A decade of the iPhone

"We're gonna make some history," said the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs 10 years ago today.

"Every once in a while a revolutionary product comes along and changes everything....today Apple is going to re-invent the phone."

It was called the iPhone,  integrating phone, iPod, camera and web browsing. The world hadn't seen anything like it.

Steve Jobs knew the iPhone would change everything
Steve Jobs knew the iPhone would change everything (Getty)

Bloggers reverently called it the 'Jesus phone',  while critics loudly decried it.

"It's the most expensive phone in the world," Microsoft's Steve Ballmer said in a CNBC interview, "and doesn't appeal to business customers because it doesn't have a keyboard."

Back then the closest people had to today's smartphones was the Blackberry with its access to emails and a keyboard.

The iPhone was multi-touchscreen and it cost a whopping US$500 to $600 before a carrier's subsidy.

The lack of keyboard or price didn't put people off. Ten  years and several iterations later, Apple has sold more than a billion iPhones and is the most valuable company in the world.

But it hasn't been without criticism.  There was "bendgate", "antennagate", and, of course,  last year's slump  in iPhone sales globally.

So 10 years on and another iPhone due:  what can fans expect? Apple will be under pressure to come up with a new wonder. An even bigger screen, wireless charging, no home button?  It's only January and already the rumour mill is in full swing, despite the phone not being expected until later this year.

Apple is famed for making bold decisions and maintaining the hype. On those fronts at least,  2017 is unlikely to be any different.