15 Features the Original iPhone Didn't Have When First Announced

Sunday will mark the 15th anniversary of Steve Jobs introducing the original iPhone at the Macworld Expo in San Francisco, and while the device revolutionized the smartphone industry, it's easy to forget how much the iPhone has improved since then.

iPhone 15 years
To celebrate the upcoming occasion, we've put together a list of 15 features the original iPhone didn't have when it was first announced.

  • App Store: The original iPhone came with preinstalled apps like Phone, Weather, Notes, Calendar, Photos, and Calculator, but there was no official way to install native third-party apps until the App Store launched in July 2008. Developers were able to offer web-based apps, but this was a subpar experience.
  • Copy and Paste: It may seem hard to believe, but the ability to copy and paste text was not added to the iPhone until 2009.
  • Front Camera: While selfies are now ubiquitous, there was no front camera on the original iPhone. In fact, there was no front camera until the iPhone 4 launched in 2010 with new FaceTime video calling.
  • Video Recording: The original iPhone can only shoot photos, with video recording introduced on the iPhone 3GS in 2009.
  • Flashlight: With no LED flash on the original iPhone, there was no built-in flashlight. When the App Store launched, some flashlight apps were released that displayed a white screen at max brightness to mimic a flashlight.
  • Photo Messaging (MMS): The original iPhone supported text messaging via SMS, but there was no ability to send photos. MMS capabilities were introduced with iPhone OS 3.0 in 2009, but only for the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS.

  • GPS: While the original iPhone came with a Google Maps app preinstalled, there were no turn-by-turn directions, as the device did not have a GPS. Apple introduced a built-in GPS with the iPhone 3G in 2008.
  • Home Screen Wallpapers: It was not possible to set a custom Home Screen wallpaper on the iPhone until iOS 4 was released in 2010, and the software update did not support the original iPhone.
  • Verizon Support: AT&T was the exclusive iPhone carrier in the U.S. until Verizon began supporting the device in 2011.
  • Siri: Apple's voice-based digital assistant launched with the iPhone 4S in 2011.
  • Touch ID or Face ID: While modern iPhones and iPads are equipped with biometric authentication systems like Face ID or Touch ID, the original iPhone could only be secured with a four-digit passcode. Touch ID arrived with the iPhone 5s in 2013, while Face ID debuted on the iPhone X in 2017.
  • Lightning Connector: Like many iPods before it, the original iPhone was equipped with a 30-pin dock connector. Apple switched to the smaller Lightning connector with the release of the iPhone 5 in 2012.
  • Retina Display: Introduced on the iPhone 4 in 2010, the Retina display featured four times as many pixels as the original iPhone and was the highest-resolution display for a smartphone ever at the time.
  • Wireless Charging: The first iPhones to support wireless charging were the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X released in 2017.
  • Water Resistance: Water did not play friendly with the original iPhone, but the latest models have IP68-rated water resistance.

Looking ahead, the iPhone 14 will get even more new features, so be sure to catch up on everything that we know so far.

Top Rated Comments

contacos Avatar
2 weeks ago
I miss the full screen album cover
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cmaier Avatar
2 weeks ago

The features keep getting richer and richer.
Tell that to Force Touch and cover flow.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving ? Avatar
2 weeks ago
The features keep getting richer and richer.

iPhone is my favorite Apple product in this world. I have been upgrading back to back since 2008 and I have not missed a year. iPhone definitely has come a long way. I also believe this was Steve Jobs's favorite product he worked on before introducing it to the world. ? ✊
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Starflyer Avatar
2 weeks ago
I pulled out my original iPhone and played with it today. The first feature I missed? Moving the cursor with the space bar.

Attachment Image
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rictus007 Avatar
2 weeks ago
It was still way better than any other phone back then
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
KaliYoni Avatar
2 weeks ago
Wait, there's more!

