Apple’s iPhone is 10 years old, but its creation was decades in the making

Apple’s iPhone is 10 years old, but its creation was decades in the making

The iPhone is a story of decades. It wasn’t just invented by a scrappy team of inventors or willed into existence by one man brainstorming an idea.

Editor’s note: June 29, 2017 the 10th anniversary of the iPhone. AppleInsider will be posting stories, testimonials and anecdotes on the history of Apple’s groundbreaking device throughout the day. Feel free to chime in with your own in the comments.

I had been fascinated with Apple for twenty years prior to the iPhone, with particular interest in Apple’s darker doppelganger NeXT–the startup Steve Jobs had created after he left the mothership back in 1985 —nearly ten years after co-founding the company.

But ten years of Jobs’ NeXT had seemed to go nowhere, at least right up until the last few days of 1996 when Apple announced that it was buying NeXT and using its technology as the basis for a new operating system: Mac OS X.

All of a sudden, two companies that had split ways and failed to gain much momentum on their own had joined up into what was, in retrospect, a spectacular union.

With Jobs at the helm, Apple kicked off a decade of crawling back into relevance. It simplified its product lineup and began building computers with a clear purpose and an artful, considered design.

Half way through its decade of resurgence, it introduced iPod, a new profit engine that proved the value of matching great design with great technology. Apple had never been more profitable —and now even sported the beginnings of a retail chain of storefronts to show off its products.

In 2006, by the end of that decade of resurgence, Apple was broadly predicted to be disrupted from all angles. Its…

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