Jan 9 – The iPhone is announced by Apple CEO Steve Jobs, and becomes an immediate classic, and a benchmark against which all other smartphones will be compared to.
June 27 – The first reviews are released, and they are mostly glowing. "The iPhone is revolutionary; it’s flawed. It’s substance; it’s style. It does things no phone has ever done before; it lacks features found even on the most basic phones" writes David Pogue, at The New York Times.
June 29 – The iPhone goes on sale in the US. A 4GB version sells for US$499 and an 8GB model costs $599.
July 3 – Jon Lech Johansen, famous for defeating the encryption system that protected DVDs, announces he has found a way to activate an iPhone without using AT&T, the iPhone's exclusive US carrier. The phone doesn't work, but the Wi-Fi feature and iTunes software do.
Sept 5 – Apple lowers the price of the 8G-byte model by $200 to $399. The backlash from early adopters is immediate. The next day Jobs issues an open letter apologising to them, and offers a $100 store credit in Apple stores. The company also announces that the 4GB model will be phased out and lowers its price to $299.
Nov 9 – Europe gets a touch of iPhone fever, as the phone goes on sale in Germany and Britain. The phone won't become as big a hit as in the US.
Feb 5 – Apple introduces a 16GB model. For some users, there is never enough memory, comments Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of worldwide iPod and iPhone product marketing. Just four weeks earlier Nokia had announced a North American version of the N95 with 8GB of storage.
March 6 – Steve Jobs and company are back on stage, unveiling the tools and technologies that will allow independent software developers to create and sell programs, the iPhone SDK is born. Jobs first announced the kit in November, saying it would be released in February. To go along with it Apple also announces iPhone AppStore, and support for Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync.
May 6 – Vodafone announces plans to roll out the iPhone in 10 countries, starting a massive expansion of distribution, extending the sales of the iPhone all over the world. On the same day Telecom Italia announces a deal to bring the iPhone to Italy, a country already on Vodafone’s list, ending exclusive deals with one operator per country.
May 10 – An iPhone shortage hits. The phone becomes unavailable in the US and UK. Apple stores and many retail outlets report that the iPhone is sold out. The shortage fuels speculation that Apple will unveil an updated iPhone at its upcoming developers conference.
June 9 – Steve Jobs unveils iPhone 3G before a raucous audience at the company's annual Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco. The new iPhone is priced at US$199 for the 8GB model and $299 for the 16GB model. The phone will be rolled out in 70 countries this year, beginning with 22, including New Zealand and Australia on July 11.