* Having to use a dongle to listen through a decent pair of headphones.
* Influencers.
* Mark Z. using the mic to target ads.
* Sergei and Larry using the mic to target ads.
* Drivers blocking traffic because TikTok is more important than moving when the light turns green.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

iPhone 14 Mock pill and hole

Recapping Rumors About Under-Screen Face ID and Touch ID on Future iPhones

Thursday January 13, 2022 4:17 pm PST by
Earlier this week, display industry consultant Ross Young claimed that iPhone 14 Pro models will feature both hole-punch and pill-shaped cutouts that replace the notch. If this design proves to be accurate, it rules out Face ID fully under the display this year. In light of this latest rumor, we have put together a recap of everything that we have heard so far about Face ID and Touch ID on...
Original iPhone Twitter

Today Marks 15 Years Since Steve Jobs Unveiled the Original iPhone

Sunday January 9, 2022 7:00 am PST by
Today is January 9, which means it's been 15 years since Apple CEO Steve Jobs stood on stage at the Macworld Expo in San Francisco, California and gave the world its first look at the iPhone, a device that would go on to change everything. The original iPhone was a tiny little thing with a 3.5-inch LCD display, a plain old Home button, a thick chassis, huge bezels, a Samsung processor, and a ...
Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID

Face ID Under the Display Returns to Being an iPhone 15 Pro Rumor

Wednesday January 12, 2022 11:16 am PST by
Based on the latest rumors, it is now looking unlikely that iPhone 14 Pro models will have Face ID under the display as initially claimed. Earlier today, display industry consultant Ross Young claimed that iPhone 14 Pro models will feature both hole-punch and pill-shaped cutouts near the top of the display. Young believes the hole will be for the Face ID dot projector, while the pill-shaped...
under display touch id

iPhone 13 Missing Out on Key Feature, Some People Refuse to Upgrade

Monday September 13, 2021 1:00 am PDT by
Apple's iPhone 13 lineup continues to lack a fingerprint scanner, despite initial rumors that the new models would feature under-display Touch ID technology. All of the flagship iPhone models since the launch of the iPhone X in 2017 have forgone a fingerprint scanner in favor of Face ID authentication. Almost four years later, there was speculation that the iPhone 13 might finally bring the...
iP14 Lightning Portless Feature Gray Grey

The iPhone 14 Is Unlikely to Be Portless, Here's Why

Saturday January 8, 2022 5:27 am PST by
Ever since Apple removed the headphone jack on the iPhone 7 in 2016, rumors have swirled that Apple eventually aims to ditch the Lightning port next for a completely portless design. Indeed, analysts originally predicted that the highest-end ‌‌iPhone‌‌ 13 would offer a "completely wireless experience." Of course, that didn't happen, but a portless iPhone 14 in 2022 looks just as unlikely, for the ...
Unlikely Products 2022 Feature

Six Rumored Apple Products You're Unlikely to See This Year

Saturday January 15, 2022 2:06 pm PST by
Much has been said about what consumers could see from Apple in 2022, but the company is also working on a handful of rumored products that aren't expected to be unveiled for at least another 12 months, and in some cases a lot longer. Of course, that's assuming they get released at all. Apple works on many potential products some of which ultimately never see the light of day. With that in...
iPhone 14 Mock Pill

Leaker Says iPhone 14 Pro to Feature Pill-Shaped Camera Cutout With Face ID Under the Display

Thursday January 6, 2022 7:21 am PST by
iPhone 14 Pro models will feature a pill-shaped camera cutout at the top of the display, with the notch removed, according to tweets shared by leaker @dylandkt, who has proven to be a reliable source of Apple-related rumors over the last year or so. To accommodate this change, the leaker said Face ID hardware will be moved under the display. While it has been widely reported that iPhone 14...
iPhone 14 Mock pill and hole

iPhone 14 Pro Now Rumored to Feature Both Pill-Shaped and Circular Cutouts

Wednesday January 12, 2022 9:26 am PST by
Apple is widely expected to remove the notch on iPhone 14 Pro models, but there have been conflicting rumors about the new design. Early rumors suggested that Apple would adopt a hole-punch design with Face ID somehow moved completely under the display, and later it was rumored that there would be a pill-shaped cutout instead. Now, display industry consultant Ross Young has claimed that...

