 million in monetary damages. The plaintiffs of the Smith v. Apple Inc. case claim that Apple failed to disclose their five year agreement with AT&T to purchasers when they bought their iPhones with a two year contract, citing the Sherman Act's prohibition on monopolization. The court has not yet rendered a decision in the case.[dated info]
A second case was filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California in 2007. The plaintiff, Paul Holman, filed a complaint against Apple, Inc. and AT&T Mobility, LLC. Holman alleges that he is unable to switch carriers or change SIM cards without losing improvements to his iPhones which he is entitled to. The plaintiff similarly references the Sherman Act as being violated by the defendants. On July 8, 2010 the case was affirmed for class certification. On December 9, 2010 the court ordered a stay on the case, awaiting the Supreme Court's decision in AT&T v. Concepcion. This secondary case disputed whether a clause in AT&T's contract that limited complaints to arbitration, met the stat's basic standards of fairness. On April 27, 2011 the Supreme Court ruled that AT&T did indeed meet the stat's standards of fairness.
The first advertisement for iPhone, titled "Hello," aired during the 79th Academy Awards on February 25, 2007 on American Coming in June. On June 4, 2007, Apple released four advertisements announcing a June 29, 2007 release date.
On July 1, 2007, it was reported that Apple paid at least US$1 million to Michael Kovatch for the transfer of the iPhone.com domain name. Kovatch registered the domain in 1995. That URL now redirects to Apple's iPhone page.
United States release
On June 28, 2007, during an address to Apple employees, Steve Jobs announced that all full-time Apple employees and those part-time employees that have been with the company at least one year would receive a free iPhone. Employees received their phones in July after the initial demand subsided.
Initially priced at US $599 and US $499 for the 8GB and 4GB models, the iPhone went on sale on June 29, 2007. Apple closed its stores at 2:00pm local time to prepare for the 6:00pm iPhone launch, while hundreds of customers lined up at stores nationwide.
In the US and some other countries, the Apple product could only be acquired with a credit card precluding a completely anonymous purchase. There is no way to opt out of the data plan. The iPhone at first could not be added to an AT&T Business account, and any existing business account discounts cannot be applied to an iPhone AT&T account, which AT&T changed in late January 2008.
The Associated Press also reported in 2007 that some users were unable to activate their phones because, according to AT&T, "high volume of activation requests were taxing the company's computer servers." On Oct 29, 2007 the Usenet newsgroup misc.phone.mobile.iphone was created.
Early estimates by technology analysts estimated sales of between 250,000 to 700,000 units in the first weekend alone, with strong sales continuing after the initial weekend. As part of their quarterly earnings announcement, AT&T reported that 146,000 iPhones were activated in the first weekend. Though this figure does not include units that were purchased for resale on eBay or otherwise not activated until after the opening weekend, it is still less than most initial estimates. It is also estimated that 95% of the units sold are the 8GB model.
On January 11, 2011, Verizon announced during a media event that it had reached an agreement with Apple and would begin selling a CDMA iPhone 4. The Verizon iPhone went on sale on February 10, 2011.
During Apple's official unveiling of the iPhone 4S on October 4, 2011 it was announced that Sprint would begin carrying the reconfigured CDMA iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4S in the US on October 14. Cricket Wireless announced on May 31, 2012, that it would become the first prepaid carrier in the US to offer the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S, beginning June 22, 2012. A week later, Virgin Mobile USA became the second American prepaid carrier to offer the iPhone 4 and 4S, announcing plans to release the phones on June 29, 2012. </ref> Due to T-Mobile USA's inability to provide the iPhone to customers raised its subscription churn rate, put the unit in an "unsustainable position", and contributed to parent Deutsche Telekom's decision to sell it to AT&T in March 2011; T-Mobile began offering the iPhone on April 12, 2013.<name="obrien20110321">O'Brien, Kevin (March 21, 2011). "How the iPhone Led to the Sale of T-Mobile USA". The New York Times. Retrieved March 21, 2011.</ref>
Media reports emerged in early August 2013 that announced that Apple would be launching its next iPhone model on September 10, 2013, but further details were not available. Brian Barrett, Managing Editor of the Gizmodo publication, speculated that either an upgraded version of the iPhone 5 or a budget version will be released.
Stories of unexpected billing issues began to circulate in blogs and the technical press a little more than a month after the iPhone's heavily advertised and anticipated release. The 300-page iPhone bill in a box received by iJustine on Saturday, August 11, 2007 became the subject of her viral video, posted by the following Monday, which quickly became an Internet meme. This video clip brought the voluminous bills to the attention of the mass media. Ten days later, after the video had been viewed more than 3 million times on the Internet, and had received international news coverage, AT&T sent iPhone users a text message outlining changes in its billing practices.
Price drop outcry
On September 5, 2007, the 4GB model was discontinued, and the 8GB model price was cut by a third. Those who had purchased an iPhone in the 14-day period before the September 5, 2007 announcement were eligible for a US $200 "price protection" rebate from Apple or AT&T. However, it was widely reported that some who bought between the June 29, 2007 launch and the August 22, 2007 price protection kick-in date complained that this was a larger-than-normal price drop for such a relatively short period and accused Apple of unfair pricing.
In response to customer complaints, on September 6, 2007, Apple CEO Steve Jobs wrote in an open letter to iPhone customers that everyone who purchased an iPhone at the higher price "and who is not receiving a rebate or other consideration", would receive a US$100 credit to be redeemed towards the purchase of any product sold in Apple's retail or online stores.
iPhone 3G pricing model changes
With the July 11, 2008 release of the iPhone 3G, Apple and AT&T changed the US pricing model from the previous generation. Following the de facto model for mobile phone service in the United States, AT&T would subsidize a sizable portion of the upfront cost for the iPhone 3G followed by charging moderately higher monthly fees over a minimum two-year contract.
|This section's factual accuracy may be compromised due to out-of-date information. (March 2012)|
On November 9, 2007, the iPhone was officially launched in Europe, in the United Kingdom and Germany. In the UK, sales go through the UK O2 unit of Telefónica, while in Germany, it is offered through Deutsche Telekom's T-Mobile division. As in the case of the previous launch in the US, customers lined up as much as a day in advance to obtain the much anticipated phone.
However, the initial operating model of locking iPhone owners to one selected carrier has been controversial in Europe. In Germany, a competing operator, Vodafone, brought a legal case claiming that the arrangement was against German law. On November 20, 2007, an interim court order resulted in locked iPhone sales in Germany being temporarily stopped. The iPhone launch in France a few weeks later through the operator Orange faced the same legal issues. Other countries that will pose the same problems for the locked iPhone business model include Belgium, Italy, Finland, and Brazil.
On December 1, 2007, Tušmobil, the Slovenian mobile operator, started selling "unlocked" iPhones without an official contract with Apple. The offer caused confusion between Apple Europe, local media, and local Apple representatives.
On May 6, 2008, Telecom Italia announced that it had signed a deal with Apple to sell the iPhone in Italy by the end of 2008. It will probably be the second generation iPhone with 3G-UMTS capability.
Southeast Asian release
In March 20, 2009, Telkomsel is the first telecommunications company in Indonesia to offer the iPhone 3G with customizeable plans for all Telkomsel's customers. On the same month, Maxis of Malaysia launched the same iPhone model and was later followed by DiGi.
In October 2011, StarHub also launched the iPhone in Singapore. Smart Communications followed suit in December 2011 by launching the iPhone 4S in the Philippines making them the last telecommunications company to carry Apple's iPhone in Southeast Asia.
The iPhone 4 is available unlocked from the Apple Store for $679.00 (8GB only) as well as on contract from Optus, Telstra, Vodafone, Three and Virgin Mobile (all the major carriers). It is considered against the Australian Trade Practices Act to grant exclusive rights to a single carrier as was the case in the USA with AT&T having exclusive rights to sell the iPhone in North America for some time.
New Zealand release
The very first iPhone 3G model released on July 11, 2008 was sold in Auckland, New Zealand to 22-year old student Jonny Gladwell at 12:01 am NZST. iPhone 3G was only available to customers on the Vodafone network. There was criticism from some New Zealand customers when Vodafone announced pricing for iPhone 3G as they were the only network to offer this generation iPhone.
The first generation of iPhone (2G) was only available for sale in New Zealand through parallel import stores soon after the it went on sale in the US. The original 2G models available for sale in New Zealand have been unlocked for use on the Vodafone network and could be used with any plan including pre-paid plans.
Subsequent launches of iPhone models in New Zealand have typically been a few weeks after the worldwide release. iPhone 5's 4G LTE capabilities can only be used on Vodafone's 4G LTE network, as no other carriers have this capability yet.
On November 8, 2011, Telecom announced they would offer iPhone 4S on their network along with earlier models, iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 .
After months of high anticipation, the first iPhone to be released in Canada was the iPhone 3G. Rogers Wireless began offering 8 GB and 16 GB models on July 11, 2008. Facing a public backlash, Rogers dropped the price of its service plan from CA$100 to CA$30 per month.
The iPhone 3GS with the new iPhone 3.0 operating system was released in Canada by Rogers Wireless on June 19, 2009. Users who sign up for a 3-year agreement with a data option could choose between a 16 GB device for CA$199 and a 32 GB device for CA$299.
