The History of iPhone is the History of Me
Ten years ago today (if you’re reading June 29th), the world changed. One June 29th, 2007 Apple launched the original iPhone. People waited in lines all across the country overnight to get their hands on that first aluminum and glass beauty. The original iPhone was magical, nothing before it had ever come remotely close to it. I’m sure that many writers will be talking about the impact that the iPhone has had today, but I would rather talk about my experience with the iPhone. My dad had always wanted Apple to make a cell phone and when the iPhone was unveiled he was ecstatic. The day the iPhone launched I tried to get my dad to go and buy it, but he resisted. The next day he relented and we took a trip to our local Apple Store. He wanted the 8 gigabyte model but it was not in stock anymore. We headed upstairs to the mall’s AT&T store. They had the larger capacity model in stock. My dad picked up his very first iPhone and our lives were never the same. I remember getting home and connecting it to iTunes. It took hours to activate and sync. Using an iPhone for the first time was an incredible experience and from the second that I touched it, I knew that I needed to have one. Even though I was just a little kid, I understood the impact that this device was going to have on the world. Over the course of the year, I imagined an iPhone without the phone. I created a concept and called it the “iTouch” and later that year Apple launched the first iPod Touch. That Christmas, I got one. Just recently I found video of me opening it and screaming in excitement. I loved that thing and it still works today.
The next year at MacWorld 2008, Apple announced a major update for the iPod Touch that included Mail, Stocks, Notes, and Weather. I was so stoked to get the update because it made the device more like the iPhone. Previously, the iPod Touch had been limited to a few media apps and some extras. That summer Apple launched the App Store. I remember the day that the store went live. The first app that I ever downloaded was Super Monkey Ball. Sure, it was $9.99 and today would be considered an absurdly expensive app, but it was the best example of how the iPhone would change gaming. I continued downloading apps all day from simple bubble popping apps to the first version of Apple’s remote app.
When Apple unveiled the iPhone 3GS, they dropped the price of the iPhone 3G to $99. This was my ticket to getting an iPhone. I saved up money from chores and holidays. My parents gave in and let me get an iPhone. I was so young and probably one of the only 6th graders in the world that had an iPhone at the time. No one else at my school, even the teachers had iPhones. I handed down my iPod Touch to my little brother after getting my first iPhone.
My next iOS device was the original iPad. Like for my iPhone, I saved up any dollar I could get my hands on. My parents made a deal with me, if I stopped biting my nails they would pay for half of the iPad. In the summer of 2010, I got an iPad. It was incredibly difficult to get one because they were in severe shortage. I called my local Apple Store and they said they had some of the base model in stock. I got to the store immediately and was told they didn’t have any. I told them about my call and they discretely brought one out from the back. As it turns out, they had iPads in stock but wouldn’t tell anyone about it. I was mistakenly told that they had iPads in stock but they relented and still sold one to me.
The next time I got an iPhone was due to some unfortunate circumstances. My family was away on vacation and my cousins and I were playing outside. I ended up in a pond and had no idea that my iPhone was in my bathing suit pocket. I was devastated, I had no idea what to do. The next day I got an iPhone 4. I have the best parents in the entire world. They have always been so good to me. I got my iPhone 4 about a month before the launch of the white model. I loved my iPhone 4. The first thing that I did with it was install iMovie for iPhone. After all the app was only compatible with the iPhone 4. It was like a whole new world, the iPhone 3G was crippled with iOS 4, so switching to an iPhone 4 was more than just a step up.
The only thing that I wanted for Christmas in 2012 was an iPhone 5. My parents got me a white and silver one and it was absolutely stunning. I loved the way that the iPhone 5 aged over time. I couldn’t believe how light it was, how powerful it was, and just how much better it was than the previous iPhones. This was around the time when people were coming to the conclusion that iOS was getting stale. It was the beginning of the end for skeuomorphism . Scott Forstall was ousted and Jony Ive took over design.
WWDC 2013 brought the introduction of the long rumored iOS 7. I freaked out and was in tears watching the keynote live. The new design was exactly what I had wanted. It was the beginning of a whole new era for the iPhone.
My next iPhone was the iPhone 6 Plus. I knew throughout the year leading up to the announcement we were getting two different sized phones. My dad and I both decided we wanted to get the biggest ones we could. I got a gold iPhone 6 Plus but had to painfully wait for the Apple Watch.
Over the past year I ended up with three different iPhones. I purchased an iPhone 6s in the beginning of 2016 right before the iPhone SE announcement. Over the summer I purchased an iPhone SE to replace my test iPhone 5s and in September I got the iPhone 7 that I have now. I love my iPhone 7, it’s my favorite iPhone that I’ve had so far. But I’m sure that will change this Fall when Apple launches the rumored tenth anniversary model. The iPhone has changed my life in ways that I can’t imagine any other product doing. It only accelerated and added to my love for Apple. It changed the world in almost every conceivable way and it will never be the same again. I’m sure that Steve is somewhere gleaming at his company’s achievement. He accomplished his lifelong goal to “put a dent in the universe.”
Many more Apple devices that came post-iPhone have gone on to impact the world greatly too. The iPad, Apple Watch, various Macs, AirPods, Apple Pencil, and more would not exist today had the iPhone been invented and as successful as it was. I love all my Apple products, but the iPhone will forever hold a special place in my heart.