Steve Jobs Once Tossed the Original iPhone Across a Room to Impress Journalists

Tuesday marks 10 years since Apple co-founder Steve Jobs passed away, and those who met him have begun to share stories about his life.

steve jobs holding iphone 4
CNET's Roger Cheng today recounted his memory of Jobs visiting The Wall Street Journal's headquarters in New York to offer him and a small group of other reporters an early look at a prototype iPhone, shortly after the device was unveiled in 2007.

Cheng revealed that when one reporter asked about the iPhone's durability, Jobs reacted by tossing the prototype he was holding into the air toward the center of the room, resulting in a small gasp followed by immediate silence as the device hit the carpeted floor. Cheng said the iPhone survived unscathed, adding that the move was the kind of calculated risk that Jobs was known to take as a showman.

"The memory underscores the kind of lengths Jobs went to in order to make an impression," wrote Cheng. "Imagine how disastrous it would've been if that iPhone had broken or shut down in front of so many journalists."


Jobs famously introduced the original iPhone as if it were three separate products: a widescreen iPod with touch controls, a revolutionary mobile phone, and a breakthrough internet communications device. The crowd at Macworld San Francisco erupted with cheerful applause upon realizing that Jobs was referring to a single device.

Jobs passed away October 5, 2011 at the age of 56. Apple maintains a Remembering Steve page on its website with messages from people all over the world.

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Top Rated Comments

edolecki Avatar
35 months ago
I basically owe my career to this man and his company. I won’t lie, I cried that entire evening when I heard the news. Rest easy Steve.
Score: 64 Votes (Like | Disagree)
WaffleBoi_15 Avatar
35 months ago
“Original iPhone”

uses a pic of the iPhone 4
Score: 40 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Sciomar Avatar
35 months ago
Love him or hate him, he was a true visionary whose influence spanned further than just tech. A lot of companies wouldn't be what they are today (or even exist) without this man.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
abowlby Avatar
35 months ago
Golly does time fly. Those old Jobs keynotes were like major sporting events for us nerds. If you watch the OG iPhone announcement you can see someone down front literally stand up and fist pump when Jobs says “these are not 3 separate products…”

Heres to the crazy ones.

Edit: Someone pointed out in the comments that the fist pump occurs when Steve mentions the "phone" component specifically, which is correct. My memory needs an upgrade ;)
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Analog Kid Avatar
35 months ago

"Imagine how disastrous it would've been if that iPhone had broken or shut down in front of so many journalists."
It would be almost as bad as throwing a steel ball at the "armor glass" window of your fancy new pickup truck and having it shatter. Twice.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
krspkbl Avatar
35 months ago
it's insane just how important the iphone was. if you had to pick a single product that changed human lives (in the last couple decades) it's the iphone. i don't want to sound like an insane apple fanboy but seriously... where would the world be if smartphones didn't become popular and apps didn't exist in their current form.

i'd like to see that alternative timeline just out of curiosity. i know there were "smartphones" before iPhone but there just weren't the same. iPhone really kicked it off. that thing blew my mind when it came out. an ipod that could make calls and go on the internet? i remember going into an apple store after school and calling my dad "i'm using an iphone!" lol
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)