Apple’s First Phone Sucked

Apple’s First Phone Sucked


Today, we’re introducing three revolutionary
products in this class. The first one is a widescreen iPod with touch
controls. The seconds is a revolutionary mobile phone. And the third is a breakthrough internet communicator. An iPod, a phone, and an internet communicator. An iPod, a phone… are you getting it? These are not three separate devices; this
is one device. The reveal of the original iPhone at Macworld
2007 has already gone down in history as one of the greatest product announcements
of all time and it’s used as an example to
teach intel property strategy, marketing, and public speaking classes in universities
around the world. The fruits of that first iPhone’s existence
are obvious—and even if you hate Apple—you have to give them credit
for forming the principles of what the modern smartphone would become. Look no further than the smartphones that
existed before the iPhone and the smartphones after the iPhone. Look no further than the 2007
Android prototype contrasted to the HTC Dream on which Android debuted… nearly two
years after the announcement of the original iPhone. But the 2007 iPhone wasn’t
technically Apple’s first phone announcement. There’s one more thing about iTunes that we’re
announcing today. You’ve probably heard about this. Today, we’re introducing the iTunes phone. Weird, right? Well, not really. The iTunes Phone became known as the ROKR…
and Steve Jobs announced the ROKR at a time when
the iPod made up 45% of Apple’s revenue. For a company that just a few years prior
had been on the verge of bankruptcy, the iPod was Apple’s much­needed
saving grace and it’s market dominance was irrefutable. But Apple knew that the market segment they
triumphed was not long for the world as multipurpose
devices from Blackberry, Palm, and others began integrating competent music playback
capabilities—not to mention the bevy of other features that the single­purpose iPod
simply couldn’t match. So Apple began working on their own multipurpose
device in summer of 2004. You may
remember this little clip from the 2007 iPhone reveal…. What’s truly funny about that is
Apple had indeed designed and tested a number of cellular­capable iPods (click­wheel
and all) as early as summer 2004. But rather than expand on Tony Fadell’s
iPod team, Jobs decided to work with Scott Forstall’s
Macintosh team in shrinking down OS X to a touch­screen based smartphone. Thanks to the 2012 Apple vs. Samsung trial,
we ended up seeing nearly 40 different completed,
industrial templates Apple had considered for the original iPhone. But look, it’s 2005 and the iPhone is still
years away from a public unveiling. So what
does Apple do to make sure the iPod functionality isn’t replaced by new phones? They
partner with one of the biggest names in phones, of course. Well actually, that isn’t
really an “of course” at all as it was very un­Jobsian to partner with other companies,
but Motorola was absolutely killing it in the
mid­2000s with hits like the RAZR of which Jobs
was famously a fan. But this hopeful partnership ended in ruins
despite a massive marketing campaign with dozens of famous artists endorsing the device. Why? Well, I bought one to find out and
boy… is it bad. I wish I still had my Moto RAZR (which was
my first phone ever) to compare to this thing because they don’t
even look like they’re from the same decade and yet, the RAZR was 18 months older than
the ROKR. The design of the ROKR looks
pretty bad—it was a rebranded low­end candybar phone Motorola had already been
selling for about 2 years without music functionality. It feels cheap and plasticy in general, the
T9 keys are extremely wobbly, and the display is pretty dismal and small
even for the era. The 0.3 megapixel camera produces some of
the worst digital images I’ve ever seen (and that’s even comparing
it to other phones on the market at the time), and the software is bad. And no… I’m not really even talking about Motorola’s
software as that was pretty similar to all of Motorola’s
phones at the time. I’m talking about
iTunes. Or so they called it. When you hit the dedicated iTunes button on
the front of the phone, a very familiar UI comes up. It looks like an iPod not iTunes. And similar to an
iPod, you couldn’t purchase, download, or manage songs on the device itself so that’s
definitely closer to an iPod than iTunes. But boy… it sure isn’t an iPod either. Music was
stored on a microSD card that hid itself along with the full­sized SIM card underneath
the removable battery at the back of the device. Most variants of the phone shipped with
a 512MB microSD card with support for up to a 1GB card but the storage capacity was
nearly irrelevant because the device had a software­limited 100 song cap. While I
couldn’t find definitive proof, it seems that certain regions outside the US may have
even had a 50 song cap. The reasons for doing this seem pretty obvious
to me… Apple
didn’t want people buying the ROKR over an iPod. The song cap could entice those
who didn’t have an iPod to get the real thing and for those that did, the ROKR would
act as an iPod to­go when they didn’t have
their full­size music player on hand. But the convenience of the iPod software decreased
significantly with such a limited library size, the 4­way toggle was vastly
inferior to the scroll wheel making navigating the UI a pretty poor experience, and syncing
songs to iTunes was painful with only USB 1 support making it slower than competing
iPods at transferring music. The DAC and
headphone amp inside is a lot worse than iPods of the era and it sounds pretty poor—
even on easy­to­drive headphones—and given that this thing was announced the same
day as iPod nano, it was doomed from the start. The nano was at the time impossibly
small, inexpensive, and competent—none of which could be said about the ROKR. Jobs
himself had some trouble with the software during the demo and he was less than
pleased… “Yeah, I’ll talk to you later, thanks bye.” So, I go there and I jus… resume my music
back to where it was… well I was supposed to resume my music right back to where it
was… Steve’s face says it all and the relationship
soured pretty quickly. Moto
blamed Apple. Vice versa. Apple even went so far as to remove support
for the ROKR after iTunes 7—just one full version later—and
I needed to pull out my old PowerBook G4 running Tiger to set this thing up. That’s a stark contrast from the iPod. Every iPod
ever made remains supported in the latest version of iTunes. Including the iPod mini
which I unboxed with Austin Evans. You should definitely check that out if you
haven’t seen it. The ROKR was a weird little hiccup in Apple’s
otherwise excellent track­record during the first decade of the new millennium
and look, I’m no expert, but I think they turned out okay. Apple, that is. Goodbye Moto. And goodbye to you! Please subscribe if
you enjoyed this video and share it with your friends. Thanks for watching, and as
always, stay snazzy!

