Happy 7th birthday, iPhone!

On June 29, 2007 people were lining up in droves outside Apple Stores to be among the first to own a wide-screen iPod, a revolutionary phone, and a breakthrough internet communicator. To own an iPhone.

It was a very different world back then. What few smartphones there were typically had small screens and hardware keyboards, locked the web in WAP and proxy, and a simple sticky notes app cost $30... if you could find it on one of the dozens of scattered online stores. The iPhone by comparison wasn't only a breath of fresh air, it was a breath of fresh experience.

Apple had worked for over two years on a capacitive touch technology that really felt like direct manipulation, on inertial scrolling and rubber banding, pinch-to-zoom and cover-flow that made interaction not only intuitive but delightful. They'd worked to bring the real web to mobile. There was no 3G or GPS, no MMS or copy paste, there wasn't even an App Store, but the difference was so great, the ramifications so obvious, most of us didn't care. Not six months earlier we'd seen Steve Jobs flow from music to a phone call to mail and the web and back, smoothly, charmingly, and we desperately wanted it for ourselves.

To say the iPhone changed everything isn't hyperbole. It's simple acknowledgement of one of the most profound technological and cultural developments of the decade. You have only to look at all the screens we interact with on a daily basis today to see how much of that is due to the hard, brilliant work of Apple and the Purple Experience Project. To the iPhone.

To everyone who worked on it, from concept to design to development, from shipping to sales to support — thank you. Five hundred million times thank you.

Happy 7th birthday, iPhone! Here's to exponentially more!


The iPhone didn't officially come to my neck of the woods until the second generation in 2008. That didn't stop me from buying an original iPhone anyway, despite the rigamarole required to get it and use it. I loved that black and aluminum beauty. It couldn't do everything my old Treo 680 or Treo Pro could do, but the way it did things was so profoundly better that I didn't care. It was evident, holding it in my hand, pushing the pixels around beneath the glass, that the iPhone was the future. I still have it and still treasure it to this day.

If the original iPhone was your first iPhone let me know — what did you switch from, what did you think of it at the time, and what do you think of it now in hindsight? If you came to the iPhone later, let me know — when, from what, and how do you feel about it now?

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

More Posts



← Previously

How to use iOS 8 for iPhone and iPad: The ultimate guide

Next up →

How to view a note on your iPhone or iPad with Siri

Reader comments

Happy 7th birthday, iPhone!


I was locked to Verizon and my Blackberry at the time but I couldn't help but be jealous. I kept up with the iPhone and it's progress and I can remember that when it did finally make it to verizon all of my friends immediately went out and bought the first iPhone 4. I waited, and was rewarded with the 4s in the fall and have never looked back.

I had the original iPhone , took out a contract with still 4 months left on a blackberry contract, have owned original, 3GS, 4s and now a 5, love the iPhone

I wasn't able to get an iPhone until the iPhone 5, but I wanted one right from day one. I finally got my iPhone 5 in 2012, and will be getting the iPhone 6 later this year,

Happy birthday, iPhone. Here's to seven more years and beyond.

Sent from the iMore App

I had a two year contract with Sprint. My phone was a Blackberry. The BB was too slow. I got my first iPhone 4S through Sprint and I loved it. I'm Apple all the way now. Ipad2, MacBook Air and an iPhone 5c. I like Apple because they are so user friendly, no need for antivirus and they don't slow down like PC's do.

Sent from the iMore App

My first iPhone was the 3GS in December 2009. I upgraded from a Sony Ericsson C510 and the difference was immense. At that point nobody I worked with used an iPhone now 6 do which out of 11 is pretty significant. Within 7 months I shelled out for the iPhone 4 and I've had every model since.

Sent from the iMore App

I remember seeing the "calamari" commercial for the first iPhone and the concept of a touch screen being so foreign to me, it was mind boggling. My friends later got the 3G and I was blown away. I fought and fought until I finally got my first iPhone, the iPhone 4, in December 2010. I may have started with an iPod touch (as most do) but it was then that I became a true "Apple user" and have since bought several iPads, Macs, Apple TVs, and AirPorts.

It was damn near impossible to get ahold of the original iphone. When I was able to get ahold of one a couple months after release; I happily dumped my Motorola Razr.

