10 years old: The evolution of the iPhone

Apple's phone is celebrating its 10th anniversary. Here's a look back at how the icon has changed.

Meryl D'Souza January 9, 2017

10 years ago today, Apple CEO Steve Jobs took centre stage at MacWorld 2007 in San Francisco and introduced the world to the first-ever iPhone. Back then, he called it “a widescreen iPod with touch controls, a revolutionary mobile phone and a breakthrough internet communications device.”

Although the iPhone was unveiled on January 9, 2007, the device was only released to the market on June 29, 2007. During that time, Apple teased us through emails with the subject line “talk to you soon” and a teaser ad that premiered during the Oscars, which had actors throughout history answering the phone before ending on a shot of the gadget that would change the world.

The first iPhone was a different kind of beast from what we know today. Back then, the world coveted BlackBerry devices for their physical keyboards, but the iPhone got rid of the clicky buttons. Despite that, by July 3, 2007, more than half of Apple’s stores had sold out of iPhones. The groundbreaking device not only gave the end user something new to behold, it made tech companies across the world raise their game.

Apple has since introduced 11 new generations of iPhones over the years and sold over a billion around the world. The iPhone also sparked the creation of the App Store, which launched in 2008 and has since been at the heart of the creation of a large number of hugely successful mobile app businesses, including the likes of Angry Birds, Uber and Deliveroo.

Such has been the success of the iPhone that as an individual business the revenue generated by the phone alone has exceeded that of some of its rivals, including Microsoft and Google. 

Analysts have referred to the device as a cultural icon and most modern smartphones have been inspired by the iPhone in some form. Whatever your thoughts on the iPhone 7 and the models that preceded it, Apple’s original iPhone started the smartphone revolution.

Take a look back at the how the iPhone has evolved over the years: