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Original iPhone's First Four Reviewers Reminisce About Getting Their Hands on It for the First Time


macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

With the iPhone's tenth birthday coming up this week, CBS Sunday Morning aired a segment today taking a look back at the development and launch of the original iPhone.

The segment from David Pogue includes a roundtable session with Pogue, Walt Mossberg, Steven Levy, and Ed Baig, the four journalists who received review units of the iPhone in 2007 just prior to its launch.
"After three days," said Mossberg, "I was ready to throw this thing out of the window for trying to type on glass."

"It's ten years later," said Levy, "and half the emails I get still have a little message underneath saying, 'Typed on phone, forgive typos'!"
Pogue also sits down for a brief interview with Bas Ording, one of the key Apple engineers behind the first iPhone.
Part of what made the iPhone a hit was that objects in that touchscreen world have their own physics. You can thank Bas Ording for some of it, like how lists have momentum when you flick them, or how they do a little bounce when you get to the end.

"And now, a billion people are using your idea," said Pogue.

"Is it a billion? That's a lot!" Ording laughed.

"Did anyone, at the time, on this team, have any idea how big this could be?"

"Oh, no, not at all. I didn't, for sure."
The segment doesn't break any new ground on the background of the iPhone, but it's a nice piece highlighting the milestone anniversary of the device that changed the world.

Article Link: Original iPhone's First Four Reviewers Reminisce About Getting Their Hands on It for the First Time


Jan 18, 2005
I remember this site when they gave a writer an iPhone to write a bunch of articles on it. KatieKaChoo - if I recall correctly. Those articles were pretty interesting at the time. I was using a Pocket PC phone and was curious to see how they compared. Wonder what Katie is up to these days too and if she's still writing.
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macrumors 6502
Jul 30, 2011
It really puts it in perspective watching this video just how much has changed since the iPhone came. Today we have phones that break over 100mbps on LTE, screens with such high resolutions that we can't see the pixels, sharing messages and photos with the tap of a finger, tapping on ANY song you want to listen to and have it play instantly, and taking pictures we would have never thought possible without a high-end camera. The iPhone truly has made the world a better place. Even with Android still in it ;) just kidding


macrumors G3
Dec 31, 2004
"No escape from Reality...”
I watched that keynote live and when I saw Steve hold up the iPhone for the first time, I was like...

"Yep, that's what ALL THE PHONES will look like from now on (current phone manufacturers, start your copy engines)..."

My favorite reveal and launch, actually, was T-Mobile's Android Smartphone - "only a USB Port" - people were like, WTF? ;)
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macrumors 6502a
Dec 9, 2012
I remember getting one shortly after launch, and trying to convince myself to use it over my workhorse Nokia 71. It was painfully slow compared to it, couldn't send MMS, camera was much worse, and I couldn't save/edit any attachments.

Yet it was somehow incredibly cool to touch and use, especially pinching to zoom and scrolling. It just kept getting better and better, and finally when the 3GS came out it was undoubtedly the phone to use.
We may never again see such a revolutionary product.
We will, and it will come from Tesla.
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macrumors 68040
Jun 22, 2006
The thick of it
Back in the days when people got excited over a 2 megapixel camera, haha. Amazing how far we’ve come.
Actually, I remember a lot of complaints about that, how for the price Apple was going cheap on the camera. I think part of the problem was the paltry storage at the time (4 gb). The decision to use Edge for data instead of 3G was also controversial, especially for a data-driven phone. And there were so many other pain points (lack of copy/paste, limited messaging functions, etc...) that given the high price and single carrier, it's amazing it took off as quickly as it did. IMO, that was one time when Apple rushed something to market half-baked. Sure the original iPhone was revolutionary and somewhat functional, but it wouldn't be until the next year that it became a really great device. And now I can't imagine the world without it.


macrumors 601
Feb 22, 2009
This "Gadget" truly changed my daily life.


macrumors 6502a
Feb 26, 2011
iPhone was the reason I craved to and ultimately joined Apple. I remember seeing it for the first time in the hand of a (very rich) Bangladeshi classmate in university. I had to see this mystical device in person, so I took it in my palm and opened the Weather app. It was unreal. That time T-Mobile was the only provider in Germany selling iPhones with exorbitantly expensive 2-year contracts and I knew I couldn't afford one, so I eventually got around buying an iPod touch. Eventually I saved enough to buy my first iPhone and have automatically owned every single version that succeeded it. The software, especially the multitouch interactions and skeuomorphism was so amazing that it urged me to apply at Apple for a job after my Bachelors. Must say I miss Steve dearly. We should have had him around right about now.


macrumors 601
Feb 22, 2009
I remember the first day they announced the iPhone and later that day my husband who was just starting to fool around being a Day Trader asked me, "If you could only buy ONE stock, which would it be?" I said, "Apple". He asked why? I said, "I heard on the news today that they are coming out with some gadget called iPhone and it looks pretty cool!" (I was an avid Microsoft fan back then). Later we did buy Apple stock and have done very well with it obviously.

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
The first iPhone is a pretty resilient device. Mine still works and holds a good charge.

This is actually a testament to how well Apple makes their products. They simply last. Even if the first iPhones are no longer supported through iOS, they still operate and function normally after all these years. That's what I appreciate about Apple, is they put out excellent hardware.
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