Wired Magazine’s Fred Vogelstein wrote an article that really caught my attention – The Untold Story: How the iPhone Blew Up the Wireless Industry. It’s a lengthy article (4 pages), but it includes little known details about what was actually going on over at Apple during the time leading up to the official launch of the iPhone at Macworld just one year ago. It wasn’t all smooth sailing, I can tell you that. But in the end, all of the hard work paid off and Apple had managed to do something that no one else had done before. It’s almost as if they “broke the mold,” as the saying goes, by changing the focus and priorities of the wireless industry. Below you’ll find a few excerpts from the article over at Wired.

While it seems the iPhone announcement nearly caused the Earth to stop at Macworld last year, it took A LOT to get there with a product in hand:

  • “It was a late morning in the fall of 2006. Almost a year earlier, Steve Jobs had tasked about 200 of Apple’s top engineers with creating the iPhone. Yet here, in Apple’s boardroom, it was clear that the prototype was still a disaster. It wasn’t just buggy, it flat-out didn’t work. The phone dropped calls constantly, the battery stopped charging before it was full, data and applications routinely became corrupted and unusable. The list of problems seemed endless. At the end of the demo, Jobs fixed the dozen or so people in the room with a level stare and said, “We don’t have a product yet.”

Apple had to do a lot and overcome a lot, life was not always smooth sailing:

  • “For those working on the iPhone, the next three months would be the most stressful of their careers. Screaming matches broke out routinely in the hallways. Engineers, frazzled from all-night coding sessions, quit, only to rejoin days later after catching up on their sleep. A product manager slammed the door to her office so hard that the handle bent and locked her in; it took colleagues more than an hour and some well-placed whacks with an aluminum bat to free her.”

macworld 2008

More importantly, the iPhone upset the balance of power that carriers and mobile phone manufacturers were used to:

  • “But as important as the iPhone has been to the fortunes of Apple and AT&T, its real impact is on the structure of the $11 billion-a-year US mobile phone industry. For decades, wireless carriers have treated manufacturers like serfs, using access to their networks as leverage to dictate what phones will get made, how much they will cost, and what features will be available on them. Handsets were viewed largely as cheap, disposable lures, massively subsidized to snare subscribers and lock them into using the carriers’ proprietary services. But the iPhone upsets that balance of power. Carriers are learning that the right phone — even a pricey one — can win customers and bring in revenue.”

At this point, it’s amazing to think that it’s already been a year since Steve Jobs made one of the biggest product announcements of his life. With Macworld 2008 quickly approaching, many of you are probably wondering what the big news will be this year.  Obviously, I don’t think there could be anything this year that would top last year’s announcement, but people are speculating on just what it is that might happen. According to Gizmodo, this is what we can expect “almost for certain:”

  • Launch of a new Apple TV
  • New Apple Cinema displays
  • Updates to the iPhone
  • MacBook Pro – this will likely be their BIG announcement
  • MacBook Ultra-slim
  • MacBook Touch (Apple’s Tablet Mac)

Do you have a Macworld 2008 prediction? Let us know in the comments…