The iPhone arrives, and changes everything

Long before Apple announced the iPhone at Macworld in 2007 in San Francisco, the rumor mill was chockablock with reports that Apple working on a device. But even in the face of hype and expectation, the debut was a smash success.

CNET's Declan McCullagh, who was on hand for the launch on January 9, 2007, wrote that "the slender device runs Mac OS X -- "a software breakthrough," adding that the use of the full-fledged operating system, was "five years ahead of what's on any other phone."

Consumers got a chance to make up their own minds a month later when the device when it went on sale June 29, 2007.
Updated:
Photo by: Declan McCullagh/CNET / Caption by:

2 Megapixel camera

The original iPhone featured a 2-megapixel camera.
Updated:
Photo by: Declan McCullagh/CNET / Caption by:

The first public phone call with iPhone

During the presentation, CEO Steve Jobs made what he said was the first public phone call with iPhone, calling Jony Ive, Apple's design chief.
Updated:
Photo by: Declan McCullagh/CNET / Caption by:

Jobs at WWDC 2007

Steve Jobs spoke to developers about the iPhone's capabilities at the World Wide Developers' Conference in San Francisco on June 11, 2007, just a couple of weeks before the hotly anticipated phone went on sale. Google's Eric Schmidt was in attendance, seen on the left looking deep in thought. Was he already planning Android?
Updated:
Photo by: James Martin/CNET / Caption by:

Your life in your pocket

The slug that Jobs tagged the ultimate digital device with on the day of its launch in 2007 is more true today than anyone had dreamed.

"Your life in your pocket."
Updated:
Photo by: James Martin/CNET / Caption by:

Steve Jobs following the keynote

Jobs is seen just after delivering the keynote to developers at WWDC in 2007 in San Francisco.
Updated:
Photo by: James Martin/CNET / Caption by:

GPS in a phone

The iPhone shifted the very notion of what a phone could be, ad ushered in the era of the smartphone, a pocket computer.
Updated:
Photo by: James Martin/CNET / Caption by:

Jobs talks iPhone at WWDC 2007

Jobs talks iPhone with developers at WWDC 2007, just weeks before the revolutionary phone went on sale on June 29, 2007.
Updated:
Photo by: James Martin/CNET / Caption by:

17 Million as of 2008

Steve Jobs touted Apple's iPhone success at Macworld 2009, saying 17 million units had been sold through the end of 2008. For comparison's sake, consider that in the second fiscal quarter of 2012 alone, Apple sold more than 35 million iPhones.
Updated:
Photo by: James Martin/CNET / Caption by:

Hyped launches

The iPhone ushered in a new era of marketing hype for Apple, with retail stores around the country holding lavish customer appreciation events, marked by employees welcoming customers with energetic applause as Apple's newest version of its flagship phone went on sale for the first time.
Updated:
Photo by: James Martin/CNET / Caption by:

The media circus

The iPhone caused customers and media alike to flock to Apple retail stores on launch days, creating a festival-like atmosphere where some customers lined up for days along sidewalks.
Updated:
Photo by: James Martin/CNET / Caption by:

Rent or sell spots in line

It became commonplace for entrepreneurial line-sitters to get in line for iPhones days early just to sell their spots at the front.
Updated:
Photo by: James Martin/CNET / Caption by:

A geek carnival

The high-profile Apple Stores, like those in San Francisco, Palo Alto, and New York became gathering spots for Apple enthusiasts to show off their vintage Apple gear.
Updated:
Photo by: James Martin/CNET / Caption by:

Need money for college

Need money for college? Get in line and sell your spot.
Updated:
Photo by: James Martin/CNET / Caption by:

Marketing opportunity

The gathering of early technology adopters waiting for the latest iPhone often drew creative marketers, who frequently handed out coffee, donuts, and branded cupcakes pitching their start-ups.
Updated:
Photo by: James Martin/CNET / Caption by:

Landscape mode

CNET's commentary from the iPhone launch in 2007 describes the phone as "...also a music device that shows album art. "It's a video iPod and a regular iPod, plus a phone. And it's widescreen when you hold it in landscape mode, on its side," Jobs said."
Updated:
Photo by: Declan McCullagh/CNET / Caption by:

Jobs talks app development

Jobs talks apps with at Macworld 2008.
Updated:
Photo by: James Martin/CNET / Caption by:

Happy Birthday!

At WWDC in 2008, one year after it went on sale, Apple's Steve Jobs led the audience in singing happy birthday to the iPhone.
Updated:
Photo by: James Martin/CNET / Caption by:

Open for business

The Apple store in San Francisco would be covered in black curtains on on-sale days, with a theatrical dropping of the curtain as the time approached, revealing energetic employees inside.
Updated:
Photo by: James Martin/CNET / Caption by:

iPhone accolades

Despite all the accolades, Apple did encounter trouble after announcing the iPhone 4. Some users reported problems with signal strength, complaining of dropped calls when they held the lower left edge of the iPhone. After dragging its feet, the subsequent uproar forced Apple to hold a special session for the media to discuss antenna issues with the iPhone 4, an episode that would become known as "antennagate." Steve Jobs, who hosted the press conference, announced that Apple would offer free bumpers to all iPhone 4 owners.
Updated:
Photo by: James Martin/CNET / Caption by:

Antenna-gate

Photograph of Steve Jobs addressing the audience about the antenna's perceived flaw.
Updated:
Photo by: Josh Lowensohn/CNET / Caption by:

$1 Billion

By the time that the iPhone 4 launched in June 2010, Jobs announced that Apple had paid more than $1 billion to developers. By 2012, that number had grown to more than $4 billion.
Updated:
Photo by: James Martin/CNET / Caption by:

Tim Cook

CEO Tim Cook at the debut of the iPhone 4S on October 4, 2011.
Updated:
Photo by: Josh Lowensohn/CNET / Caption by:

Siri, the virtual personal assistant

Siri, the virtual personal assistant on iPhone 4S, lets you use voice controls to send messages, make calls, set reminders, and more.
Updated:
Photo by: Josh Lowensohn/CNET / Caption by:

Launch of the iPhone 4S

Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller at the launch of the iPhone 4S in Cupertino, Calif.
Updated:
Photo by: Josh Lowensohn/CNET / Caption by:

The unveiling of the iPhone 3G

At the unveiling of the iPhone 3G in San Francisco, a demo of Major League Baseball's At-Bat on the device showed real-time video highlights from a Yankees-Royals game. Many applications are expected to be free through Apple's App Store, although some games are expected to cost around $9.99.

So many developers were interested in the iPhone as a potential platform for their applications that Apple sold out its June Worldwide Developers Conference for the first time in its history.
Updated:
Photo by: James Martin/CNET / Caption by:
Hot Galleries

CNET's Holiday Gift Guide

'Tis the season for a gadget upgrade

Check out these 8 tablets you'll want to bring home for the holidays.

Hot Products