I remember getting mine on launch date and I was headed over to Europe for two weeks the next day with a buddy. I was coming from a Treo on the Sprint Network. I remember getting into Amsterdam and tooling around town, taking pics, etc. and seeing the Apple store. We walked in, it was about a half hour before close and I whipped that bad boy out --- every employee in the store made a beeline to me. There had to be 8-10 people asking me questions in broken English, then one of them just straight up closed the store, locked the doors and asked if they could see it. Being the nice guy, my buddy and I just went and jumped on the Macs for the free Internet and pounded out some emails for about a half hour. This "Royal Treatment" continued throughout our trip and was the most amazing conversation starter I had come across. Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris, Pamplona --- pretty sure I was the first person to ever run and photograph the running of the bulls with an iPhone --- and finally on to Barcelona. Simply having that in my hand would, and did, jump start a conversation with anyone who saw it and knew what it was. It became a living journal and scrap book with pictures, new emails, addresses and phone numbers from all over the globe. And...I still have it.

My first iPhone was the iPhone 4, in white. I had wanted an iPhone forever but never enough to sign with Rogers (no phone is worth signing with Rogers), and when I finally had the opportunity to get one I had moved from BB to the giant iPhone ripoff, the Samsung Galaxy S Vibrant (lie all you want Samsung, that is a direct copy of the iPhone without the class). I loved that 4 and it served me well for years, and is still being used today by the person I eventually sold it to. Since then I've bounced through multiple platforms - favorite being WebOS - but I always come back to iPhone. I've since had the 5 and now the 5S paired with iPad Air.

I recently had the HTC M8, and it's beautiful and I love that phone, but I sold it to a coworker and went back to my gold iPhone because I missed it. I put the proceeds of that sale into my iPhone 6 fund, and if the rumors are true my next phone will be a 4.7" iPhone 6 in gold.

I always come back to iPhone. Always. It's just that good.

Sent from the iMore App

I love my HTC One M8 and would not take an iPhone 5S for it. However, after watching Apple's developer conference, I can say that I am very intrigued by iOS 8 and I think the iPhone 6 is going to be amazing. I can't wait to see it.

I came to the iPhone Life from android and i started with an iPhone 4!! iPhone its so good and i don't even want to look back!! Everything is tightly integrated and the apple ecosystem is PERFECT!!

Sent from the iMore App

Bought the iPhone in December 2007 and it was seriously the best phone I've owned.

Sent from the iMore App

I had an 'HTC TyTN' (aka an MDA Vario II). It had a slide out keyboard and a stylus. What a heap of crap. One day I got so angry with it crashing all day long while typing something as simple as a text message that I stamped on it!
I waited patiently for a couple of months for the UK iPhone launch. I went in a store to have a go on an iPhone and it totally blew me away. I bought one immediately. Even though it had no 3G or GPS, it worked so much more reliably than anything before it that I didn't even care about the high price tag. In fact, the overall stability still amazes me all these years and every incremental model later.

Sent from the iMore App

I've been a Day One iPhone and iPad user for every version of both. If it's Launch Day, I'm in line somewhere. I even bought the WiFi only iPad 1 since the 3G version wouldn't be out for another month; then I went out and got the 3G version the day it launched. I actually had no intention of buying a 1st gen iPad mini, but I walked into the Apple Store on launch day just to check it out, and walked out with one. Yeah, I'm one of those.

As far as iPhone, I came to it from a Samsung Black Jack running Windows Phone if I recall correctly.

I don't have my original iPhone now, but I really wish I had held onto it.

I got an iPhone 4 after it was finally available on Verizon. Before that my smartphone was an HTC touch screen with a stylus, the screen slid to the side and tilted up to reveal the hardware keyboard, and it was Windows Mobile OS. What a pos. I've never looked back after that first iPhone. Last year I bought a new iPhone 5S and an iPad Air. Love them both. Looking forward to the larger iPhone 6 models later this year.

Sent from the iMore App

Didn't have the opportunity to have one. Only started using iPhone from the 4 forward, until it came to Verizon lol
Happy to own an iPhone, happy birthday iPhone.

