iPhone, a moment in history

BBC News correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones, recalling that day, ten years ago, when the iPhone was first unveiled:

Ten years ago I was running from San Francisco’s Moscone Centre to a nearby hotel to edit a piece for the Ten O’Clock News when my phone rang.

“Have you got your hands on this new Apple phone for a piece to camera?” shouted a producer in London. “If not, why not?”

This appeared to be an impossible demand.


Then I remembered that we had been offered – and turned down for lack of time – an interview with Apple’s marketing chief Phil Schiller. I turned around and headed back to the Moscone Centre. Having located Mr Schiller I asked whether before our interview I might just have a look at the iPhone.

He graciously handed his over – and rather than trying to ring Jony Ive or order 5,000 lattes as Steve Jobs had on stage, I brandished it at the camera for my Ten O’Clock News piece.


The following weekend a Sunday newspaper columnist described me as having clutched the phone as if it were “a fragment of the true cross”, and some viewers complained that the BBC had given undue prominence to a product launch.

Undue prominence? As it turns out, no amount of coverage could fairly have been labeled undue.