It was a widescreen iPod for music and video, a revolutionary mobile phone, and a breakthrough Internet communications device, but it would soon also become our flashlight, our wallet, our passport, our light switch, and the lens with which we’d capture and store our memories day in and day out.
Apple changed the world on this day in 2007 when Steve Jobs unveiled the original iPhone. For some of us at 9to5Mac the iPhone was our introduction to Apple and the device we grew up with. For others, a new era for the company and mobile computers. But for all of us, a game changing device that would impact our lives in many ways.
As the iPhone celebrates its 10th anniversary this week, the 9to5Mac team takes some time to remember our first iPhones and just how far the device has come…
My first iPhone came after my iPod classic died, and my desire for a point-and-shoot camera started to increase. I had enough cash to buy one device, but not both, and I ended up making the leap to an iPhone 3GS. The iPod app on iOS had the best music player UI, and the camera was just good enough for me to learn photography. It also became the first computing device that truly helped me leap forward in productivity. I found myself using Notes and Calendar almost daily and it helped bring organizational sanity to my school years.
I began keeping my eye out for every Apple product release just to learn what made this exciting company tick. Soon after having bought my iPhone 3GS, I realized they were the next company I wanted to work for. I pursued a job at my local Apple store, where I spent the next four years learning the ins-and-outs of the retail business.
The iPhone was the first device that really made me appreciate computers and their potential. It was the first device since the original NES that I was absolutely enthralled with upon first usage. The iPhone changed my life in many of the same ways that it has changed everyone else’s lives — there’s that convenience factor of having a computer in your pocket wherever you go.
But what really stands out to me is how the iPhone turned out to be my gateway into the world of Apple. Before that I was a certified Apple hater, and a Microsoft fanboy. The iPhone helped me to see that hardware could be excellent and software could be thoughtful, easy to use, powerful, and useful.
Since then I’ve used Macs exclusively, and my love for the Mac has fueled my enjoyment for other interests like videography, photography, design, writing, and music. So for me, the iPhone was a gateway into the world of Apple, and that in turn helped me to better realize my love for the arts.
Zac Hall |
I was barely 16 when Steve Jobs unveiled the original iPhone at MacWorld in 2007. It was on my radar like the iPhone 8 will be on my daughter’s radar (which is to say what’s on TV is more important), but 10 years later it’s remarkable how much of an impact on me it would have.
My first Apple product was an iPod nano that I was gifted around that time and my first three cell phones ran Windows Mobile, then Android (themed to look like iPhones) before I bought my first iPhone.
One of my first shots on iPhone 4
It was the unicorn white iPhone 4 on May 4, 2011 (Star Wars Day, May the 4th be with you, so it’s easy to remember). I spent way too much money on the deposit for the AT&T plan, but it marked the start of my library of 16,483 photos and 1,375 videos. By then the camera was quite impressive (the original iPhone had no video and only a 2MP camera) and it’s only improved.
In 2017, I can trace back so much about what my life what it is today to the original iPhone ten years ago, both professionally and personally.
It’s definitely easy to lose perspective when you only focus on year-over-year changes, but credit is due for iPhone shifting the technological projection of the next decade and connecting the world like never before.
I don’t know what the next decade will be like for iPhone, but today it’s still my go-to camera and my beloved Apple Watch couldn’t work without it (yet).
My first was the iPhone 3G. It was the first model released internationally following the original iPhone launch in the U.S. a year before, and so the first I had access to here in Canada. I had been patiently waiting and watching the development of the original iPhone as an already avid iPod and Mac user; my brother and I enjoyed watching Steve Jobs’ famous keynotes over the years long before it was my job to do so. I’d tried my luck getting a unit on the day the 3G launched, waiting until after my dead end part-time job and visiting 3 or 4 local Rogers stores before finding one that had a single unit left in stock. That was in 2008— I was 18 years old— and a passion for the evolving app ecosystem and the jailbreaking scene would renew my lifelong passion for computers and inspire me to write about them.
The iPhone quite literally changed the course of my life and career path at a time when I didn’t have much direction. A few short years and many blog posts later I got a shot here at 9to5Mac where I’ve now been writing about Apple, the iPhone and all the ways the device has changed the world for over 5 years.
For many people, the iPhone was the gateway drug that brought them into the Apple ecosystem; with me it was the exact opposite. Despite buying the very first Macintosh (way back in the mists of 1984) and the first iPad, I was a relative latecomer to the iPhone. My first smartphone was the Handspring Treo in 2002, and I owned a succession of Nokia and Windows smartphones before the release of the iPhone, and as a confirmed hardware keyboard fan, I initially went the Android route for that reason.
