Number Two: The iPod transforms how we listen to music (MacWorld, 2001)
Anyone remember what a pain it used to be to buy an entire CD that contained one good song and 11 pieces of mediocre garbage? Yeah, we do too, which is why we're thankful Apple came out with the iPod a decade ago.
The original iPod was able to hold 1,000 songs, was 0.2 inches thick and came with Apple's own FireWire cable that let users import songs onto their iPods in a fraction of the time it would have taken using a USB cable. The smartest thing Apple did with the iPod, however, was to tightly integrate it into its iTunes interface and its iTunes Store, thus making Apple the go-to source for buying and managing music on the Web. This fit in well with Apple's overall business strategy of making Apple products into entertainment hubs that consumers would use to store and access their music, movies, books and other media.
"This is a quantum leap because for most people [1,000 songs] is their entire music library," explained Jobs. "You can take your whole music library with you right in your pocket."
Number One: The iPhone sets new standards for mobile phones (MacWorld, 2007)
"Every once in a while a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything," boasted Jobs during the iPhone's launch in 2007. "Today Apple is going to reinvent the phone."
While this keynote captured Jobs at his most insufferably cocky, we have to give him and his team at Apple credit for walking the walk. The iPhone was a smash hit right from the get-go as Jobs' 2007 MacWorld keynote served notice that Apple was no longer content to keep playing second fiddle to Microsoft in the computing world.
What made the iPhone so successful? Well, it was a combination of factors, including a 3.5-inch multi-touch interface with pinch-to-zoom capabilities, an easy-to-use operating system and the first mobile phone Web browsing experience capable of approximating the full Web as it appears on PCs. Oh, and it could also make phone calls if you're into that sort of thing.
In the four years since its debut the iPhone has remained the darling of the smartphone world, generating so much interest that smart journalists can rack up pageviews just by rounding up rumors about it once a week. Unless Steve Jobs somehow comes up with a device that lets users voluntarily Rapture themselves, it's hard to see him topping the iPhone.
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This story, "Top 5 Steve Jobs Keynotes of the Past 10 Years" was originally published by Network World.