29 June 2007: The day the world changed

Apple faithful,

Today we make history. Today we change the world. Today we put a dent in the universe. Today — 29 June 2007 — we release iPhone. It has taken years of work from all parts of Apple. First advertising, of course. Then feng shui consultants, and design and engineering and manufacturing. Countless emergent designs, countless meetings, countless all-nighters to make every part of the iPhone, from its custom-made integrated circuits to its sleek glass screen and metal case, absolutely perfect. To those of you who serve under me at Apple, I say this: Yes, I have berated you, and insulted you, and exasperated you. Yes, I’ve fired your friends for no reason, and made you work harder than you ever thought you could work. Yes, I’ve taken you away from your spouses, your children, your transgendered domestic partners. In some cases your devotion to me has cost you your marriages. You’ve sacrificed a great deal for this. But has it not been worth it? For the rest of your life, you’ll be able to say that you were working at Apple when the iPhone was introduced. You were here on the day when the course of human history was changed forever. Plus, you’ll get a free 4-gigabyte iPhone, a $500 value. Not bad, right?

Already, around the United States, thousands of Apple faithful are lining up outside our retail shrines, waiting for iPhone. Some will approach on their bare knees, like pilgrims approaching the shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe in Peru. Just a few minutes ago we received a report that Apple faithful are also lining up outside retail shrines around the globe, even though those stores do not have iPhones and will not have them for months, maybe years. The response is, in a word, stunning. We are saving the satellite photos showing the clusters and will use them as part of our promotional material. Apple employees, view these photos and see what you have done, and then go home and tell your children — those smallish people who live in your house, the ones you haven’t seen in a couple of years — tell them, You see those people suffering outdoors, enduring the heat and rain and monsoons just so they can get a cell phone? I did this. This was my work.

To those Apple customers who are already congregating in thousands outside our retail shrines, I say: Thank you, much love, and namaste. You have endured taunts and jeers and the incessant attention of a media starved for material in the midst of a slow summer news cycle; you’ve been spat upon, abused, attacked by police with firehoses and nightsticks and guard dogs; you’ve peed into bottles and lived on junk food. But you stuck to your principles. You remained true to your beliefs, the core one being that yes, you are special, and you deserve to be among the first in the world to obtain a device that combines telephony, Web browsing and music playing. Yes, we’ll still be selling these devices a week from now, and the week after that. But you want yours now. You’re making a statement. The world is hearing you.

Let’s be honest about why this is happening. This is not a fad. This is not some phony hyped-up astroturfing Microsoft campaign. This is a genuine outpouring of love and enthusiasm and excitement from people whose souls have been stirred by the wonder of technology and the ability to communicate with other human beings in ways that have never before been possible. That’s what this is about. It’s about communicating. It’s about connecting. It’s about bringing the world together in common cause. It’s about saying, Look, I realize there’s something bad happening in Darfur, and there’s some kind of AIDS epidemic in Africa, and there’s some crazies who want to blow us all up, and there’s a war in Iraq where thousands of people are dying for no reason — and yes, those things are important, and someday we may take to the streets to say something about them, if we can think of anything to say about them, but for now we Americans take to the streets for this cause. Right here, right now, we take a stand. This is our moment. From pole to pole, from north to south, from east to west, let the message go out. We are Americans, and we have values. Hear us, world. Hear us and say, Wow.

The iPhone stands for something very simple — freedom. Apple faithful, you march today in the tradition of the marchers at Selma, in the tradition of Gandhi at the Salt March to Dandi. You have made your point. There are some things, you said, that are worth suffering for. I am proud to have given meaning to your life. I am proud to have invented iPhone and designed iPhone and brought iPhone to the world. I feel, in a way, humbled by your adoration. But in another way not humbled. Anyway. My whole life has built up to this moment. I believe that this is what I was put on the earth to achieve. I thank you all for sharing this historic day with me.

Namaste. Much love. Peace out.

Dear Leader