Happy anniversary, iPhone!

By , Jun 29, 2013

Original iPhone (three-up, profile, front, back)

On this day six years ago, the original iPhone went on sale at Apple and AT&T stores in the United States – following six months of unbelievable hype and media frenzy that I suspect won’t repeat anytime soon. It’s somewhat hard to grasp that it’s been six years already and that the original Jesus phone, as the media nicknamed it, was so rapidly obsoleted by subsequent models that it’s now become a piece of history itself.

A lot has changed since June 29, 2007. The iPhone back then didn’t have the App Store and was pitched as three devices in one: a “widescreen iPod with touch controls,” a “revolutionary mobile phone” and a “breakthrough Internet communicator”.

Today, it’s anything you want it to be thanks to smart developers who pour their heart and soul into their apps, and there are now 900,000+ of them in the App Store. It’s fair to say there’s a world of difference between 2007 and 2013 in terms of mobile technology, here’s why…

The landscape was radically different  back then.

Nokia was the top dog in cell phones. Poor Samsung was an also-ran. Cocky Research In Motion ruled the boardroom. And nobody could touch greedy carriers. Back then, Steve Jobs hadn’t lost yet his tremendously courageous and bravely public fight against cancer that would take his life four years later, on October 5, 2011.

In introducing the iPhone during the January 2007 keynote, he put up a great show and arguably the best product presentation ever.

Back then, there were no stupid patent infringement lawsuits than span continents because established handset makers were in a state of shock when the iPhone sold its first millionth unit just 74 days after introduction so they weren’t even thinking about copying Apple’s technology.

This is also gold: Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer trash-talking the iPhone.

Talk about the lack of insight.

So today things are so different yet very familiar.

Gizmodo is blacklisted from Apple’s media events. And, believe it or not, we’ve come alive through Antennagate, Glassgate, Mapsgate and other fabricated scandals. Yes those were real issues, but blown way out of proportion.

The media is hating on Apple so much that it’s beyond belief.

Yet, this isn’t surprising as journalists, analysts and business executives have pronounced Apple death sentences over the years. In fact, according to Bryan Chaffin at the Mac Observer, Apple is pronounced dead or dying every few weeks.

Apple is being called out for its slipping market share, as if the company ever led the pack in terms of market share. Quite the opposite, since its inception the iPhone has captured the bulk of industry profits with a tiny share of the handset market.

Back then, the iPhone took crappy pictures and couldn’t shoot video.

Today, it captures full HD footage and takes eight-megapixel snaps, and will soon enter the twelve-megapixel territory with the introduction of the iPhone 5S later this year. Small wonder that the top three most popular cameras on Flickr are iPhones.

Back then, the summer was for the new iPhone.

In 2011, the trend reversed and now new iPhones get introduced in Fall, closer to the start of the all-important holiday shopping season. Back then, everyone wanted an iPhone because competition couldn’t offer a comparable experience as it was in dire straits.

Nowadays, competition is heightened.

Rivals are becoming increasingly aggressive in their marketing pitches and advertising against Apple, carriers are back on their feet and balking at Apple and click-hungry bloggers are throwing mud at the company over the iOS 7 icons that most happen to like after all.

If you just glance at tech headlines these days, Apple has lost its cool and is doomed.

Yet, the iPhone remains America’s top selling smartphone, the most profitable product and the top brand in terms of customer satisfaction – and those are metrics money can’t buy – so Apple must be doing something right after all.

Indeed, it doesn’t take a genius to see who’s the king of the sea and who’s the bottom feeder who pays students to lambast the iPhone in web comments, lives off other people’s ideas and derides Apple with every ad in the hope of painting itself comparable with Apple.

iPhone 5 (black, front, EarPods)

Yes, competition has caught up with Apple – and in some cases overtaken it, mostly in terms of meaningless features that are outside of Apple’s primary focus. No, there is nothing wrong with top smartphones from Samsung, Nokia, BlackBerry, HTC et al.

But that after six years nobody came close to creating their own unique experiences that are as lively, delightful and seamless as the iPhone tells me little has changed in terms of innovation since 2007 as most vendors remained complacent.

So instead of throwing mud at Apple, naysayers should applaud Apple.

Because, if it weren’t for the iPhone, carriers would still control everything. There would be nothing like the App Store where a guy in a living room could make a fortune writing mobile apps. Vendors would be churning out cheap plasticky devices and paying little attention to industrial design and seamless integration.

And smartphones would have never become as pervasive and integral to our lives.

iOS 7 (three-up, Photos, Camera, Weather)

And with iOS 7, Apple has taken a step in the right direction, in many ways breathing new life into its mobile operating system. Not only does it look prettier and easier on the eyes, iOS 7 will spur developers to re-think and de-clutter their apps, ushering in a new era of clean yet sophisticated software design.

And when your favorite apps get updated with iOS 7 look and feel, you’ll realize why speeds and feeds don’t really matter much and why the iPhone is such an iconic smartphone.

Disagree with me, vilify me or call me stupid – but the iPhone isn’t going anywhere.

  • Share:
  • Follow:
  • Tsavo Walker

    Haha I don’t even remember 2007 it seems like so long ago…

  • seyss

    These old Keynotes are a history lesson… all ppl who think Samsung/Android are legit should watch them.

    As I like to say, that green phone icon in the bottom-left of android/touchwiz “homescreen” is enough to prove their intentions.

    • Hey

      So you must think Apple directly copying Notication Center, the lockscreen, quick toggles, and dynamic wallpapers from Android shows Apple’s intentions?

      • Cameron Chao

        Actually, NC, quick toggles were jailbreak ideas. Dynamic wallpaper never needed to be copied(doesnt take a genius), apple just never wanted to include it, till now. You cant compare a simple NC and toggles to the whole damn concept of the iPhone.

      • Hey

        Notification Center or Quick Toggles definitely were not invented by the jailbreaking community. Also, your reason claiming Apple just didn’t want to include dynamic wallpapers until now is invalid unless you are a software designer for Apple. If not, then you have no idea if they wanted to include them in earlier versions or not. If you don’t think I can’t compare that to the whole concept of the iPhone based on those features, then why can he compare one icon and claim Android copied iOS and no one tells him otherwise. They just agree with him because he is favoring iOS. Nice logic.

      • npopson

        I suggest not bothering with trying to make a valid argument in the comment section of any iDB post.

        Sometimes the circle jerk will fall into region of sound reasoning and logic, but for the most part you’re better off just reading the article and pretending the comment section doesn’t exist.

      • Hey

        I agree. Half of the comments I see on this website are people trying to argue with each other making up B.S information that they call ‘facts’.

      • Maxim∑

        Symbian OS had all of that before android. The goal of technology is to take the old and make it better. Same goes for software.

        That bubble dynamic wallpaper was introduced in early versions of windows as a static background and then became animated in Vista. The bubble background on iOS 7 uses the accelerometer to move the bubbles in the opposite direction you tilt the device. Unlike Android’s which moves randomly

      • Hey

        Yeah, I know Symbian had a lot of this stuff be Android, but anytime I bring Symbian up on this website people always shoot my argument down (most likely because they have never heard of Symbian).

        Also, Android users have been able to get the parallax effect on their phone since Fall 2012.

      • mehrab

        Nc was a jb tweak on iPhone 3GS Symbian had quick toggles and apples take on it is different windows started live wallpapers apples take it on it as well lock screen on ios 5 cud deal with messages and reply back to then or call people now it can show you nc on the lock screen on ios 7 it is a software upgrade

      • Hey

        Notification Center has been out for Android since 2008, which is before the iPhone 3GS was released. Apple’s take on quick toggles is not different from Symbian, Android, or anyone else. It’s a panel that gives you access to a few buttons that let you enable/disable certain features. That’s not different, it’s you just trying to make up an excuse. I know Windows Vista had live wallpapers first, but why are you comparing a DESKTOP OS to a MOBILE OS.

        As for the rest of your message, it literally makes no sense.

      • mehrab

        Its fact that notification centre was first released from the jb commutiny. Yes the implementation design and the way you”ll open it is different up for notification down for functions. On control centre you get some quick access to apps,media controls,airdrop,wofi,bluetooh, etc

        About the live wallpapers. It does not matter where the idea was stolen from. Fact is, it was stolen

  • Khan Rulzz

    Missing steve jobs :(

    • leart za jmi

      One asshole voted down

      • Kurt

        I voted him down and you down. Steve Jobs was not a “good” guy. He is in hell too just so you know. Looks like you need to learn some tolerance. Not everyone thinks like you, that doesn’t make them an a******

      • leart za jmi

        You are working full time here at this blog, its nice to read your comments pro spamsung sice this is a idevice blog, you are a little out of place.
        I hope you are paid well, i was wondering, you are the woman in the photo or the gay?