It was only with the launch of the iPhone 4 that I decided to bite the bullet and switch. It was the ecosystem that brought me to the iPhone: as someone using both a Mac and an iPad, by the time the iPhone 4 rolled around, the benefits of living on a single platform outweighed those of the hardware keyboard I finally learned to live without.
Ten years ago, I was about to turn 11 years old. I didn’t have an iPod, I wasn’t into music that much, the family computer was a PC, and I didn’t have my own computer of any kind. I doubt I knew who Steve Jobs was then.
The launch of the iPhone in 2007 was really what kickstarted my interest in the company, even if I didn’t actually own an Apple product until much later.
The iPhone was so different, it was so much more sophisticated than any smartphone of the era. My dad had a BlackBerry for work and the email navigation relied on this rubbery wheel on the side. The multitouch screen was just the obviously better way to scroll a list of messages — it was entrancing. They could have built a successful product from just that one feature alone.
Nowadays, every new technology product relies on the concepts and metaphors pioneered by the iPhone, first demoed a decade ago.
My first iPhone was the first-gen model and it was very much the device that truly made me invest in the Apple ecosystem. Despite the fact that I bought the original iPhone over a year after it came out on eBay, I was amazed at how revolutionary it was, even with Edge data speeds and AT&T’s subpar service. I vividly remember being the ‘coolest kid in school’ for having the iPhone while everyone else was cell phone-less or using a Motorola RAZR. My next iPhone would be the iPhone 3GS, and then the iPhone 5 and every model since.
It was the iPhone that led me to buy my first ever Mac, a black “Core Duo” MacBook that, like the iPhone, I bought after its release from someone on eBay. Put together, these two devices jump started my interest in technology that has now grown from a hobby to a career. Even though I admittedly went through an Android phase for a year or so, it’s the iPhone that led me to where I am today, writing about Apple as a full-time job, with an ever-growing interest in technology.
The iPhone 3G was my first iPhone in 2008, although I had been using my girlfriend’s original iPhone about as much as her for the previous year. August 2007 was my first time seeing it in person (outside of the Apple Store) as she pulled it out of her purse. The excitement of possibly using an iPhone in real life wiped away any nervousness that would have been and I walked up introduced myself. As it happens, we’ve been married for seven years now.
After loving my experience with the iPod (20GB w/ click wheel) and my 2006 MacBook I became a huge Apple fan (a clunky HP was my previous machine at college). After being partially satiated with some original iPhone access for a year, I was plotting how to get my own iPhone 3G. The line was so long at AT&T that I had to call my good buddy Adam and ask him to take my place while I went to class (thanks, man! I think I had a test or something).
Beyond all the amazing innovation the iPhone brought us like the revolutionary touch-screen, intuitive function, beautiful design, and smart software I may have been most excited by Apple’s vision and execution of the App Store in 2008. From a personal perspective the App Store allowed our devices to be ever-evolving and improving. This was amazing after being used to carrier controlled phones. From a global perspective the App Store allowed anyone to bring their idea to the masses and make the world a better place with technology.
There are many reasons I’m grateful for the iPhone, but the biggest ones are the relationships I’ve made because of it, the creativity it has encouraged, and creating a love for technology and Apple which led me to being a part of the 9to5Mac team.
In 2007, I was living in Paris, working often in London (Chunnel commuter) at the Federacion Internacional de la Automobile. My job as Communication Manager meant I had to have a device that worked wherever I went. Until then, I was using a Danger Sidekick 2 for personal and Nokia N95 for work as I recall. The Sidekick was speedy and able to go between email, SMS and instant messaging but it was severely limited hardware-wise, carrier coverage in Europe was spotty at best and its app store was pretty weak. The Nokia N95 had all the specs: 3G, GPS, Wifi, etc but its interface was total garbage, it took 10 steps to do anything and it had a number pad for entry. The GPS would take 10 minutes to work, if at all, and I think it was an extra charge to use maps making it pointless.
The iPhone changed everything. I knew I had to have it and with the announcement 10 years ago, I got so into Apple that I started 9to5Mac. There were hacks and shortcomings, for instance getting it working with our company’s ancient Exchange Server. But once I got my boss on board (from his Windows Mobile), there was no turning back. Once anyone used the iPhone, the Blackberrys, Nokia N95s and Sidekicks of the world were toast. Once Orange started carrying the iPhone in November of 2007, everyone in our office started getting them.
Because this type of reaction was happening all over, and 9to5Mac was scooping up some iPhone exclusives, the blog took off and became 1st my primary source of income and eventually my full time job. If nothing else, you can thank the iPhone for the website you are reading right now.