Apple’s iPhone Completes 10 Years: Here’s the Timeline of Its Achievements


We all remember how the first iPhone changed the face and fate of the smartphone industry, and today is the day when the 'revolutionary product' completes its tenth year. Steve Jobs unveiled the first iPhone on January 9 at Macworld 2007 in San Francisco. It came with a 3.5-inch display and Apple defined it as ‘a revolutionary and magical product that is literally five years ahead of any other mobile phone.’

The first iPhone hit the store shelves six months after its announcement, and now ten years later, Apple boasts over 1 billion units sold globally. It is noteworthy to point out that ever since the first launch, Apple witnessed rising sales charts except for the year 2016 that marked its first ever decline. However, iPhone still retains the spot of Apple's most successful product by generating 60 percent of the company's total revenue.

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In an official blog post, Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing said,

"It is amazing that from the very first iPhone through to today's newest iPhone 7 Plus, it has remained the gold standard by which all other smartphones are judged. For many of us, iPhone has become the most essential device in our lives and we love it."

To recall, Apple disrupted the smartphone industry which was then ruled by Nokia and BlackBerry. Isn't it ironical that BlackBerry is in a crumbling state now while Nokia is desperately struggling for its comeback? Steve Jobs once mocked BlackBerry and Nokia by calling their handsets "not so smart" and "not so easy to use." Jobs even criticized BlackBerry's QWERTY keypad.

Steve Jobs practiced for perfection at the first launch

At the time of the launch of first iPhone, the team faced a lot of hurdles due to the constant lags in the functioning of the prototype. History has it that Jobs rehearsed the demo speech for six days, but the team failed to keep the phone running smoothly throughout the demo. Sometimes the phone would freeze or shut down unexpectedly.

The engineers then took steps to ensure Wi-Fi signals and connectivity throughout the event. The team separated the Wi-Fi that was used by Jobs on stage so that the audience does not jump on the same server. AT&T provided a portable cell tower to ensure the exclusivity and signal strength of Wi-Fi used by Jobs to make the demo phone call.

Apple has been adding a lot of new features and functions to its iPhone lineup with each passing year.

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  • In the year 2008, the company integrated App Store and 3G network support
  • Video Recording and Personal Hotspot in 2009
  • Retina display in 2010
  • Siri and iCloud in 2011
  • Bigger 4-inch screen in 2012
  • Touch ID in 2013
  • 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch displays in 2014
  • 3D Touch, Live Photos, and 4K video recording in 2015
  • Waterproofing and dual-lens camera in 2016 iPhones

Interestingly, Jobs was not convinced with the integration of third-party apps in iPhone. He even told the developers that Safari browser could handle most of the work. In a conversation with John Markoff of The New York Times, Jobs said,“You don’t want your phone to be like a PC. The last thing you want is to have loaded three apps on your phone and then you go to make a call and it doesn’t work anymore. These are more like iPods than they are like computers.”

What's next for the iPhone?

This year we will see the Cupertino giant coming up with the iPhone 8, which is rumored to feature curved OLED display (panels provided by Samsung) and bezel-less edge to edge screen. Many reports also suggest that Apple might finally ditch the physical Home button. The upcoming iPhone is expected to come with Touch ID embedded directly into the screen. This, coupled with a glass back and wireless charging will mark a lot of overhauls on the smartphone. We're just hoping for some visual leaks to take place in the meantime.