I loved the original iPhone. Still have mine.
It replaced my audiovox windows mobile phone which would commonly crash as I got an incoming call and had a battery life of around 4 hours standby after 18 months of daily use.
Used the iPhone 1 until I got a 4S. Lasted that long. And if it wasn't for apps using so much data like Instagram and Twitter, I would've been happy to keep it forever. Loved the curved aluminum, black plastic not so much.

I had a Moto Q and a Razr.. I was still a phone junkie back then but switched between phones constantly. And then I bought a first generation iPhone on launch day. It was the first phone that I happily used for more than a few months without trading it on craigslist, Howard forums, or the crackberry forums for something else.

Sent from the iMore App

I didnt hear about the iPhone until the 3GS, but after I got that one I was hooked. I went from that to a 4s and now I have the 5s and I can't wait until the 6s comes out this fall

I still have my original iPhone. I wanted one so bad to replace a Sony Ericsson soap bar phone which I hated. The initial selling price put me off though so I waited until refurbed ones were available and bought one. A week or two later, Apple dropped the price and I felt chagrined until they gave me a store credit. That iPhone served us well for years and still works. I could have sold or traded it in, but just couldn't bring myself to do it. It was a game changer then and now. Brilliant!

I had a first-gen Samsung Instinct (yes they made two of them) when a buddy got the original iPhone. We compared the two and although my Samsung had few additional features, the UI and experience was no contest. Then I bought a Blackberry for work (email and that keyboard!) and swore it was better than the iPhone. By the time the iPhone 4 was released I couldn't deny it any longer- I knew Apple had the advantage. On 4s launch day I traded in my BB 9650 and never looked back. I've owned every iteration since then and can't wait for iPhone 6 this fall. Thanks Apple for enhancing my technological life - it really does "just work".

I had a blackberry with Cingular wireless in 2006 and when the iPhone 2G came out i was was amazed of the product and got it two months after it came out I got my first iPhone 2G with Cingular before it became at&t and ever since then I had all of the iPhones from 3G to 3GS and 4 and 4S and now I'm with the 5 and I stopped from there now I'm waiting for the 6

iPhone changed my life and i consider the discovery of iPhone as one of the greatest technological innovations of all time. Thank you Steve Jobs and Apple!

I got the iPhone 3g in 2009 and I've never looked back since. It was just more powerful than anything else back then. Also the quality of the apps on the 3g got me hooked to the iPhone till date.

Sent from the iMore App

Had a samsung juke before switching to the iPhone in April 2008, upgraded to the 3GS in 2009, 4S in 2011, and still a proud owner of a Black and Slate iPhone 5. Skipping on the 5S because for the first time, it had nothing at all that caught my attention. I will be upgrading to the next generation iPhone when the Unlock version is released. I am finally looking forward to having a bigger screen because I know I'll be able to do much more with it.

I remember seeing the original iPhone in an AT&T store back in 2007 and being completely blown away and awestruck by it. I really wanted one, but it was prohibitively expensive for me at that time, and it didn't have enough of the features that I had come to rely on in a mobile OS (such as cut/copy & paste). But I believed in it and knew it would succeed, so I decided to wait for iOS to mature a while.

I was on T-Mobile and had a BlackBerry 8320 (the original Curve) until it finally died on me 3 years later. Then in 2010 I upgraded to a Samsung Vibrant (basically a cheap knockoff of an iPhone 3GS), and I ended up hating that phone. Lag, crashes, random reboots, you name it. So after a few weeks of that ordeal, I had enough and returned it. Back then T-Mo had no other phones that I wanted, and their coverage was lacking in my area (tho it's vastly improved now), so I switched to AT&T and got an iPhone 4 (back then, the iPhone was exclusive to AT&T). That was arguably the best phone I've ever had in terms of overall performance and reliability. I had the black 32 GB iPhone 4. I had it for 2 years and then decided that I really wanted a bigger screen, so I traded it in and went thru several Android devices over the next couple years (a Galaxy S3, a Galaxy Nexus, and a Nexus 4), and they all had some major issue that made them a nightmare to deal with one way or another. I actually really like the Android software; it's just the faulty and poorly-designed hardware that has let it down in my experience with it.

