Experience iPhoneKindness On A Grand Scale
It’s been twenty four years in the making and now we are making history.
The iPhoneKindness event is sponsored by ikindness.org, a not-for-profit focused on helping others with healthcare and random unconditional acts of kindness.
Our goal is to fund a portfolio of projects from the sale of the The Original iPhone Collection and other direct support from community members.
The (true) iPhone Story
I was twenty-something in 1998 and lucky enough to be part of the development and launch of the original iPhone. My friends and I lived the stereotypical Silicon Valley startup lifestyle for three years with stock options, IPOs and venture capitalists on every corner. Our team of network engineers and programmers in Kfar Saba, Israel and Redwood City, CA, put infoGear on Apple’s radar (it also didn’t hurt that we were in Apple’s backyard). Nearly a decade before the Apple iPhone stormed the world in 2007, infoGear and CIDCO (“Caller ID company”) quietly introduced the first iPhone and forever changed the world’s view of the internet by converging voice and Internet services into one device.
The iPhone was envisioned by Chaim Bendelac, Yuval Shachar and Reuven Marko in 1995. The iPhone concept was a skunk works project at National Semiconductor, buried in the back of a test lab. Bob Ackerman, a valley technology investor, saw the monochrome prototype while on tour at NSD and later acquired the intellectual property. In 1995, Bob founded infoGear Technology in Redwood City, CA, and over the next five years $27,000,000 was poured into the startup from major valley names like NEA (Dick Kramlich, Partner), Intel, Cisco Systems, Labrador Ventures and Indosuez.
The history of the original iPhone started with the 1995 concept model and ended with the second-generation model in late 2000. The thin-client device connected to “ServerGear”, a proxy server for rendering content before being displayed on the iPhone screen. Since the iPhone only had 3 MB of memory and accessed the internet via a dialup connection, the web pages were stripped of nonessential images and code for the custom user interface. The “internet appliance” boasted a 7.4′ grayscale touchscreen, email, electronic “rolodex” and telephone functions. The device made it into a retail stores around the world and became the signature product for a multi-level marketing company in Provo, Utah (Big Planet). New Zealand (Telepoz and Dicks Electronics), South Africa (Radiospoor), United States (Compusa) and Australia (ION Australia) placed early bets with ServerGear network deployments. This meant installing servers across several networks to handle the wave of iPhone users willing to plunk down $400 either directly or through an ISP contract (infoGear sold and gave away less than 70,000+ units). The iPhone won innovation awards at CES and caught Cisco System’s attention in 1999 with an investment and board seat.
InfoGear was acquired for $301M in 2000. In the middle of the acquisition, the “dot bomb” for tech stocks was in full swing and companies were losing major market value (it’s a miracle the acquisition went through).
The Original iPhone collection is a time capsule of iPhone history representing three generations of iPhones prior to 2007: Cidco iPhone, infoGear iPhone and the Cisco iPad. The collection includes:
- 1 Proof of Concept iPhones (serial 001) – 1996
- 1 White Cidco clay model – 1997
- 1 Black demo model – 1997
- 1 White Cidco iPhone – 1998
- 1 White InfoGear iPhone (foam model) – 1999
- 1 White InfoGear iPhone – 1999
- 1 Black InfoGear iPhone – 1999
- 1 Translucent InfoGear iPhone – 1999
- 1 Cisco Web Pad – 2000
- Custom carrying cases and adapters
Original iPhone videos here.
The iPhonekindness Plan
Our goal is to commemorate the iPhone’s 25-year anniversary and give people an opportunity to come together in a global act of kindness. Proceeds from the events will seed a portfolio of community projects including healthcare and medication for the chronically ill.
To my friends, family and colleagues, join me on this adventure. This is a 20-year dream of to do something wonderful for people who least expect the help, but need it the most.
iPhone evangelist since 1997