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2007: Introducing the iPhone"Every once in a while a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything." With those words, Steve Jobs introduced the first Apple iPhone on January 9, 2007, at the Macworld convention. He described it as over two years in the making, but the project had been percolating for many years before that. (The original use of the term "iPhone" to refer to a planned Apple phone dates back to 2004 or even earlier!)
At the time, a lot of the emphasis focused on the iPhone's touchscreen, quite possibly the device's single greatest contribution to the world of gadgets. Interestingly, the presentation included Jobs playing Beatles songs on his iPhone, though the iTunes Store wouldn't get access to the Fab Four's catalogue until over 3 years later.
2001: Jobs Introduces the First iPodAt a small "music"-themed event in 2001, Jobs took to the stage to introduce the first-ever iPod to an unsuspecting world. Interestingly, he starts the presentation by convincing the audience that music is a good business to be in, and that it's important to people. (Did they really need convincing?)
He goes on to introduce a portable digital music player with an ultra-thin hard drive that will allow you to bring your ENTIRE music library with you (provided it isn't more than 1000 songs and doesn't take up more than 5 Gb).
1984: First Apple Macintosh DemoTo thunderous applause, Jobs demonstrates his very first Apple Macintosh computer before a crowd of 3000 in this clip from January of 1984. (Days earlier, the world had first heard about the Macintosh from a Ridley Scott-directed TV commercial - "1984" - that had aired during Super Bowl XVIII.)
In true Jobs fashion, the presentation begins with the computer displaying a title card reading: "Insanely great!" It then jumps around to a basic drawing program, a spreadsheet and calculator, some different fonts, pictures of buildings, a chess game, even a photo of Jobs THINKING about the Macintosh. The presentation ends with the computer running a voice simulator, reading some pre-entered text advising you "never [to] trust a computer you can't lift." The computer then reintroduces "a man who's been like a father to me, Steve Jobs."
OK, it's sort of creepy. But also historically significant!
1997: Microsoft Deal Announcement1997 was a chaotic year for Apple. In July, CEO Gil Amelio was ousted by the board of directors as the company coped with significant financial losses and its lowest stock price in 12 years. Co-founder Jobs was brought back in as the interim CEO to begin a restructuring of the product line. (He would, of course, stay on as Apple CEO and has run the company ever since.)
At that year's Macworld Expo in Boston, Jobs announced that Apple would enter a five-year partnership with Microsoft to release that company's Office suite of software for Mac, as well as shipping Internet Explorer as the Mac's default Web browser. (The deal also included a $150 million investment in Apple). Much to the surprise of everyone in the room, Jobs wrapped up his remarks by introducing Bill Gates on screen, via satellite.
As Gates appeared, the crowd greeted him with a mixture of cheers and boos. (In the film "Pirates of Silicon Valley," about the relationship between Apple and Microsoft - and Jobs and Gates more specifically - the moment was depicted as far more negative towards the announcement.)
2007: Steve Jobs Prank Calls StarbucksWhile demonstrating Google Maps on the new iPhone, Steve Jobs prank calls the local Starbucks and jokingly orders 4,000 lattes to go. Before the woman on the phone can even react, he says "Just kidding! Wrong number." Then hangs up. It's an effective bit of on-stage goofiness, but you kind of have to feel for the woman on the other end of the phone. For just a moment, she had visions of preparing 4,000 lattes. And you just know at least a few dozen of those people are going to want them with soy.
2007: John Hodgman is Steve JobsComedian and writer John Hodgman for years had played the "PC" in Apple's infamous "Mac vs. PC" commercials. (Actor Justin Long plays "the Mac.") The presentation at the 2007 WWDC opened with a video of Hodgman, dressed in Jobs' trademark black turtleneck and jeans, impersonating the Apple CEO. (He proves his identity by reciting the company's Cupertino HQ address from memory!) Hodgman/Jobs announces he's retiring immediately and shutting down Apple due to overwhelming competition from Microsoft Vista and The Zune. (The horror!)
2009: Jobs Speaks About Liver TransplantThe crowd expected to hear from Apple executive Phil Schiller when they arrived at the company's invitation-only music event in San Francisco on September 9, 2009. Instead, they were greeted by Steve Jobs, returning to the stage (and his company) for the first public event following liver transplant surgery.
Jobs explained: "I now have the liver of a mid-20s person who died in a car crash and was generous enough to donate their organs. I wouldn’t be here without such generosity, so I hope all of us can be as generous and elect to be organ donors. ..I’d like to take this moment to thank everyone in the Apple community for their support."
He also took the opportunity to introduce the iPhone 3.1 update, the first to introduce the "Genius" feature and Bluetooth Voice control.
2002: The Mac OS 9 FuneralBefore showing off his latest breakthrough - Mac OS X (codename: Jaguar) - Jobs kicked off the 2002 WWDC by offering an elegy for Apple's Mac OS 9. Though the vast majority of Macs in the wild were still running OS 9, Jobs encouraged developers to think of it as "dearly departed," and said:
"We are here today to mourn the passing of Mac OS 9. He is no doubt looking down on us today with that same smile he showed us every time he booted up." The spectacle and presentation itself were similarly grandiose, including church organ, fake smoke and even a coffin on stage.