Presentation of the iPhone by Steve Jobs in January 2007
Presentation of the iPhone by Steve Jobs in January 2007 (Apple / Youtube)

It is January 9, 2007, in San Francisco. Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO, unveils a new “revolutionary” device that is a portable device, a phone and a handheld computer for going online: the iPhone. In the Moscone Center room in the front row, Apple’s engineers smile tightly and sweat on their foreheads. In fact, the iPhone, which is due out five months later, does not work at all. The device presented by Steve Jobs is a completely buggy prototype that does not stop making its own.

For example, the demo iPhone allows you to play a sample of music or video, but is unable to play an entire song, otherwise it crashes. It does not pick up the telephone network well, because the antenna is not in focus, so the developers had to cheat and make the screen display five network bars all the time, even when there is no no connection. Finally, you must perform the actions in a specific order, for example, send an email and then surf the web, but not vice versa. It took hours of testing, before the presentation, to determine the exact order in which Steve Jobs should perform the manipulations. Finally, everything went well during the presentation. There were no bugs.

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We only learned about this story six years later, in 2013, thanks to a survey by New york times. As explained afterwards, Tony Fadell, the engineer from Apple who invented the iPod, which was present during the presentation of the iPhone, was “like the first mission to the Moon”. Apple made everyone believe that they were the strongest when D-Day was not ready. It must be said that at the time, the apple brand was riding on the success of the iPod but had no experience in telephony. The leaders were called Motorola and Nokia. The engineers probably underestimated the task. Fortunately for them, everything went well. Because otherwise, the tyrannical Steve Jobs would certainly not let pass …