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A Decade Ago, Apple's iPhone Transformed the World

  • Catherine Maddux

FILE - Then Apple CEO, Steve Jobs, speaks in London during the launch of the European iTunes online music store in this June 15, 2004, photo.

In the two years leading up to June 29, 2007, when Apple’s iPhone went on sale, company co-founder Steve Jobs and a select team were hard at work secretly designing what would become a global game changer.

A father and his two daughters take a break from sightseeing at a Starbucks in Washington, D.C. (C. Maddux/VOA)
A father and his two daughters take a break from sightseeing at a Starbucks in Washington, D.C. (C. Maddux/VOA)

The initiative even had a code name, "Project Purple." By all accounts, the project was pained.

Inside a secure room, a collection of super smart techies, ate, slept, worked way beyond the typical eight hour day, fought and, at times overthought, the design of this new slick mobile device.

​Before that day, flip phones, Blackberries and even the occasional pager were commonplace.

Pay phones were rarer still.

Photo gallery: America's love affair with the ever-evolving phone

Ten years later, Jobs is no longer with us, having passed away in 2011.

But most of the public is hunched over a hand-held device, iPhone or not, accessing the internet, watching videos on demand, and conducting mobile banking.

A couple on vacation sit side by side in a hotel in Washington, D.C., but are busy reading their smartphones. (C. Maddux/VOA)
A couple on vacation sit side by side in a hotel in Washington, D.C., but are busy reading their smartphones. (C. Maddux/VOA)

Time magazine published the final public video appearance of Jobs before he died after a 10-year battle with pancreatic cancer.

Apple, of course, is still redesigning, and hopefully improving upon, that first, innovative cell phone.

Later this year, the iPhone 8 will be released amid much speculation and apparent premature leaks.

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