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Timeline: Bytes from the Apple

Mon, 06/07/2010 - 12:49pm
Wireless Week Staff

Here are some notable dates in Apple's history as it relates to the iPhone. (This is a updated version of the timeline that originally ran in the official CTIA Show Daily earlier this spring.)

2007

Jan. 9, 2007: Apple introduces the iPhone, described as a combination phone, widescreen iPod with touch controls and an Internet connection for Web browsing, search and e-mail. Apple CEO Steve Jobs calls it a "revolutionary and magical product" that is five years ahead of any other mobile phone.

The first iPhone comes with a 3.5-inch display and a 2-megapixel camera. Of course, it's a quad-band GSM phone featuring EDGE and Wi-Fi for data. Cingular is named as Apple's exclusive carrier partner in the United States. Pricing will be $499 for a 4 GB model and $599 for an 8 GB model when it's released in June.

The iPhone comes with Visual Voicemail, which Apple claims as an industry first, letting users look at a listing of their voicemails, decide which messages to listen to, then go directly to those messages without listening to the prior messages.

Steve JobsJune 18, 2007: Word from One Infinite Loop is the iPhone will deliver "significantly longer battery life" than was originally estimated when the iPhone was unveiled in January. It will feature up to eight hours of talk time, six hours of Internet use, seven hours of video playback or 24 hours of audio playback. Apple also says the entire top surface of the device has been upgraded from plastic to optical-quality glass. The company compares the iPhone's specs with those of the Nokia N95, Samsung Blackjack, BlackBerry Curve 8300 and Palm Treo 750. Apple CEO Steve Jobs says there has never been a phone like iPhone, and refers to it as a "truly magical product."

June 26, 2007: AT&T and Apple announce three service plans for iPhone, which start at $59.99 per month for 450 minutes. All three plans include unlimited data, Visual Voicemail, 200 SMS messages, rollover minutes, unlimited mobile-to-mobile calling and a one-time activation fee of $36.

June 26, 2007: Apple and AT&T say iPhone users will be able to activate their new iPhones using Apple's iTunes software running on a PC or Mac computer from their home or office without waiting in a store for the activation.

June 29, 2007: The big day arrives, with the iPhone going on sale at 6 p.m. local time at Apple retail stores nationwide. All 164 Apple retail stores in the United States stay open until midnight. Lines form hours earlier, some people sleep on sidewalks and buyers don't seem to mind (too much) that they need to mail in their iPhone to get a battery replacement when the time comes. Customers are allowed to buy up to two iPhones on a first-come, first-served basis.

July 11, 2007: Brandishing an iPhone at the podium, U.S. Rep. Edward Markey, (D-Mass.), chairman of the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, opens a hearing to examine the relationship between wireless consumers and wireless service providers. He says the iPhone highlights the promise and problems of the wireless industry and complains that AT&T still charges a $175 early termination fee for the unsubsidized device.

Sept. 5, 2007: Apple says it is on track to sell its 1 millionth iPhone before the end of September, and it's lowering the price of the 8 GB model from $599 to $399. The 4 GB model will be sold while supplies last.

Sept. 5, 2007: Apple introduces a new iPod touch with Wi-Fi, with the price starting at $299 for the 8 GB model. The 16 GB model is $399.

Sept. 10, 2007: It's official. Apple sold its 1 millionth iPhone on Sept. 9, 2007, just 74 days after its introduction on June 29.

Oct. 22, 2007: Apple reports its cumulative fiscal 2007 sales of the iPhone came in at 1,389,000.

2008

Jan. 15, 2008: Apple announces a free software update for the iPhone that allows users to automatically find their location using the redesigned Maps application. Users can text multiple people in one message, create Web clips for favorite Web sites and more.

Feb. 5, 2008: Apple adds new models of the iPhone and iPod touch that have double the memory. The iPhone now comes in a new 16 GB model for $499, joining the 8 GB model for $399. The iPod touch now comes in a 32 GB model for $499.

