10 Years Ago Today, the Original iPhone Officially Launched

Exactly 10 years ago today, on June 29, 2007, the original iPhone went on sale, six months after Steve Jobs stood onstage at Macworld Expo 2007 in San Francisco and told the world Apple was reinventing the phone, revolutionizing an entire industry like it had done with the Macintosh in 1984 and the iPod in 2001.


The iPhone, with its 3.5-inch display, lack of a physical keyboard, Apple-designed touch-based user interface, and multi-touch support, was unique among phones of that era, and as Jobs promised, it changed everything. The product that some speculated would fail miserably shaped the smartphone industry and made Apple one of the most valuable companies in the world.

original iphone
Even before the public had touched an iPhone, there was incredible hype, just like there is today with each new iteration. In the days leading up to the iPhone's release, MacRumors shared dozens of stories, like sightings out in the wild, photos of training manuals, benchmarks, in-store displays, and banners outside of stores. And of course, before the first iPhone launched, there were already rumors of an iPhone 2.

originaliphonebanner

A banner at an AT&T location ahead of the iPhone's launch.

iPhone sales started at 6:00 p.m. local time on June 29, 2007, but people started lining up days ahead of time. Hours before the iPhone launched, hundreds of people were lined up at AT&T locations and the then-164 Apple Stores across the United States and around the world.

applestoreiphonedecorations

Employees decorate an Apple Store on iPhone launch day. Behind the scenes, iPhones allegedly arrived at stores under armed guard.

Apple Stores shut down at 2:00 p.m. to prepare for launch, and at 6:00 p.m. on the East Coast, the first iPhones were in the hands of customers. Apple Stores stayed open until midnight that day selling iPhones, and the rest is history. By October of 2008, Apple had sold 10 million iPhones, meeting an internal goal, and now, 10 years later on June 29, 2017, Apple has sold well over a billion iPhones.

originaliphoneunboxing

MacRumors founder Arnold Kim's iPhone unboxing photo, taken on launch day.

When Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone, he presented it as three revolutionary products: a widescreen iPod with touch controls, a revolutionary mobile phone, and a breakthrough internet communications device. "An iPod, a phone, and an internet communicator. Are you getting it? These are not three separate devices," said Jobs. "This is one device."

Over the years, the iPhone has evolved and it's not just three products -- it's over a dozen. What was once just a phone, an iPod, and an internet communicator is now also a high quality point and shoot camera, a camcorder, a GPS device, a scanner, a portable gaming system, a wallet replacement, an e-book reader, a TV, a newspaper, a flash light, and so much more.

As Tim Cook said in 2016 when Apple reached its 1 billion iPhone milestone, the iPhone is "more than a constant companion," it's "an essential part of our daily life." These days, we don't ever have to be parted from our iPhones, even in the shower. It's indispensable.

iphone75colors

The 2016 iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus

Love Apple or hate Apple, there's no denying the impact of first iPhone. The story of how it was conceived and created is repeated over and over again in interviews and in books as we suss out every detail, no matter how small, to relive the legend of Steve Jobs and the Project Purple team toiling for two and a half years to conjure up a device "literally five years ahead" of every other mobile device on the market, as Jobs himself said.

Even 10 years later, there are new tidbits to learn and others to revisit. According to new anecdote from a recently published book, Jobs allegedly wanted a permanent "back" button to accompany the Home button, but he was ultimately talked out of the addition by longtime Apple designer Imran Chaudhri. Scott Forstall, who once led the software development team at Apple, also re-shared a story this month about how the idea for the tablet that preceded the iPhone came about because Jobs "hated" a guy at Microsoft and wanted show him up by creating a tablet with capacitive touch and multitouch. That tablet became the iPhone when the team shifted focus.

While Apple is a much different company today than it was 10 years ago, and there will never again be another "first" iPhone, we may see a little original iPhone magic in 2017. This year's iPhone, which some rumors have said will be marketed and celebrated as an anniversary iPhone, is looking like it will include some of the biggest design changes we've seen made to the iPhone since 2007.

The Home button, an iconic user interface element that's been present on iPhone for the last 10 years, is being eliminated in favor of an edge-to-edge OLED display that does away with the thick top and bottom bezels we're used to seeing on the iPhone. The "iPhone 8," as it has been nicknamed, will feature a glass body that allows Apple to take the first step towards wire-free charging. Touch ID, built into the iPhone since 2013, is expected to be built under the glass, an impressive engineering feat.

frontpanels1

Nearly bezel-free front panel and rear panel with vertical camera, both said to be iPhone 8 components

Most rumors have focused on design, but we've heard that additional biometric features like facial recognition or iris scanning could be built into the front-facing camera, and the rear camera is going vertical, perhaps to support new augmented reality and 3D scanning functionality. An Apple-designed A11 processor will bring CPU and GPU improvements that can power the augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and machine learning technologies Apple is heavily pursuing.

iphone 8 renders ios 11

iPhone 8 renders designed with iOS 11 screenshots

The iPhone's design has remained largely unchanged since 2014, so there's a lot to be excited about in 2017, so much so that analysts are predicting an upgrade supercycle. The design and technology advancements coming in the 10th anniversary iPhone will show just how far Apple's come and will shape iPhone development for the next 10 years.