After my N4 overheated itself to death, and I couldn't find any other Android device that I wanted, I finally just said "screw it" and came back to iOS with a black/space grey 32 GB 5S. It's been a good little phone, and the camera and battery life have been outstanding. But I still really want a bigger screen and a swipeable keyboard again (like Swype or SwiftKey). So I was planning on getting another Android device, but then iOS 8 was announced at WWDC and it neatly solved the keyboard problem for me. iOS 8 pretty much removed any real reason for me to go back to Android, because it finally has everything I want in a mobile OS. Now all I need is a bigger screen. If the next iPhone has about a 4.7" screen as rumored, then I'll probably buy it as soon as it comes out.

I still have my original 2007 iPhone and currently use it as an iPod and to run Pandora. It powers a speaker system in the kitchen. Still love it, and would never part with it!

I bought the original iPhone as soon as it was available as a refurb from AT&T. I had to wait six weeks for my Sprint contract to end until I could use it. On Sprint I had a Samsung MM-A900, which was probably the best flip phone on the market.

I owned a Blackberry and hated it. Slow as hell, difficult to use app wise, the only advantage was easy to type. The first iPhone was a 3GS, a whole new world opened up. I was on a 3 year contract with Fido so my next and current is iPhone 5. Will upgrade to the 6 when it comes out allegedly in the fall. In the meantime, also have a pimped out MacBook Pro Retina, iPad 3, and will hop on the bandwagon happily with the iwatch.

Sent from the iMore App

I was about 10 months into a contract with sprint, and I had some samsung (I think) flip phone with stereo speakers, video and MP3 player which I thought was cool, until I saw Steve show off the iPhone. I lined up outside AT&T to get the original on launch day and kept my sprint contract. I was a phone junkie like Ally. I got the 1st instinct on sprint when it came out and returned it in less than a week and cancelled my sprint contract and have stuck with iPhones ever since. I've had the original, 3G, 3GS, 4S, and now 5S, all but the 4S picked up in store on launch day. The 4S I ordered a week after launch bc no store had them in stock (my 4S and 5S are 64gig) I still have them all, and only the 3GS no longer works due to a botched repair job on the charging port (it's totally screwed). I still use the original, 3G and 4S as iPods and use them a few times a week to DJ, although my iPad mini with retina handles most of that through Djay 2 with a spotify premium account and a numark controller hooked up to a numark mixer for iPods that I slip my old iPhones into. I'm waiting for Mac mini to get a refresh before buying one, but I have an old iBook G3 that still gets occasional use.
I'll probably skip the 6 for financial reasons, unless the phone doesn't grow too much and has a really compelling reason for me to upgrade. I will however probably pick up a 6S 128gig (I hope) on launch day (unless it's gotten physically much bigger than the 5S)!
If the 6/6S are much bigger, I'll get a cheap craptastic old school cell phone and stick with my iPad mini for all the stuff I use my phone for aside from phone calls if my 5S ever dies.

Sent from the iMore App

i wanted to have the first iphone, my contract was up, it seemed like destiny, but i just could NOT get my hands on one. They were sold out everywhere for MONTHS! I think i gave up after about three months and got something else, i honestly cant remember what it was though,

Sent from the iMore App

I bought the original iPhone, I switched from that crappy Motorola razor flip phone piece of crap and has stayed with iPhone ever since I went to the iPhone 4 and now the iPhone 5 and waiting for the iPhone 6 to debut, and yes Apple did change the way we interact with the internet world of communications, yes they made it easier and gunner to use, Thanks Appke.

Sent from the iMore App

My first iPhone is also the latest iPhone 5S. Coming from various blackberries and a couple of Androids it is on the most part my daily driver. It truly is a breath of fresh air even to this day. I enjoy the continuous updates apple provides, a consistent user experience topped off with the best camera I've used on a mobile device. My complaints however are battery life, and a smaller screen size. When I need a change and prolonged battery life for a long trip and a device with an easier to read screen I use my S4. It allows me to keep up to date with the kettle of fish of android, which has it's strengths most notably a swappable battery and mapping while travelling. But I always enjoy coming back home to the iPhone even if it's not a perfect device it's close to it.

Sent from the iMore App

Got it the day it came out and had every one since... Never owned a blackberry. Came from a sidekick 2.

Sent from the iMore App

How can i win a free Iphone because i always see it on my dreams i see an iphone and when i got up i understand that it was only a dream .Can anyone help me to come true my dream please...

Did anyone help me to come true my dream....I don't have money to buy iphone for this reason i need yours help