Top 7 Apple Stories Of 2007

From the iPhone to OS X Leopard to iTunes, 2007 was a successful and tumultuous year for Apple and its users.

Mitch Wagner, California Bureau Chief, Light Reading

December 7, 2007

4 Min Read

1. Apple Unveils iPhone, Users' Brains Explode From Sheer Joy

The introduction of the iPhone was the top Apple event for 2007. Steve Jobs announced the iPhone at the Macworld conference in San Francisco on Jan. 9. Apple fans oohed and aahed over its thin, black body and multitouch interface, which would allow users to navigate applications with more than one finger, allowing for a richer user interface. They also loved the visual voicemail feature, which automatically switches the display from portrait to landscape mode when you switch the phone to one side.

Apple fans raved about the device. Jack Azout, owner of Prescient Solutions, an IT consulting firm in Miami, was at the introduction and was ready to throw out his BlackBerry Pearl on the spot. "I guess I'll use this until June," Azout told InformationWeek, while looking down at his BlackBerry. "It's just that the iPhone does things a whole lot better and does them with elegance and style, and it's fun to use."

Late night talk show host Craig Ferguson said the iPhone is "the biggest technological development since curly fries."

But not everyone was thrilled about the iPhone. This idiot sniffed, "I just don't get it."

Fast-forward six months and sixty bazillion words of blog speculation later, and the iPhone arrived in consumers hands in Apple and AT&T retail stores the last weekend in June. Crowds of Apple fans waited on long lines to pick up the latest largesse from Steve Jobs' pockets. (The crowds included the same idiot who didn't “get” the iPhone in January.) And while most users were happy, some reported delays activating their iPhones.

The introduction of the iPhone in June was the top Apple event for 2007.

(click for image gallery)

The phone came in two models: One with 8 Gbytes of storage, priced at $599, and another with 4 Gbytes priced at $399.

InformationWeek loved the iPhone. That aforementioned idiot proclaimed the iPhone is Apple's latest triumph. John Welch did a more in-depth and thoughtful review after living with the iPhone a couple of weeks, with interesting and useful discussion of enterprise integration -- connecting with Microsoft Exchange, in particular -- and security.

But Apple ticked off a lot of people as summer turned to autumn. The company cut the price of the 8-Gbyte iPhone by $200, making early adopters feel cheated and sending Apple's stock price tumbling. In an effort to placate early adopters, Jobs personally offered a $100 credit at Apple stores to people who bought iPhones before the price went down.

Another point of contention: The iPhone is officially a "closed" architecture, meaning you can't run third-party apps on it, except for those that run inside the browser. However, the phone runs a fully functional version of Mac OS X, and hackers quickly took advantage to be able to run software. Lifehacker published instructions on how to install third-party software on your iPhone.)

But users won't have to hack their iPhones to run third-party software forever. Apple said it plans in February to introduce a software developers kit to allow third-party vendors to write iPhone apps. The apps will need to be vetted by Apple for stability and security, and sold through the iTunes store.

Another way the iPhone is closed -- you're locked into the AT&T network as your only phone provider. But hackers struck there, too: In late August, a team called announced software to break the SIM locks on the iPhone and use the device on any mobile network. Other hackers followed. Apple struck back in September, releasing a security patch that made some hacked iPhones inoperable. Since then, we've seen a couple of more iterations of this dance, as hackers break into iPhones and Apple patches the software to lock out the hacks.

iPhone hacking popularized a new word in the geek lexicon: Bricking.

And there you have it -- from iPods to iPhone, the top seven Apple stories of 2007. It was a busy and successful year for Apple and its users. We're looking forward to seeing what Jobs and his merry band of wizards cook up for us this year.

About the Author(s)

Mitch Wagner

California Bureau Chief, Light Reading

Mitch Wagner is California bureau chief for Light Reading.

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