100 thoughts on “Apple’s First Phone Sucked

  1. hey randomly pin this

  2. Nokia announced the "N Series" in 2005, and they were really impressive at that time.
    It would have to be awesome if they collaborated with them instead of Motorola!

  3. 2.5mm headphone jack… the first dongle city

  4. It's a Motorola product, not Apple.

  5. Lol that hello moto -> goodbye moto was a nice touch

  6. So did the OG iPhone and iPhone 3G…software updates KILLED the speed

  7. I can tell your video is scripted… Urgh! 😖 It distracts from my viewing experience.

    The main topic of the video, though… 👍🏻

  8. why you didnt mention plainrock124 from you got the idea

  9. 6:15 why Russian is a main language on that phone? 🙂

  10. Goodbye moto instead of hello moto. Great touch

  11. That I believe that wasn't the one sold here US. I purchased the att version which was white and was amazingly loud for the time. It also had disco lights 😂. Also for what ever reason I could use a 1gb card and get a little over 100 songs. For the time was a great advancement in the phone area for small and portable.

  12. I like iPhones, but I hate the software. Everything hardware wise is amazing

  13. I had one of these when I was about 14, and even if it sucked ass i loved it

  14. where did you get that vila theater co 2am music?

  15. Nice

  16. first plainrock124 smashes it, now you make a video on it… in the same month.

  17. Guess iPhone is So Popular than any other Smartphone. 📱

  18. 2005 I've got a Nokia n91, this was a real music-phone 👍

  19. Funny how I still get goosebumps when I hear the crowd going crazy at the iPhone announcement and how "meh" I feel watching keynotes now.

  20. To this day the iPhone sucks. This device has the power of a laptop but still can't do some of the things that Pocket PC, blackberry and Palm can. The world had an mp3 player, a phone and internet navigator years before the iPhone was announced and it did it all with hardware that was equivalent to today's scientific calculators. The only innovation Apple was good at was convincing the consumer market that they needed a high-end device to do what low-end devices already could but make it look cooler and costs a lot more. Their marketing to push out garbage wrapped in aluminum and glass is the true innovation and for this is why they are what they are today. The most celebrated scam artists in the industry.

