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Happy Birthday iPhone! Ten years old, but “the best is yet to come”

It’s been a whopping ten years since the late Steve Jobs unveiled the very first iPhone, and Apple has been celebrating the anniversary with a look back at the device’s history.


Remember when iPhones looked like this?

In a press release, Apple highlights that the iPhone has sold over a billion units and led to the creation of new products like the iPad and Apple Watch. CEO Tim Cook is quoted as saying “the best is yet to come,” noting that the iPhone helped define mobile computing as it is today and remarking on how essential a product it has become for some many people. Meanwhile, Apple SVP Phil Schiller describes the iPhone as “the gold standard by which all other smartphones are judged.”

The press release then deviates from nostalgia to hammer home the innovations in the latest round of iPhones. In particular the A10 Fusion chip and the 12-megapixel camera of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are highlighted, along with the new additions in iOS 10.

Though the first iPhone wasn’t released until June 2007, it was shown to the public on January 9th 2007 at a now-legendary announcement in which Steve Jobs teases three breakthrough new products, only to reveal that all those functions have been rolled into a single device: the iPhone. You can watch a video clip of Jobs explaining its design below, and it’s a very interesting watch now we’ve seen the impact of the device over a full decade. It’s easy to forget just how bad smartphones were before the iPhone came along and changed everything.

Despite many additional features and capabilities, it’s remarkable how true even today’s iPhone is to the vision laid out in this speech ten years ago. We thought it would be interesting to look back on the biggest innovations of each iPhone generation.

iPhone (2007) – the iOS platform, Multi-Touch gestures

iPhone 3G (2008) – support for 3G, introduction of the App Store

iPhone 3GS (2009) – video recording, voice control

iPhone 4 (2010) – Retina display, front-facing camera

iPhone 4S (2011) – the arrival of Siri, iCloud

iPhone 5 (2012) – taller screen, Lightning connector

iPhone 5S (2013) – Touch ID, Control Center

iPhone 6 (2014) – first Plus-size model, Apple Pay

iPhone 6S (2015) – Force Touch, Live Photos

iPhone 7 (2016) – dual-lens camera, water resistance

That’s a lot of new features that we take for granted these days! Do you remember the days with no Siri and no video recording? It’s also hard to imagine the very first iPhone launching with no App Store – users back then were limited to the handful of basic apps preloaded onto the device.

Apple’s full press release is an interesting read, and Cook’s assertion that the best is yet to come leaves us wondering what new innovations the company has up its sleeve for the upcoming iPhone 8.