‘Tonight there’s gonna be a jailbreak:’ A poor man’s guide to the first iPhone

‘Tonight there’s gonna be a jailbreak:’ A poor man’s guide to the first iPhone

It was 2007, and I really wanted a first-generation iPhone, but I did not have a lot of money. I did, however, have the technical knowhow necessary to save a few bucks.

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.

A year out of college and not particularly prosperous at a job as a newspaper reporter covering local county government, the cost of the iPhone hardware itself wasn’t my main deterrent (though it certainly played a factor). The main stumbling block was the Cingular/AT&T data plan.
I lusted after that first iPhone.

At launch —and for many years afterwards —the iPhone in the U.S. was exclusive to AT&T. It was a brilliant move by Apple cofounder Steve Jobs, giving the company leverage to control the hardware and software on its fledgling platform.

It also made for an expensive investment, particularly at a time when consumers were not used to paying for mobile data plans.

Back in 2007, I was a T-Mobile customer on a family plan, paying a basic rate for an allotment of minutes for calls (remember those?), as well as a handful of SMS text messages. I had been with T-Mobile since the days of VoiceStream Wireless, and for primarily one reason: It was cheap.

But I lusted after that first iPhone. When it was unveiled at Macworld in January of 2007, I watched the announcement video countless times. When my friend bought one on launch day that June, I couldn’t stop being wowed by the finger-based touchscreen, vibrant…

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