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
55 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
55 months ago
The phone that launched a thousand Samsung copies.....
Score: 52 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Nimrad Avatar
55 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
55 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
55 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
55 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)

Top Stories

iphone 12 colors 2021

iPhone 12 Colors: Deciding on The Right Color

Thursday November 5, 2020 8:35 am PST by
The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro arrived last October in a range of color options, with entirely new hues available on both devices, as well as some popular classics. The 12 and 12 Pro have different color choices, so if you have your heart set on a particular shade, you might not be able to get your preferred model in that color. iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 The iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12...
original iphone

Phil Schiller Says iPhone Was 'Earth-Shattering' Ten Years Ago and Remains 'Unmatched' Today

Monday January 9, 2017 7:15 am PST by
To commemorate the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller sat down with tech journalist Steven Levy for a wide-ranging interview about the smartphone's past, present, and future. The report first reflects upon the iPhone's lack of support for third-party apps in its first year. The argument inside Apple was split between whether the iPhone should be a closed...
iCloud General Feature

iCloud+'s New Custom Email Domain Feature Now Available in Beta

Wednesday August 25, 2021 7:48 am PDT by
Starting with iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS Monterey, users with a paid iCloud+ storage plan can personalize their iCloud email address with a custom domain name, such as johnny@appleseed.com, and the feature is now available in beta. iCloud+ subscribers interested in setting up a custom email domain can visit the beta.icloud.com website, select "Account Settings" under their name, and select ...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Full iPhone 13 Feature Breakdown: Everything Rumors Say We Can Expect

Tuesday August 31, 2021 7:50 am PDT by
With the launch of Apple's iPhone 13 lineup believed to be just a few weeks away, we have compiled all of the coherent rumors from our coverage over the past year to build a full picture of the features and upgrades coming to the company's new smartphones. For clarity, only explicit improvements, upgrades, and new features compared to the iPhone 12 lineup are listed. It is worth noting that...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Kuo: iPhone 13 to Feature LEO Satellite Communications to Make Calls and Texts Without Cellular Coverage

Sunday August 29, 2021 7:39 am PDT by
The iPhone 13 will feature low earth orbit (LEO) satellite communication connectivity to allow users to make calls and send messages in areas without 4G or 5G coverage, according to the reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a note to investors, seen by MacRumors, Kuo explained that the iPhone 13 lineup will feature hardware that is able to connect to LEO satellites. If enabled with the relevant...
macbook air deals

Deals: Amazon Drops Price of 256GB M1 MacBook Air to New Low of $849.99 ($149 Off)

Friday August 27, 2021 6:16 am PDT by
Amazon today introduced new low prices on the M1 MacBook Air for both 256GB and 512GB storage options. To start, you can get the 256GB model for $849.99, down from an original price of $999.00. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. Only Silver and Gold are...
maxresdefault

New MacBook Pro Models Coming at WWDC, Suggests Leaker

Monday May 24, 2021 1:27 pm PDT by
New MacBook Pro models are coming at WWDC, according to leaker Jon Prosser who has a mixed track record when it comes to predicting Apple's plans. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Prosser provided no additional information, but there are new 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro models in the works. The new MacBook Pros will feature the most radical redesign to the MacBook Pro ...
calculatorapp

iOS 11 Bug: Typing 1+2+3 Quickly in the Calculator App Won't Get You 6

Tuesday October 24, 2017 2:03 pm PDT by
A bug in the built-in Calculator app in iOS 11 is getting some major attention this week, despite the fact that it's been around since iOS 11 was in beta testing. At issue is a calculator animation that causes some symbols to be ignored when calculations are entered in rapid succession. You can try it for yourself: Type 1+2+3 and then the equals sign into the Calculator app quickly. Due to...
maxresdefault

'Being James Bond' Retrospective Will Be Free to Watch Through Apple TV App

Tuesday August 31, 2021 8:25 am PDT by
Update 9/7/21: "Being James Bond" is now available to watch through the Apple TV app. Ahead of the theatrical release of James Bond film "No Time To Die" on October 8 in the United States, a 45-minute retrospective titled "Being James Bond" will be available to watch for free through the Apple TV app, according to Deadline. The story from MGM is said to feature Daniel Craig reflecting ...
ted lasso notchless phone

No, That Notchless iPhone Spotted in 'Ted Lasso' Isn't the iPhone 13

Tuesday August 31, 2021 2:15 am PDT by
Recent sightings of a notchless iPhone in highly popular Apple TV+ comedy "Ted Lasso" have led to sensational headlines suggesting this is a canny bit of product placement on Apple's part and that the iPhone 13 will be notchless. In actuality – and this could go without saying – the phone in question is very likely just showing a poorly superimposed display added in post-production. Notchless ...