iPhone Was Missing These 10 Essential Features When Unveiled in 2007

Today marks the 17th anniversary of the late Steve Jobs unveiling the original iPhone at the Macworld Expo in San Francisco. While the device was significantly more advanced than any other smartphone on the market at the time, the iPhone was still missing some essential features that we take for granted today.

2007 iPhone
Below, we've put together a list of 10 hardware and software features that the original iPhone didn't have when it was introduced in January 2007.

  • 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.
  • 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 they were more limited.
  • 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 Messages: 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.
  • 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.
  • 3G: The original iPhone's cellular connectivity was limited to EDGE (2G).

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Top Rated Comments

a m u n Avatar
24 weeks ago
“Today, Apple is going to reinvent the phone.”

— Steve Jobs, 9 January, 2007.



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Score: 59 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Unity451 Avatar
24 weeks ago
Back when spending $499 on a phone seemed like it was reserved for only the elites.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TechieTaco Avatar
24 weeks ago


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Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
erikkfi Avatar
24 weeks ago
It did have those nice Aqua-style icons, though, which we in the glorious future have been without for over a decade.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mac Fly (film) Avatar
24 weeks ago
Siri is essential like a drunk uncle.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kagharaht Avatar
24 weeks ago
Yep. Yet I was there in line at the ATT store with a handful of people waiting to pick one up. My little girl was just as excited.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)