  21. One question: When iTunes goes, will I be able to connect my old iPod Nano to my Windows PC?

  22. excellently researched

  23. No one could convince me to get an ipod let alone an iPhone and I was involved with the print advertising for the Motorola E790 aka iTunes phone. It was a garbage cell phone compared to other phones that Motorola made at the time especially the razr series which I remembered people were criticizing why iTunes was never ported to that model instead. I was fully in on Symbian at that time and everything about it ran circles around iPhone and the battery on my Nokia phones actually lasted almost a week of casual use. The Xpressmusic got a lot of play time up until Pocket Pc started getting consumer attention when it was renamed to Windows Mobile. The HTC HD2 was that perfect transition between Pocket PC and Smartphone, it had the look of a smartphone but the power of a real pocket pc. The HD2 even outlived the operating system when Microsoft scraped the whole pc in your pocket idea and attempted to compete against the iPhone with Windows Phone 7. This version of Windows Phone was the true iPhone competitor and the version of Windows Phone that fans will always remember. Everything it did. it did better than the iPhone and Android was just starting to gain serious traction but seemed to be lagging behind. Unexplicably Microsoft abandoned this platform for the brain fart known as Windows Phone 8 which was very similar to it's PC counterpart Windows 8 that strayed away from it's desktop roots. Everything that made Windows Phone competitive against the iPhone was thrown out and instead became a clone of the iPhone. Finally One last time again they restructured their mobile os with Windows 10 Mobile which will be their last mistake in the mobile market. By this point, no one was interested with developing for Windows Phone even Microsoft themselves.

  24. Wow. I never knew about this lol

  25. I know where the title came from 🤣🤣

  26. palm treo 650 <3 haven't thought about that thing for ages, used to love the darn thing!

  27. Ah the old days of when android was new and next to unknown, I found the devices quite particularly flashy and somewhat cool looking.

  28. iPhone is still mere iPod with GSM capabilities, but it manages to destroy smartphone market

  29. mini SIM isn't full size

  30. 5:28 Without music functionality? I had a E398, and it was my first real music phone, was advertised with The Black Eyed Peas. Stereo Speakers with various led lights synchronized with the output? Damn it was sexy. But yeah, fully Java based and had a tons of issues.
    Also my first phone with a headphone jack! 2,5mm tho, but hey, at least they tried…

  31. I worked at Apple in Ireland back in the day. Our Test Engineer showed me the – then unannounced Rokr at a Pub (didn't get stolen there though). I've noticed pretty much instantly, that the left and right audio channels where mixed up – and if I'm not mistaken, it got never fixed.

  32. "goodbye moto"

    … i was not ready for that

  33. After this video I'm looking forward the Villa Theatre Co – 2 am single. Sounds cool.

  34. Wow you took this from plane rock 124

  35. I listen to almost all of the artists you do! lots of indie!

  36. I remember watching that keynote in the day and being unimpressed

  37. I actually REALLY like the design at 3:55

  38. I remember those ROKR items from the past. I had the ROKR sunglasses. They were awesome and I wish they still made them.

  39. Haha I used to own the ROKR and concur it was all hype, thicc boy and sooooooo slow to sync with iTunes. What a throwback.

  40. I really loved the Moto Rokr!!!

  41. I still get goosebumps from the product launch video from 2007. Wow.

  42. Motorola Rokr

  43. 09:57 Two men sharing weeds.

  44. Did you really need to make a video on the obvious? lol

  45. Not really, it was basic in its functionality, but it functioned well. The first Android phones were the ones that sucked, with laggy UI, crashes etc

  46. I had a razr v3 it was such a good phone

  47. For a second I thought he meant the iPhone

  48. you know what?
    so did everything else

    first anddroid phone… sucked
    first cellphone… sucked

    first ipad… sucked
    first car… sucked
    first plane… sucked

  49. I think nostalgia is blurring our vision of the past. I don't think Motorola seemed to really care about the Rokr but they also strangely didn't even care about the Razr either. The software on the Razr was terrible too. And the Razr was one of the hottest phones on the planet at the time!

  50. Thanks, Quinn. I forgot this piece of shit product.

  51. Y’all really running out of video ideas

  52. My favorite phone from Moto was the rokr e6. Linux os with touch screen

  53. the base model 16 or 32 gd always been great to store apps music etc…

  54. why I watched this video fully? 😛

  55. Still remeber this phone mostly thanks to pocketnow

  56. back when apple actually invented something new

  57. the song at 8:20 sounds good

  58. If you think the iPhone was revolutionary search up Sony Ericsson P910. It was released in july 2004.

  59. The 2nd also sucked ass
    Didn't even have 3g or record videos
    It was a marketing strategy to make the 3g, which was actually a good phone, the actual iphone
    The iphone 2g was a genious marketing move, people were so mesmerized by tje fact of having a giant screen that they spent hundreds of dollars on a concept prototype just to show off
    And that's with most apple products to this day, that apple stand right there will be a success regardless of the critics, i don't see apple users as sheep that follows apple as their master, no, apple users are smart and selfish af

  60. 1:29 wow great, a touchscreen

  61. How is that nipple not pixelated?

  62. Working with Motorola allowed Apple to play with current cell phone tech at a much lower cost. When they had what they wanted, goodbye Moto.

