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The iPhone saga [2]

(the first episode on this page)

You do not have time to announce it, that the suffering, the wait, the spasmodic need to have it already begins. Until now frustrated, at least for the majority of us Italians. If we go back to memory at the time of the iPhone launch, at Macworld in January 2007, that is, a detail that springs to mind. Indeed, a couple. The first are the phrases pronounced by Steve Jobs at the beginning: Today a moment that we have been waiting for two and a half years. Today is a day in which we make history. ?From which two things can be deduced: the Apple-branded phone project comes from afar. In its concrete feasibility, that is, the work actually carried out to make the appliance that we have all seen millions of times since then (and that some Italian "forerunner" has bought in parallel, cracked and made to work well before the expected launch in our Country), Apple's engineers and designers have moved since the spring of 2004. Not much! Also because, it is always clear from Steve Jobs's phrase, the ambition was truly remarkable.

The second thing the desire to play that Apple and Steve Jobs has in particular with the whole audience. an emotion that videos only partially make.

It was necessary to be there, in the Moscone Center room, to see and hear the breath of the thousands of people seated and attentive while the master of ceremonies Jobs showed the three icons to the public: ?Today we present three revolutionary products like the Mac in 1984 and the iPod in 2001: an iPod with multitouch screen; a phone, a device to go on the Internet ". And then he began to repeat faster and faster ?an iPod with multitouch screen; a phone, a device for going on the Internet "while the three icons rolled around each other, like sides of a solid with a particular geometry (a three-sided cube). To then stop, topped with applause and laughter: "Haven't you understood yet? They are not three appliances: one appliance. the iPhone. "

Keynote gallery 2007 Steve Jobs

The ambition of Apple and Steve Jobs with the iPhone was and still is remarkable. Because inside there was the germ, carefully studied and prepared, for a great change. On the wings of iPod's success, Apple had already undergone a radical change in its business. The impression from the outside, during the period from 2003 to 2006, was that the iPod was forever. And that nobody could stop him. After becoming compatible with PCs, it had reached a critical mass of diffusion such as to take off even the small collateral business of the iTunes Store online music store, and then that of videos (video clips and TV series) and still films. Unstoppable. Majority in the market, with Bulgarian percentages and with impacts that the competition was unable (and not yet risece) to achieve. Madness from the point of view of any logic: almost magical, the iPod had restructured Apple from the inside, launching it into hyperspace. Making the company take the opportunity to definitively restore the Mac market with the turning point on Intel processors and new energies to develop Mac Os X and iApps. At least apparently. Because in reality this was only the tip of the iceberg.

With the benefit of hindsight, today it is understood that in reality Apple was exploiting the money and credibility and visibility that the iPod had given to the company even better and with greater passion. By investing in his successor. It is in a strategy that the even faster and more powerful evolution of the "old" strategy of the late nineties of the "digital hub", the center of the digital lifestyle. Apple was thinking about mobile telephony and the possibility of integrating its entire chain of applications and products even more closely. By creating a series of devices that have not yet been fully realized, but that can bridge the face of mass computing forever.

The first piece of this new course built on the success and thanks to the success of the iPod the iPhone. This fantastic device, just thought by Apple is already full of possible developments. There is in Cupertino who would like it as a simple extension of a new business of the company, that of doing the telephone company with the virtual operator mode. That is, to buy access to the infrastructure of other operators and to sell their appliances and services. There are those who imagine it as a sort of "simple" device, a mini Mac to always carry with you, which allows you to take notes, navigate. Who sees it as an iPod and that's it, with the additional telephone functions (address book and calendar already exist in Apple's media players). What comes out instead is a fun and fortunate synthesis between many of these aspects to make us understand once again the fundamental role of Steve Jobs in simplifying and ordering Apple's creative and entrepreneurial process. Steve Jobs orders and operates a complex machine inside Apple, mediating between innovative and revolutionary technologies with radical choices and fantastic examples for customers. Apple what Steve Jobs wants to explain to his people and make them understand, just like the shaman does with the villagers.

The iPhone thus becomes an impressive media success. In our country, since January 2007, the iPhone has been exciting daily the imagination of the editors of major newspapers, for example. And not a week goes by without news, photographs, news and services often built on nothing. Because, after the countless covers, after the thousands of pages dedicated to the device and the phenomenon, after the countless television services, we must however recognize that up to now the iPhone officially in Italy still hasn't been there. 18 months have passed since its launch, there are 4 countries in the world where it is present and it is already known that by the end of the year (including Italy) there will be more than one hundred. And behind it there is also a radical rethinking of the strategy which as we will see essential to understanding the iPhone as a product and service. However, to keep to Steve Jobs's ambitions at the time of the launch of the device, it is understood in retrospect that Apple's gamble came from afar and that seeing it as a simple presentation of a telephone device was very reductive, as it is reductive to think that the iPod is "only" a digital player.

What remains in the mind of the launch of the Apple iPhone in the US is the photograph that stands out on the pages of the main Italian newspapers: Corriere, la Repubblica, La Stampa, Il Sole 24 Ore: Steve Jobs in the foreground showing proudly the small phone And the paradox behind this ability to communicate (estimated to be almost half a billion dollars of free advertising collected by Apple as a simple consequence of the launch of the product) comes to mind, reflecting on the fact that for example Nokia, which sells in a week more telephones than Apple has produced so far in 10 months and that launches 60 models per year, not only has it never been on the front page of the world's newspapers, but practically nobody knows what its administrator's name is delegate or who has. a paradox, of course. But that illuminates the exceptional nature of the birth of the iPhone.