At the end of the original iPhone event, then-CEO Steve Jobs said something that still dictates Apple's philosophy today. "You know, there's an old Wayne Gretzky quote that I love: 'I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.' We've always tried to do that at Apple. Since the very beginning. And we always will."

Related Forum: iPhone

Top Rated Comments

shk718 Avatar
89 months ago
It was/is the most amazing phone i've ever had. I remember ATT servers were overloaded and it took me the entire weekend to get it activated. It wasn't until Monday morning that I could finally use it. I still have the original bag and box that it came in (pictured). And the phone is in mint condition!!! .

Attachment Image
Score: 69 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MrGimper Avatar
89 months ago
The phone that launched a thousand Samsung copies.....
Score: 52 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Nimrad Avatar
89 months ago
I remember the comments I used to get.
- "I would never be able to type on a screen. I need buttons."
- "It's way too big, it almost doesn't fit in my pockets."
Those were the usual suspects. Now, who's laughing.
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
morcutt11 Avatar
89 months ago
Too bad steve is not around cause not much has changed..
Repeating ignorant statements doesn't make them true. The evolution of the phone and its resulting capabilities, not to mention the interconnectivity to things like the Apple watch, continue to do exactly what Steve Jobs envisioned - advance people's lifestyles. Jobs was never about the technology. The capabilities of today's iPhones and their impacts on people's lives are vastly different than the original iPhone and that is exactly what Jobs was looking for.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
usersince86 Avatar
89 months ago
10 years ago, no one had a smart phone - at least, not one like this one! Now, most people in many countries do. Pretty amazing.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Sunny1990 Avatar
89 months ago
RIP Steve Jobs,iPhone was one of his best creations.he really changed the world.
iPhone is the best smartphone in the world today.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iOS 18 Siri Integrated Feature

iOS 18 Will Add These New Features to Your iPhone

Friday April 12, 2024 11:11 am PDT by
iOS 18 is expected to be the "biggest" update in the iPhone's history. Below, we recap rumored features and changes for the iPhone. iOS 18 is rumored to include new generative AI features for Siri and many apps, and Apple plans to add RCS support to the Messages app for an improved texting experience between iPhones and Android devices. The update is also expected to introduce a more...
iGBA Feature

Game Boy Emulator for iPhone Now Available in App Store Following Rule Change [Removed]

Sunday April 14, 2024 8:06 am PDT by
A week after Apple updated its App Review Guidelines to permit retro game console emulators, a Game Boy emulator for the iPhone called iGBA has appeared in the App Store worldwide. The emulator is already one of the top free apps on the App Store charts. It was not entirely clear if Apple would allow emulators to work with all and any games, but iGBA is able to load any Game Boy ROMs that...
top stories 13apr2024

Top Stories: M4 Mac Roadmap Leaked, New iPads in Second Week of May, and More

Saturday April 13, 2024 6:00 am PDT by
Apple's hardware roadmap was in the news this week, with things hopefully firming up for a launch of updated iPad Pro and iPad Air models next month while we look ahead to the other iPad models and a full lineup of M4-based Macs arriving starting later this year. We also heard some fresh rumors about iOS 18, due to be unveiled at WWDC in a couple of months, while we took a look at how things ...
new best buy blue

Best Buy Opens Up Sitewide Sale With Record Low Prices on M3 MacBook Air, iPad, and Much More

Saturday April 13, 2024 7:41 am PDT by
Best Buy this weekend has a big sale on Apple MacBooks and iPads, including new all-time low prices on the M3 MacBook Air, alongside the best prices we've ever seen on MacBook Pro, iPad, and more. Some of these deals require a My Best Buy Plus or My Best Buy Total membership, which start at $49.99/year. In addition to exclusive access to select discounts, you'll get free 2-day shipping, an...
iPhone 16 Camera Lozenge 2 Colors

iPhone 16 Plus Rumored to Come in These 7 Colors

Wednesday April 10, 2024 3:52 am PDT by
Apple's iPhone 16 Plus may come in seven colors that either build upon the existing five colors in the standard iPhone 15 lineup or recast them in a new finish, based on a new rumor out of China. According to the Weibo-based leaker Fixed focus digital, Apple's upcoming larger 6.7-inch iPhone 16 Plus model will come in the following colors, compared to the colors currently available for the...
apple silicon feature joeblue

Macs to Get AI-Focused M4 Chips Starting in Late 2024

Thursday April 11, 2024 10:10 am PDT by
Apple will begin updating its Mac lineup with M4 chips in late 2024, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. The M4 chip will be focused on improving performance for artificial intelligence capabilities. Last year, Apple introduced the M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max chips all at once in October, so it's possible we could see the M4 lineup come during the same time frame. Gurman says that the entire...