History of the iPhone – the phone that changed everything

"Every once in a while, a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything." - Steve Jobs, in 2007 at the launch of the iPhone.

In 2007 the landscape of the mobile phone market looked massively different to today. Phones were clunky, lacked almost all of what we use a phone for these days and were locked down by carriers and networks.

After revolutionising the music industry with the iPod, Apple next set its sights to the telecommunications industry – an industry, in Apples view, that was in dire need of a shake-up.

Steve Jobs with Original iPhone in 2007

2007 the first iPhone

Finally launching with a hiss-and-a-roar in the second half of 2007, Apple stores across the US had hundreds of people lining up for days in order to get their hands on the hotly anticipated device that would change everything.

In comparison with the iPhones of 2021. The first iPhone was really basic, no app store, no video recording, dial-up speed internet and no ability to choose your carrier. Nevertheless the first device set the pace for the yearly updates.  

2010 and the Retina Display

With the introduction of the iPhone 4 in 2010, Apple unveiled their retina display. A first for smartphones, it made the display look like a printed page in its detail and colour.

Even Microsoft's Bill Hill commented: 

"That much resolution is stunning. To see it on a mainstream device like the iPad—rather than a $13,000 exotic monitor—is truly amazing, and something I've been waiting more than a decade to see. It will set a bar for future resolution that every other manufacturer of devices and PCs will have to jump" - Bill Hill, Ex Microsoft Employee

TouchID on iPhone 5

2013 and TouchID

Following a period of leaks and speculation, Apple unveiled the iPhone 5S late in 2013 with TouchID as the flagship feature for the device. TouchID ushered in a new era of device security, marrying ease of use, with security for the first time. TouchID became sonomous and led the way for future generations of iPhone and the smartphone market as a whole. 

iPhone X Launch in 2017

2017 - 10 years of iPhone

To mark the 10 year anniversary of the iPhone, Apple took a punt and unveiled a totally new design for the device with the iPhone X - it's most radical ever and one that paved the way for the next 5+ years. 

Dropping the traditional "Home" button, extending the display, introducing the "notch" and replacing TouchID with the new facial recognition system called FaceID. 

FaceID was truly years ahead of its time, and for the first time made unlocking your iPhone as easy as looking at it! FaceID is still a mainstay in iPhone models in 2021 and even has a cameo in the iPad Pro line. 

2021 iPhones

2021 and the future

Since its inception the iPhone has changed almost every industry its touched, the most used device for gaming is now the iPhone, the most used camera in the world is now the iPhone, the most used GPS device is now the iPhone. 

Not only has it changed the landscape, its created entirely new ones. In 2020 alone, Apple paid out over 45 Billion US Dollars to mobile app developers, an industry that didnt exist in 2007. 

With 2021 came the latest iPhones, the iPhone 13 range. The focus has shifted from a device that takes calls, to a all-encompassing device used in literally every industry. The future surely looks bright for the iPhone.