What the Tech? 15 Years of the iPhone

When Steve Jobs first introduced the iPhone in January of 2007, everyone laughed. Literally laughed out loud while their CEO announced the iPhone which would go on sale on June 29th, 2007.

Here’s how Jobs described it: “It’s an iPod, a phone, and an internet communicator.”

And people in the audience snickered. No one could imagine how the small device would change the world. But it has. The iPhone went on sale on June 29th, 2007 and the world has never been the same.

First, a look back at the original iPhone. It came with 8GB of storage and ran on AT&T’s Edge Network. By today’s standards, it was slow, took lousy photos, and did not have Siri. The next iPhone, the iPhone 3G introduced higher speed browsing and the App Store.

The iPhone 4 is what really changed the game by moving from the AT&T carrier only to other carriers including Verizon.

Siri came along in 2011.

15 years and 34 iPhones later, over 2 billion iPhones have been sold.

Of course, you know the rest of the story. Today, the iPhone does just about everything its users want and then some. A camera that rivals pro DSLRs, apps for everything, including watching live broadcasts, playing video games, browsing the internet, and controlling smart home devices.

For a glimpse of what the world was like B.I (Before iPhone), I dug up old Black Friday sale papers from Radio Shack, Best Buy, Target, and Walmart. There, among the hottest gadgets for the holidays were a weather radio, GPS, clock radio, video cameras, photo cameras, radar detectors, answering machine, and portable MP3 players.

Thanks to the iPhone and apps from the App store, all of those things are included on one singular device.

Before the iPhone people didn’t have anything to do when they stood in line somewhere. Soccer moms and dads didn’t have a device to browse the internet, play games, or post to social media while waiting in the car for practice to end.

If you had credit cards, you had to carry them in a purse or wallet. Today you can store credit cards in the iPhone’s Wallet app. Directions and finding out where police are can be done in the Apple Maps app or Waze. Soon drivers in some states can store their driver’s license on their phones.

The iPhone has even replaced higher-end video cameras used by many television reporters.

And don’t get me started about how people shopped without an iPhone.

I don’t believe Facebook and Twitter would have seen the growth they have without there being an iPhone. Instagram? Not a chance people would take photos with a camera, and load them onto a computer to upload and post.

When you stop and think about what the iPhone (and other smartphones really) lets us do, it’s pretty mind-boggling. Happy Birthday, iPhone. You’ve accomplished so much in 15 years.


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