March 6, 2008: Apple previews its iPhone 2.0 software, scheduled for a June 2008 release. The 2.0 software release contains the App Store, which allows users to search for and buy third-party apps. Developers set the price for their applications, including free, and retain 70 percent of sales revenues.  

March 12, 2008: Apple announces more than 100,000 iPhone developers have downloaded the beta iPhone software development kit (SDK) in the first four days since its launch on March 6.  

March 31, 2008: About 80 percent of iPhone users surveyed by Rubicon Consulting report very high levels of satisfaction with the product. Battery life and wireless speed were the least satisfying aspects identified in the survey, which involved 460 randomly selected iPhone users in the United States.

June 9, 2008: "Twice as fast at half the price" is how Apple describes the new iPhone 3G. It's got built-in GPS for expanded LBS and iPhone 2.0 software that includes support for Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync. And get a load of this: In the United States, the new iPhone 3G is priced at $199 for the 8 GB model and $299 for the 16 GB model. Apple says the iPhone 3G will be available in 70 countries later in the year, beginning with 22 countries in July.

June 9, 2008: Apple introduces MobileMe, a new Internet service that delivers push e-mail, push contacts and push calendars from the MobileMe service in the cloud to native apps on the iPhone, iPod touch, Macs and PCs. MobileMe is a subscription-based service with 20 GB of storage for $99 per year for individuals and $149 for a family pack.

June 9, 2008: Apple says downloads of its iPhone SDK have topped more than 250,000 since its introduction in March.

June 11, 2008: The iPhone 3G goes on sale in the United States, and Apple says more than 500 native apps are available on the App Store.  

July 14, 2008: Apple reports selling its 1 millionth iPhone 3G after about three days of sales. The iPhone 3G is now available in more than 20 countries.

August 2008: Wired magazine surveys iPhone 3G users worldwide and finds that data speed problems have more to do with carriers' networks than with Apple's handsets.

Sept. 9, 2008: iPhone and iPod touch users have downloaded more than 100 million apps from the App Store since it launched on July 11. More than 3,000 applications are available, with more than 90 percent priced at less than $10 and more than 600 offered for free.

Dec. 4, 2008: Gartner reports that the economic climate worldwide is negatively impacting sales of higher end devices. Analysts expect a slower rate of growth. Apple's global third-quarter 2008 smartphone market share is estimated at 12.9 percent. For the first time, iPhone sales exceeded sales of Microsoft Windows Mobile devices worldwide and in North America.

December 2008: Apple says the January 2009 Macworld event will be the last one for the company. The company says trade shows have become a "very minor part" of how Apple reaches its customers.

2009

Jan. 5, 2009: After months of rumors about his health, Jobs sends a letter to the Apple community saying his weight loss throughout 2008 was a mystery to him and his doctors. After extensive testing, it was determined to be a "hormone imbalance" and a nutritional problem. He takes a medical leave.

Jan. 21, 2009: Apple reports results of its first fiscal 2009 quarter that ended Dec. 27, 2008, and says it sold more than 4 million iPhone units in the quarter.

June 8, 2009: Here it is. Apple introduces the iPhone 3GS, with a 3-megapixel autofocus camera and the new iPhone OS 3.0. New features include cut and paste and, by late summer, promised support for MMS. iPhone 3GS customers get access to more than 50,000 applications from Apple's App Store. The 16 GB model sells for $199 and a new 32 GB model sells for $299. As for that "old" iPhone 3G, its price is now $99 for the 8 GB model. The iPhone 3GS also supports 7.2 Mbps HSDPA where available. Apple promises to make the 3GS available in more than 80 countries in coming weeks.

iPhone 3GS

June 20, 2009: The Wall Street Journal reports that Jobs, 54, received a liver transplant in Tennessee about two months prior. The CEO is due to return to work later this month. In 2004, Jobs disclosed that he had been treated for a rare form of pancreatic cancer.

June 22, 2009: The 3GS model seems to be a hit. Apple sells more than 1 million iPhone 3GS models between June 19 and 21.