  63. 7:55 OH MY GOD WHAT IS THAT ABOMINATION OF A CHARGER?!?
    That is textbook definition of "proprietary"

  64. Every phone post-iPhone looks the same

  65. In fairness the first iPhone was crap too. No App Store, 4gb non expandable memory. Only 2.5g connection, and a fixed focus 2 megapixel camera with no video recording. It had a nice screen, great industrial design, and interesting UX. on capabilities it was way behind other phones. I found them all lacking until iPhone 4 came out.

  66. snazzy iz chub chub xD
    -3giphoneuser <3

  67. Yess! I miss you, Scott.

  68. 6:21 I see that you're a man of good taste!

  69. New flash the first computer sucked, the first car sucked etc. First iterations of anything are always bad and over priced. So wtf are you on about? lol

  70. Did anyone else notice that Samsung's new Note 10 is the same shape as the iPhone from the Apple and Samsung trial 3:54. It's no wonder Apple sued Samsung for ripping off their products and won. 😂

  71. Yo I had a ROKR 😅

  72. "Hello Moto"

  73. Very interesting look back in time – thanks for making this!

  74. 3 iPod Nanos in my experience all failed within one year. Horrible product. Thanks for the history lesson. I never knew about the Rocker.

  75. And Apples current phone sucks.

  76. As I recall, it was either Moto or the carriers who restricted the capabilities of this thing.

    I wasn't even tempted to look at one.

  77. 15 mins battery life

  78. 6:06 Cool easter egg =D

  79. I owned this phone as a kid and I loved it. Didn't even know about the iTunes thing.

  80. Stole touch tech from nokia

  81. Remember when iPhones were good? Yeah… good times.

  82. Taking a picture of a Tesla Model 3 with a Motorola Rokr… only you Snazzy Labs.. only you.

  83. Clickbait

  84. Clickbaity title

  85. 8:28 This sounds amazing! Looking at their Spotify, these guys definitely deserve some extra attention 👌also, cool video!

  86. Yeah… first things usually suck, like your videos

  87. Yes kids, cellphones used to be indestructible. I think once iPhone sales get bad enough, we'll see the saphire glass patent they've been sitting on come as standard.

  88. iTunes still sucks as a music organizer and transfer app; no FLAC support (come on!), copying again files by default to a library in a proprietary format (where files are named only with 4 letter combinations), windows version sucked even more than mac's etc etc; as for the feature phone itself, it was bad but not that bad as u tried to portrait it; you just need to compare it with another same price-features basic phone of that era

  89. Buy first Samsung Omnia – competitor Apple in 2008 years!!!! Look how this usselless. 3 years difference.

  90. Yeah, but the smartphones that existed before the iPhone had daylight visible displays.
    -Ninja edit: I remember the ROKR! Didn't even realize Apple made it.

  91. The Wright brothers first plane sucked.

  92. I miss my flip phones. I don't like Google or Apple spying on me, then selling my data to advertisers. All of them do it even if they say they don't… (Apple)
    I might have to just buy a new razer and use that again. I seen them on eBay for pretty cheap.

  93. 9:11 You know someone's getting fired 😂😂

  94. I blame Apple

  95. Ha ha I really did know that there was a Motorola phone with iTunes. I am not sure but I believe that such phone was not at European markets.

  96. Nokia 770 Internet Tablet was the first badass mobile device with a screen. No the Iphone.

  97. Today I saw a man that looks exactly like you at my gym (Guayaquil – Ecuador). Next time I see him, i´ll take a picture. But I don't know how to place the photo here hahaha.

  98. so the roker is just a normal phone? I had a flip phone around the same time that had a DAC and internal storage for music. I don't think I have ever owned a phone that didn't have those options. there were even a few compact bricks in the late 90's and early 2000's that could do this.

  99. Conspiratory speculation: Apple wanted phone patents for the iPhone, so they proposed Motorola to buy a licence for some of their patents and in return Motorola could produce an Apple branded phone. Apple was preparing something big and Motorola imagined they could get easy cash for the cheap from this. I imagine that Apple had actually very little to do with the development of this thing, and when they saw the end result Steve decided to be pretty explicit about his disappointment in public to distantiate himself from the start. Anyway, if my speculation actually makes any sense, they got what they wanted from the deal.

  100. When you want an IPhone but you have cheap parents

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