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Mock pill and hole thumb

ProMotion Now Expected to Remain Exclusive to iPhone 14 Pro Models, Not Expand to Entire Lineup

Sunday January 16, 2022 8:56 am PST by
Continuing the tradition set with the iPhone 13 Pro, only the highest-end iPhone 14 models will feature Apple's ProMotion display technology, according to a respected display analyst. Ross Young, who on multiple occasions has detailed accurate information about Apple's future products, said in a tweet that ProMotion will not be expanded to the entire iPhone 14 lineup and will remain...
safari icon blue banner

Safari Bug Allows Websites to Track Your Recent Browsing Activity in Real Time [Updated]

Sunday January 16, 2022 3:37 pm PST by
A bug in WebKit's implementation of a JavaScript API called IndexedDB can reveal your recent browsing history and even your identity, according to a blog post shared on Friday by browser fingerprinting service FingerprintJS. In a nutshell, the bug allows any website that uses IndexedDB to access the names of IndexedDB databases generated by other websites during a user's browsing session....
ipad air 4 video

New iPad Air Rumored to Launch This Spring With A15 Chip, 5G, Center Stage Camera, and More

Saturday January 15, 2022 8:05 pm PST by
Apple is planning to release a fifth-generation iPad Air with similar features as the sixth-generation iPad mini, including an A15 Bionic chip, 12-megapixel Ultra Wide front camera with Center Stage support, 5G for cellular models, and Quad-LED True Tone flash, according to Japanese blog Mac Otakara. Citing reliables sources in China, the report claims that the new iPad Air could be...
Unlikely Products 2022 Feature

Six Rumored Apple Products You're Unlikely to See This Year

Saturday January 15, 2022 2:06 pm PST by
Much has been said about what consumers could see from Apple in 2022, but the company is also working on a handful of rumored products that aren't expected to be unveiled for at least another 12 months, and in some cases a lot longer. Of course, that's assuming they get released at all. Apple works on many potential products some of which ultimately never see the light of day. With that in...
AirPods Pro Gen 3 Mock Feature Red

AirPods Pro 2 Could Start a New Accessory Ecosystem

Friday January 14, 2022 2:34 am PST by
Apple's second-generation AirPods Pro could arrive alongside a new series of accessories, recent leaked images suggest. Alleged leaked photos of the next-generation AirPods Pro obtained by MacRumors showed a charging case with a metal loop on the side for attaching a strap. Apple has not used this design for any of its other AirPod models and it is unclear why it would be added in this...
netflix2

Netflix Again Raises Prices for All Plans, 4K Streaming Now $20 Per Month

Friday January 14, 2022 12:46 pm PST by
Netflix today updated the prices for its streaming plans, and all of its offerings are now more expensive. The Basic plan is now priced at $9.99 per month, the Standard plan is priced at $15.49 per month, and the Premium plan is priced at $19.99 per month. The Basic plan is $1 more expensive, up from $8.99 per month. This plan allows users to watch on just one screen at a time, and it limits ...
tesla carplay solution

Developer Showcases Apple CarPlay Workaround for Teslas

Monday January 17, 2022 7:24 am PST by
A Tesla Model 3 owner has resorted to a workaround to implement Apple CarPlay in his vehicle, amid no sign of official support from Tesla (via Tesla North). Apple CarPlay and Apple Music support are among the most-requested Tesla features, but with no indication that Tesla is willing to implement Apple CarPlay in its vehicles, Polish developer Michał Gapiński took matters into his own...
top stories 20220115

Top Stories: iPhone 14 Pro Rumors, iCloud Private Relay Controversy, iOS 15.2.1 Released, and More

Saturday January 15, 2022 6:00 am PST by
Hole-punch? Pill? Hole-punch and pill? Rumors about what the front camera system on the iPhone 14 Pro will look like are evolving rapidly, and it now appears we might be getting a novel but potentially controversial design later this year. Other major stories this week included some confusion and controversy about iCloud Private Relay being disabled for some T-Mobile customers, increasing...