July 14, 2009: Apple says that customers have downloaded more than 1.5 billion applications in the one year the App Store has been open. The App Store now has more than 65,000 apps and more than 100,000 developers in the iPhone Developer Program.

Aug. 3, 2009: Google CEO Eric Schmidt resigns from Apple's board, a position he held since August 2006. Jobs says that as Google enters more of Apple's core businesses, with Android and Chrome OS, Schmidt's effectiveness as an Apple board member is diminished because he has to recuse himself out of more meetings due to conflict of interest.

Sept. 9, 2009: Apple announces a new iPod touch lineup starting at $199.

Sept. 28, 2009: The company says more than 2 billion apps have been downloaded from its App Store. More than 85,000 apps are available to the more than 50 million iPhone and iPod touch customers around the world. The Apple iPhone Developer Program boasts more than 125,000 developers.

Oct. 6, 2009: AT&T says it has taken steps so that Apple can enable VoIP applications on the iPhone to run on AT&T's wireless network. Previously, VoIP apps on the iPhone were relegated to Wi-Fi.

October 2009: AT&T says drive tests by an outside firm show AT&T has reduced 3G dropped calls by 12 percent over the past year, nearing a dropped call rate of 1 percent nationally. AT&T notes that its smartphone network traffic has increased 5,000 percent over the past three years.

Oct. 22, 2009: Nokia files a complaint against Apple alleging that the iPhone infringes 10 Nokia patents for GSM, UMTS and wireless LAN standards. 

Nov. 4, 2009: Apple says developers have created more than 100,000 apps for the App Store.

November 2009: AT&T files suit against Verizon Wireless over allegations of false advertising and deceptive trade practices surrounding Verizon's ads that mock Apple's "There's an app for that" ads with "There's a map for that." AT&T says Verizon gives the impression that AT&T doesn't offer any coverage is large swaths of the country.

December 2009: AT&T and Verizon Wireless say the lawsuit was dismissed "without prejudice."

Dec. 11, 2009: Apple responds to Nokia's lawsuit by filing a countersuit of its own claiming that Nokia is infringing 13 Apple patents.

Dec. 6, 2009: AT&T introduces "Mark the Spot," an app that lets iPhone users submit complaints about dropped calls, poor service coverage and less-than-perfect voice quality.

December 2009: The Fake Steve Jobs, aka Daniel Lyons, clarifies that Operation Chokehold, a stunt to put a chokehold on AT&T's network, was meant as a joke and the real goal is to get AT&T to improve its service. The FCC condemned the stunt, calling it irresponsible and posing a public safety concern.

Dec. 29, 3009: Nokia files a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) alleging that Apple infringes on seven Nokia patents in "virtually all of its mobile phones, portable music players and computers."

2010

Jan. 5, 2010 AT&T says it has completed a software upgrade at 3G cell sites nationwide with HSPA 7.2 technology. The carrier promises faster 3G speeds as AT&T combines the new technology with enhanced cell site backhaul connections over the course of 2010 and 2011.

Jan. 5, 2010: More than 3 billion apps have now been downloaded from the App Store.

Jan. 25, 2010: Apple reports that it sold more than 8.7 million iPhones in the quarter that ended Dec. 26, 2009.

Jan. 27, 2010: Apple introduces the iPad, another "revolutionary" device for browsing the Web, reading and sending e-mail, looking at photos, watching videos, listening to music, playing games, reading eBooks and more. The company says it will be available in late March starting at $499. Jobs calls it a "magical" and "revolutionary" device (sound familiar?). It comes in two versions, one with Wi-Fi only and the other with Wi-Fi and 3G – and it will use AT&T's network for the 3G support. Pricing involves prepaid data plans. Users will pay AT&T in advance of network usage, with rates starting at $15 for a block of usage and $30 for a month of access. Jobs also declares that Apple is now "the largest mobile devices company in the world" – bigger than Sony, Samsung and by revenue, even bigger than Nokia.

