From its speculative beginnings as a far-out rumour in fanboy-ville through to its long-awaited release on Friday, no other device has captured the imagination of gadgeteers the world over quite like the iPhone. Join us as we look at the highlights of its inception, including the infamous Linksys-gate…1999 Apple acquires the domain name www.iphone.org, which still redirects to the company’s homepage.2002 Rumours of an Apple-branded PDA or phone increase, although Steve Jobs refuses to divulge any information one way or another, saying “We don’t usually discuss products that we haven’t announced”. The first “leaked” pictures appear on the web, most bear no resemblance to the finished article.2002/2003 Apple applies for a trademark on the name iPhone in various countries.March 2006 An application to the European Patent Office by Apple reveals that it has submitted an application for “database programs for handheld devices”.November 2006 Stuff.tv reports that Apple has placed an order with a Taiwan factory to produce 12 million handsets.December 2006 Stuff.tv reports on the latest industry speculation on the now mythical device, and includes a frighteningly accurate mock-up. Rumours grow of an imminent announcement…December 2006 The iPhone is announced! But it’s a VOIP handset from Cisco. Are all the Apple rumours a giant cosmic joke?? And if there still is a handset, what will it now be called?
9 January 2007 Steve Jobs puts millions of fanboys out of their misery by finally announcing the iPhone at Macworld. It surpasses most expectations. Stuff.tv manages to get hands-on with the new touchscreen beauty and declares it the Coolest Gadget Ever. 15 January As iPhone fever grows, a thoroughly pointless, but nonetheless cool, downloadable origami version appears on the web. 25 May 2007 The first iPhone clone appears in China – beat that, cardboard iPhone! 4 June 2007 The US release date of the iPhone is announced. It’s 29 June. No definite word on a UK date, other than late 2007. 8 June 2007 An eagle-eyed Stuff.tv forum user spots a mystery twelfth app on a press image of the iPhone. More speculation abounds. 11 June 2007 Apple’s WWDC throws up some fresh info on the iPhone, namely that its version of Safari will support web 2.0 apps and Google docs. Apple will also let developers write their own web apps to run in the browser. The first 3rd-party apps appear shortly thereafter. How cool is that?
14 June 2007 It’s announced that the iPhone will be contract-only in the UK. No word yet as to which network it will appear on. 19 June 2007 Apple announces upgrades to the iPhone, including a glass screen and added talk-time, ten days before launch. 20 June 2007 YouTube is announced as the iPhone’s mystery twelfth app. 29 June 2007 The date that the world has been waiting for (or the US at any rate) – the iPhone finally hits the strores. And we’ve managed to get our mitts on one! 23 August 2007 Hackers unlock the iPhone from the AT&T network5 September 2007 Apple announced the iPhone sans phone – the iPod Touch9 Nov 2007 The iPhone lands in the UK on the O2 network