From the Editor's Desk: Happy 14th birthday, iPhone!
14 years ago, on June 29, the original iPhone changed the world.
July is here, and honestly, I find it a little hard to believe. Seriously, the time is just flying by these days. But even though it's no longer June, I did want to go over one momentous day: June 29.
If you didn't already know, June 29 marked the 14th anniversary of when the original (OG) iPhone went on sale to the masses. Steve Jobs announced the iPhone on January 9, 2007, and it went on sale on June 29, 2007. This was the device that Jobs called "a widescreen iPod with touch controls, a revolutionary mobile phone, and a breakthrough Internet communications device." Compared to the best iPhones that we have nowadays, the original iPhone was super slow, but at the time, it literally changed the world.
The original iPhone was a revelation to me. Multitouch. Rubber banding. Inertial scrolling. Pinch to zoom. It was the first time direct manipulation as a means of human interface weren't just practical or even possible, but desirable.
Unfortunately, it wasn't available in Canada. Even worse, it was locked to AT&T in the U.S. So the best I could do at the time was skin my suddenly obsoleted Palm Treo 680 to look like an iPhone. About half a year later, though, the iPhone was jailbroken and unlocked. I managed to get one across the border, put in a filthy Canadian SIM card, and make some use of it up here, above the Wall.
It would take until the iPhone 3G for Apple to bring official support to Canada, and for local carriers to offer anything approaching reasonable data rates. But I still, and always will, remember Steve holding up the original, thousands of people lining up for the original, getting and using the original, even just a little, as the event that started it all.
So let me tell you the story about how the original iPhone has actually changed my life. In fact, if it weren't for the first iPhone, I probably wouldn't be where I am today — here at iMore, writing about the iPhone, iPad, and everything else Apple-related.
Funnily enough, I did not get the original iPhone on launch day back on June 29, 2007. In fact, at this point, I did not even own a single Apple product — not even an iPod. I had a Windows PC and various Sony MP3 players (god, remember those?) I was into computers at the time, though not to the same extent that I am now. Because I was on Twitter, I paid some attention to the original iPhone announcement with Jobs, but since I was still early on in my college days back then (with an interest in a Journalism degree), I didn't have much money.
When the iPhone went on sale, I remember seeing some Twitter friends post pictures of their adventures waiting in line with other Apple fans to get the iPhone. The Internet was buzzing with iPhone this, iPhone that. Since I didn't have any Apple products, I wasn't sure what the hype was over a phone, and I was perfectly satisfied with my Sony Ericsson K790 at the time because it had a "great" camera (LOL). Plus, with the original cost of the device, and the fact that I wasn't on AT&T, I was sure that I would never get an iPhone. I kind of just shrugged it off at some point and went about my life.
In 2008, my mom decided to let me pick out a gift for my birthday, and I was basically like, "Hey, what the heck, I want an iPhone. All the cool kids have one." So she bought one for me. Once I got that chonky little thing in my hands, I instantly fell in love.
What made me fall in love with the iPhone? The fact that it was a whole screen that let me browse the Internet freely whenever I wanted — the Internet in my pocket! Or having a touch screen that was super responsive, and everything just looking so crystal clear on the display compared to the regular cell phones that we used at the time. And the fact that I finally had an iPod like everyone else. It took me some time to get used to having no physical buttons to type with, but I think I've mastered it at this point. Plus, the original design of the iPhone body was just incredible — it's one of my favorite iPhone designs to this day.
I was working a job in a retail store back in 2008, and one day, I was pulling my iPhone out of my pocket before work, and it slipped out of my hands. The scenario felt like it happened in slow motion — I saw my iPhone fly out, and it hit the concrete on the corner of the front screen. As you can imagine, the front glass was shattered, and I was pretty upset with myself. This was only four months after receiving the iPhone — my first Apple product — I was pretty heartbroken, to be honest.
But since I had received the original iPhone, I started to dive more into the world of Apple products. I wanted to get a MacBook eventually, so I just started to follow various Apple blogs. With this, I basically started to turn into a big Apple fan, and I scraped up enough money to buy the next iPhone 3G that came out as a replacement for my shattered OG iPhone.
And so, a new annual tradition was born. I have upgraded my iPhone every single year since 2008, and I don't think I'll be stopping any time soon, especially since the iPhone Upgrade Program makes it so easy. The iPhone also ignited my passion for Apple, as I just went all-in the Apple ecosystem with a white polycarbonate MacBook (first Mac), OG iPad, OG Apple Watch (a few months after the launch), and almost all other Apple products as they came out. And with my passion for writing, I decided to pursue tech journalism as my career, specializing in all things Apple-related. I started writing for a few different publications not long after getting my original iPhone, and after a bit of a struggle, I ended up here at iMore, which was always one of my dream jobs.
The point of my story is the fact that I would not be doing what I'm doing right now if it weren't for the original iPhone. Even though I didn't get it on launch day, it has had a significant impact on my life as a whole.
Thank you, iPhone, for changing the lives of so many people, including myself. You really did change the world.
- Christine Romero-Chan