Jan. 28, 2010: Apple COO Tim Cook says AT&T is a "great partner" and based on Apple's research, customers are having a great experience in the vast majority of locations. "As you know, AT&T has acknowledged that they are having some issues in a few cities and they have very detailed plans to address these. We have personally reviewed these plans and we have very high confidence that they will make significant progress towards fixing them."

Jan. 29, 2010: AT&T John Stankey says AT&T is pleased to be supplying connectivity for the upcoming iPad, and the carrier worked closely with Apple in planning for its connectivity on the network. AT&T is not subsidizing the device; usage will be paid in advance via credit card, with rates starting at $15 for a block of usage and $30 for a month of access.

Feb. 23, 2010: Worldwide mobile phone sales to end users totalled 1.211 billion units in 2009, a 0.9 per cent decline from 2008, according to Gartner. Apple grabs an estimated 14.4 percent market share; Research In Motion has 19.9 percent of the worldwide smartphone market. Gartner says the two best performers in 2009 were Android and Apple. Android increased its market share by 3.5 percentage points in 2009, while Apple's share grew by 6.2 percentage points from 2008, which helped it move to the No. 3 position and displace Microsoft Windows Mobile.

March 2, 2010: Apple files a lawsuit against HTC, claiming it is infringing on 20 Apple patents related to the iPhone's user interface, underlying architecture and hardware. The suit was filed concurrently with the U.S. International Trade Commission and in U.S. District Court in Delaware. By this time, more than 40 million iPhones have been sold worldwide.

March 5, 2010: Oops. The release date of the iPad in the United States will be April 3, but pre-orders will start on March 12. Elsewhere, the Delaware court puts Apple's and Nokia's litigation on hold pending decisions by the ITC.

March 8, 2010: A Stanford University survey shows what many people already know about the iPhone: It can be addicting. Some 75 percent admit to falling asleep with the iPhone in bed with them. The survey involved 200 students with iPhones.

April 3, 2010: Apple's iPad hits retail stores, debuting at $499 for the lowest-cost Wi-Fi device with 16GB. The 32 GB and 64 GB iPads cost $599 and $699, respectively.
 
April 5, 2010: Apple reports that it sold more than 300,000 iPads in the United States on its first day of sales. That figure included deliveries of pre-ordered iPads to customers, deliveries to channel partners and ales at Apple retail stores. iPad users also downloaded more than 1 million apps from Apple's App Store and more than 250,000 eBooks from its iBookstore during the first day.

April 8, 2010: The company previews its iPhone OS 4 software and releases a beta version of the software to iPhone Developer Program members. The 4 beta release includes an updated SDK with more than 1,500 new APIs and more than 100 new features to be available to iPhone and iPod touch users this summer. Multitasking is one of the new features for third-party apps. Jobs also gives a preview of the new iAd mobile advertising platform.

iPhone 4G

April 19, 2010: Gizmodo dissects what is believed to be the next-generation iPhone, which reportedly was lost in a Redwood City, Calif., bar.

April 23, 2010: Deputies from the San Mateo County Sheriff's office search the home of Gizmodo editor Jason Chen as part of an investigation into the lost iPhone prototype, a bizarre turn of events that led even comedian Jon Stewart to question what Apple was up to.

May 31, 2010: Apple adds more countries – Australia, Canada, Franc, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom – to its iPad roster and reports
iPad sales topped 2 million in less than 60 days since its launch on April 3.

June 1, 2010: At The Wall Street Journal's All Things Digital D8 conference, Jobs says people laughed at him because he used the word "magical" to describe the iPad, but that's what he really thinks. In a wide-ranging interview and Q&A, he said he finds the Foxconn suicides very troubling, reiterates reasons for not supporting Flash and expresses hope that AT&T's network upgrades will kick in soon.

June 7, 2010: Apple kicks of its Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) 2010, with more than 5,200 attendees representing 57 countries. Jobs says iPhone 4 represents the biggest leap since the original iPhone: the thinnest smartphone yet, front-facing camera and four times the amount of pixel density. The new iPhone pricing starts at $199 for the 16GB model and $299 for 32GB; it will be available June 24.

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