      • mehrab

        1pluuussssss

  • Canchume

    wow i still have my iphone 2g 8 gb, o i remeber when i both it, it was extrange using in the street

    • Liam Mulcahy

      wow :O

  • weztimonial

    3GS you will be remembered.

  • Liam Mulcahy

    amazing article

  • Joseph an

    awesome presentation

  • MnKeByTe

    From this time, smartphones are changed!

  • batongxue

    Steve Ballmer again.
    LOL

    • Boss

      $500 for an iPhone LOL yet they’re selling the Xbox One for $500

      • Hey

        Way to compare 2 different products. An Xbox One is obviously more powerful than an iPhone, it has more ports (such as HDMI), a blu-ray drive, a controller, and a 1080P sensor that can track you. $500 dollars is a pretty fair price for an Xbox One, although I don’t plan on getting one.

  • Arnaud Nelissen

    Amazing article, couldn’t agree more with you.
    As Phil Schiller would say, “Can’t innovate anymore, my ass!”

  • Ameya Shelar

    What an article !!!

  • M Last

    OMG……..!
    I remember these days
    my first iphone was iphone 2G 4GB

    Steve Jobs still love you!

  • Ricky

    Hahaha steve ballmer is eating his own sh*t now hahaha look at the windowsphne no more keyboards ahhahah

  • Willie

    “A revolutionary product” – a thing Steve Jobs would say and a thing we would agree to

  • jacobkwright

    I miss that phone. I loved the back/casing so much better than anything else that’s come out since. I remember the first time I jailbroke it, how freaked out I was that I had just destroyed my $600 phone, but alas it was only the start….

  • http://klikkit.co.uk/ Jake – Klikkit

    Lol Ballmer.. what an idiot, depressing to know he’s the face of Microsoft today.. it’s like putting Mr Bean in charge of Apple.

    Why couldn’t he be gracious or just avoid the question like Bill and the iPad?

    • Kurt

      He laughed at the price. And people who bought it right away, received a refund because of the high price that was quickly lowered. He was also sorta right about the keyboard. Though, personally I never had a problem typing on the iphone keyboard until iOS 5. Now I always hit “B” instead of the space bar. Has that happened to you since iOS 5? I feel something was changed. But perhaps out of the blue, I changed the way I type and now I do it inaccurately?

      • http://klikkit.co.uk/ Jake – Klikkit

        he laughs at the keyboard, within a few years Microsoft and every other phone company have near enough the exact same touchscreen keyboards.

  • mehrab

    Omg i was watching the first iphone video an hour ago what a coincidense

  • Rowan09

    I’m sure many people agreed with him at that point, but seeing it years later after touchscreen phones are all over the place it makes him look like an idiot.

  • LordRassilon OfTime

    I never comment, however every time I read the articles, there were lost-cause fights in the comments section between the Android and Apple fans. However I guess this one kept the Android fans speechless

  • q34t

    nice article…it has everything i wanted to say to non-iphone owners who thinks of buying android only to prove they got more stuff on their phone vs iphone..

  • brooks whiffen seale

    This is BY FAR one of the most thought out, interesting articles I’ve read on IDB in a long time.

  • Andre

    My first iPhone was the 3GS after that I fell in love and I love my iPhone 5 couldn’t be happier with it

  • Gerardo Maasberg

    And as I remember Apple presented Eric Schmidt in the keynote speaking of merging and stuff…. who would guess they would end up frienemies.

  • MagnificentN

    Started at the bottom now we here

  • Gorgonphone

    Iphone was pue bs until the 3gs and the os got multi tasking that is when i came on board

  • Kurt

    Too be fair, Ballmer was laughing at the price of the device. Don’t forget it came down a few hundred bucks right after and people who bought it at the high price received a refund on the change in price. About not being a great device for emails for businessmen, that was said for around 4 years after the release. Only now do people feel typing on a touchscreen is fine. I personally got used to it right away. But since iOS 5, they changed something in the keyboard now I hit “b” instead of the spacebar….am I the only one or did Apple change something?

  • Girish

    thumbs up for APPLE :)

  • http://sciencedem.blogspot.com editor

    and our grandkids will wonder why us old fuddy duddies; carried around a black granite slab instead of wearing a lightweight curved iPhone on our wrists.

  • Jack Wong

    I still have 2 iPhone first generation here, <3 it~