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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

13 years ago today, then Apple CEO Steve Jobs took the stage at Macworld in San Francisco and surprised the world with the very first iPhone.

Jobs introduced the iPhone as if it were three separate products: an iPod with touch controls, a revolutionary mobile phone, and a breakthrough internet communications device. Today, the iPhone is still all of those things, but also so much more.

Apple has sold well over a billion iPhones since 2007, and as of last January, the company's active installed base had hit 1.4 billion devices. Though iPhone sales were down last year, the iPhone continues to be Apple's single most successful product.


Apple has steadily improved the iPhone over the years, refining the design over and over again, updating the camera, and adding new biometric features, and all of these changes have made the iPhone even more indispensable in our daily lives. Improvements over the years:
  • 2008: App Store and 3G network support
  • 2009: Personal Hotspot and video recording capabilities
  • 2010: New form factor and Retina display
  • 2011: Siri and iCloud
  • 2012: 4-inch display, Lightning connector, and LTE
  • 2013: Touch ID fingerprint sensor
  • 2014: 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch displays
  • 2015: 3D Touch, Live Photos, and 4K video recording
  • 2016: Waterproofing, dual-lens camera for iPhone 7 Plus, no headphone jack
  • 2017: No Home button, 5.8-inch OLED full screen display, wireless charging, fast charging, Face ID
  • 2018: 5.8 and 6.5-inch OLED screen sizes, three iPhone lineup
  • 2019: Night mode, triple-lens cameras
Rumors suggest the iPhone is going to see a major overhaul in 2020, with Apple set to debut 5G connectivity, a revamped iPhone 4-style frame design, 5.4, 6.1, and 6.7-inch iPhone sizes, and a time-of-flight laser-based camera system for better depth calculations and AR capabilities.

Article Link: Today Marks the 13th Anniversary of When Steve Jobs Unveiled the Original iPhone

now i see it

macrumors 603
Jan 2, 2002
I played with one of the first gen iPhones when it came out. While it was unique, it was also painfully slow and had a tiny low res screen. It was obvious Apple would sell millions of them, but I didn't want one.
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macrumors 6502a
Nov 29, 2004
Toronto, ON
Day to remember... though I don't think we can really term it a 'surprise' to the world at the time. Everyone knew it was coming. Article after article then about the rumored device, what it would look like, and do. Jobs I think even took a bit of a backhanded joke of a mock up in the video above at 3:44.
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macrumors 65816
Mar 9, 2009
The best part about the original presentation is that there's like 100 inventions there.

Apple had to keep all of these ideas secret, and made sure they all worked together perfectly to make a new game-changing product.

Meanwhile, you have startups that go public because they have 1 idea. Startups really need to do better than that and up their game to Apple's level if they want to guarantee success. Otherwise, if you have 1 idea, it's likely to fail, which is why 99.9% of startups fail.

The iPhone was not given the option to fail, because they kept putting in new ideas into it.

It's a shame the startup business model allows for failures, with VCs playing a numbers game of "it's ok if 99 out of 100 fail, as long as that 1 succeeds". We need all 100 to succeed through a focus on product engineering.
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macrumors 65816
Nov 16, 2017
Interesting how the home screen basically stayed the same. Not sure what to think about that.

But i guess it works...
How else could they lay it out though? A home screen refresh would be nice, but I can't really think of a better layout from a usability standpoint.
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Jun 8, 2018
Victoria, British Columbia
So it was. The rumored iPod Phone or iPhone had been released. I still remember all the rumors in the months leading up to it, even going back to the 'true' video iPod leaks which ended up being the iPhone.


macrumors regular
Mar 18, 2014
South, South Texas
I saw the YouTube video yesterday on the issues Apple employees faced on the creation of the iPhone. It’s astonishing how people (and myself) praise the iPhone for its greatness and magical way of use. We seem to forget all the brain power and time used to create such device. I recommend it to y’all:


macrumors 65816
Nov 16, 2017
What's special about 13 years? You could do this article every year and just increase the count.
One of the most successful products that has ever been sold in the history of the world. Seems like a decent idea to mention it when it comes around each year. Much like they do when the anniversary of Jobs death comes around each year.

Duane Martin

macrumors 6502
Oct 15, 2004
Calgary, Alberta
I played with one of the first gen iPhones when it came out. While it was unique, it was also painfully slow and had a tiny low res screen. It was obvious Apple would sell millions of them, but I didn't want one.
Painfully slow? Tiny low res screen? Compared to what?

The original iPhone was not released in Canada but that did not stop a number of my friends from acquiring one. I will never forget four of us crowding around the devise, just wanting to play with it; we were all blown away. The owner then reminded us this was version 1.0 and try to imagine what it would be like going into the future. The world has changed because of the iPhone.


macrumors 6502
Jun 5, 2017
Melbourne Australia
It's amazing how times flies. I was only 10 years old when this happened heck I didn't invest into Apple products until our family's old Dell's Motherboard died a year later in which we brought an iMac and haven't looked back since.
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