On May 6, 2008, Vodafone announced that they signed a deal with Apple to sell the iPhone in Australia, Czech Republic, Egypt, Greece, Italy, India, Portugal, New Zealand, South Africa, and Turkey.
Subsequent announcements confirmed that Apple is moving away from exclusive one-carrier deals. Soon after Vodafone's announcement, TIM announced it would also be selling the iPhone in Italy, on May 12, 2008 Optus confirmed it would sell it in Australia and SingTel confirmed that it would be selling the iPhone in India through its Indian Joint Venture, Airtel.
Russia's second largest mobile operator Beeline announced on August 28, 2008 that they signed a contract with Apple to enter Russian market by the late 2008. This deal is rumoured to be non-exclusive according to the unofficial statements made by some officials in two remaining mobile operators that belong to so-called Russia's Big Three – MTS and MegaFon - to enter iPhone 3G on Russian market simultaneously with Beeline. As it was predicted, MegaFon issued the press release about the same deal on September 2, 2008. MTS, the largest mobile network of Russia and CIS still hasn't released any statement.
On November 14, 2008, Vodafone Egypt and Mobinil started selling the iPhone 3G in Egypt. This comes after Vodafone's deal with Apple Inc. earlier in May. The iPhone 3G is priced at EG£3,800 and EG£4,600 for the 8 GB and 16 GB models respectively. Customers must also sign up for one of 3 service plans to accompany the phone.
On September 28, 2009, Orange announced that they were to become the second operator of the iPhone in the UK, ending an exclusive deal O2 had done since 2007. Orange later announced that the iPhone will be released on November 10, with pricing plans starting from £29.36 on contract and £440 for the 3GS 16GB on pay as you go. On the following day, Vodafone UK also announced that they will be selling the iPhone by early 2010, becoming the third UK network and Vodafone's 11th country to offer the iPhone.
There had been ongoing speculation in the United States that Apple might offer a CDMA-compatible iPhone for Verizon Wireless. This speculation increased on October 6, 2010, when The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple would begin producing a CDMA-compatible iPhone, with such a model going on sale in early 2011.
On January 8, 2011, the Wall Street Journal confirmed that Verizon Wireless would officially announce on January 11, 2011 the launch of a CDMA-based iPhone for use on their network. The date in which the Verizon iPhone will go on sale was unknown, though the two most recent iPhone releases were made available within weeks of their launch announcement. Verizon confirmed the announcement on January 11, with an on-sale date of February 10.
On January 11, 2011, Verizon announced that they would be carrying a CDMA version of Apple's iPhone 4 starting in February 2011. Existing Verizon Wireless customers will be able to pre-order the iPhone on February 3 and everyone else will be able to order it on February 10. Pricing for the iPhone 4 is $199 for 16GB and $299 for 32GB. Verizon iPhone 5 released on Friday, September 19, in the United States and it is first GSM Unlocked iPhone which also works on AT&T mobile carrier without doing any complicated unlock process.
The international release of the iPhone has been staggered over several months. Today, the iPhone is available in most countries.
|Date||Country||Carrier (released date)|
|United States (1)||AT&T (June 29, 2007), Verizon (February 2011), Sprint (October 2011), C Spire Wireless (Late 2011), Cricket (June 2012), Virgin Mobile (June 2012), T-Mobile (April 2013), Boost Mobile (November 2013), U.S. Cellular (November 2013)|
|United Kingdom† Germany France‡ (4)||Virgin Mobile (November 2013),|
|Austria† Ireland (6)|
|Australia† Austria† Belgium‡ Canada† Denmark Finland Hong Kong†‡ Italy†‡ Japan Mexico Netherlands New Zealand Norway†‡ Portugal† Spain Sweden Switzerland† (23)|
|Argentina† Chile† Colombia† Czech Republic†‡ Ecuador† El Salvador† Estonia Greece†‡ Guatemala† Honduras Hungary India† Liechtenstein† Macau Paraguay Peru† Philippines Poland† Romania Singapore Slovakia† Uruguay† (45)|
|Brazil†‡ Latvia Lithuania South Africa Turkey† (50)|
|Luxembourg† Russia† (52)|
|Croatia Egypt† (54)|
|Botswana Cameroon Central African Republic Dominican Republic† Guinea Ivory Coast Jamaica Jordan Kenya Madagascar Mali Malta Mauritius Republic of Moldova Nicaragua† Niger Panama Réunion Taiwan† Qatar Senegal United States Virgin Islands Venezuela (79)|
|Saudi Arabia United Arab Emirates (82)|
|Bulgaria Republic of Macedonia Indonesia† Malaysia (86)|
|People's Republic of China† (87)|
|South Korea (88)|
|Guam Qatar Uganda Israel(92)|
|Viet Nam Armenia (94)|
|Slovenia Trinidad & Tobago|
Activation and SIM lock bypassing
The iPhone normally prevents access to its media player and web features unless it has also been activated as a phone through AT&T or O2. On July 3, 2007, Jon Lech Johansen reported on his blog that he had successfully bypassed this requirement and unlocked the iPhone's other features with jailbreaking. He published the software and offsets for others to use.
On August 14, 2007, Gizmodo reported verification of a method to bypass the iPhone's SIM lock, allowing the phone to work freely with carriers other than AT&T. This method requires a Turbo SIM card costing approximately US$80 and essentially tricks the iPhone into believing that it is operating on the AT&T network even when it is connected natively (not in roaming mode) to another carrier. Australian Personal Computer later published a ten-step guide to unlocking the iPhone using the Turbo SIM method.
On August 24, 2007, George Hotz, a 17-year-old hacker from Glen Rock, New Jersey, broke the lock that ties Apple's iPhone to AT&T's wireless network. He confirmed that he unlocked the phone and was using it on T-Mobile's network. The hack opened up a realm of possibilities for overseas customers because the iPhone was only sold in the US at the time. By unlocking it, Hotz opened up the phone to all kinds of phone networks across the world. Hotz posted the hack on his blog. The process is complicated and requires both disassembling the iPhone and executing software commands on a personal computer. Hotz, along with four others across the world, reportedly spent about 500 hours to unlock the phone.
Also, on August 24, 2007, Engadget reported, by way of photos and a video clip, that they were called by the "iPhoneSimFree" team to view a demonstration of unlocking the iPhone using a software-only solution. Unlike Hotz's hardware hack, the code in this hack was not made available to the general public. Sales of the unlock started on September 10, by way of several resellers who were able to order "keys" from iPhoneSimFree which are then passed onto the customer to use the software.
After only one full day of sales, early on September 11 the iPhone Dev Team announced that they had also created a working "software unlock", and released it to the public for free. Utilizing the existing unlock requires some technical knowledge, although a GUI-based version was under construction. Two free, GUI-based unlocking programs that have been made available are AnySim and iUnlock Reloaded.
On September 24, 2007 Apple issued a warning that future updates could render unlocked iPhones unusable. On September 27, 2007, owners of unlocked iPhones who took advantage of the version 1.1.1 update through iTunes reported that the update rendered the device virtually inoperable. There were also reports that the update even affected some iPhones that were not unlocked, and Engadget found that the firmware update had "bricked" unhacked iPhones as well. The firmware update relocks iPhones, but on October 11 the iPhoneSIMFree announced that they had hacked the 1.1.1 iPhone update, not only unlocking them but also unbricking those iPhones which were bricked by the update.
On October 16, 2007, the iPhoneDevTeam released AnySIM 1.1, the free utility that unlocks iPhones. The updated version works on firmware version 1.1.1, but doesn't fix baseband problems caused by updating an unlocked 1.0.2 phone up to 1.1.1.
On October 23, 2007, the iPhone Elite Dev-Team released Revirginizing Tool to rebuild the lock table in the seczone area to repair the damage done by the original anySIM 1.0x unlockers so unlocked 1.0.2 iPhones can upgrade to 1.1.1 without bricking the iPhone. The tool is unbricking the previously bricked iPhones.
On November 21, 2007, T-Mobile announced that due to litigation commenced against them by their competitor Vodafone, which resulted in a preliminary injunction preventing T-Mobile from locking the SIM card to T-Mobile in Germany, it will sell the phone "unlocked" and will offer the iPhone without a T-Mobile contract for €999 (US$1,478) at its shops to customers in Germany until the court renders a decision.
During the end of November, Apple released another version of iPhone firmware, 1.1.2. This version does not have many new features, but breaks unlocks.
During Macworld '08, on January 15, Apple released a fifth version of iPhone firmware, 1.1.3; this version repairs loopholes used by "iPhone Hackers." The firmware however had been compromised prior to release and new security measures were quickly bypassed.
On February 8, 2008 Geohot released the first full software unlock for the 1.1.2 & 1.1.3 OTB iPhones.
For recent information see IPhone SIM unlocking.
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- Get Started - | Wireless from AT&T, formerly Cingular
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- Apple Store Australia - iPhone)
- Apple Store - iPhone Australian Carriers
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- around the world
- Fido Gets iPhone as Well
- AppleInsider: With China Unicom deal official, Apple turns to China Mobile
- PCWorld: KT to Sell IPhone in South Korea
- Apple's iPhone Goes to GTA TeleGuam
- Vietnam Net: Three telecom giants start iPhone race
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- Free iPhone unlock supposedly pending
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