Before the iPhone, there was the iPod. Revolutionary in its own right, this portable music player established Apple as a lethal force in the world of mobile gadgets, and saw the foundation of the iTunes media empire.
Apple's first foray into the phone world came with 2005's Motorola Rockr, which was designed to work with iTunes. On paper it merged music with mobiles, but in practise it left us feeling underwhelmed.
Google's then-CEO, Eric Schmidt, (who at the time is a member of Apple's board of directors) helped Jobs unveil the first iPhone. Google would go on to make Android the iPhone's most prominent rival, generating increased tension between the two companies.
Here's Jony! Steve Jobs calls Jony Ive, Apple's design chief, during the iPhone announcement, to demonstrate the device's phone interface. In May 2012 Ive received a knighthood for services to design and enterprise.
The original iPhone's screen looks tiny by today's standards, but when it made its debut, it was bigger than the screens on many of its rival devices. Nokia's powerful N95 smartphone for instance had a 2.6-inch display, compared with the iPhone's 3.5-inch panel.
The Safari mobile browser proved that a large touchscreen interface was excellent for Web browsing, at least -- and the secret ingredient was Apple's pinch-to-zoom technology. Using this multi-digit interface, iPhone owners were able to zoom and swoop through Web pages with ease.
Jobs speaks with developers at the World Wide Developers' Conference in San Francisco on 11 June 2007, shortly before the iPhone goes on sale. Google's Eric Schmidt can be seen on the left, apparently deep in thought.
Throughout the iPhone's history, Android has been its nemesis. Google's mobile operating system was officially launched on 5 November 2007, less than five months after the first iPhone went on sale. This prototype running early software doesn't look like much compared with today's Android -- a testament to how rapidly Google's OS has evolved.
A year later, in the summer of 2009, we got our first look at the 3GS, which was faster than its predecessor. It wasn't a radical step up, but it didn't need to be -- by this point the iPhone was already a success story.
Indeed, Steve Jobs touted Apple's success at Macworld 2009, saying 17 million iPhones had been sold through the end of 2008. Those were impressive figures, which would steadily rise over the next few years (Apple sold more than 35 million iPhones in the second fiscal quarter of 2012 alone, for instance).
Apple didn't rest on its laurels. On 27 January 2010, just a few weeks after the Nexus One went on sale, Steve Jobs showed off the first iPad, a tablet computer that was released off the back of the iPhone's success.
Jobs offers a breakdown of the iPhone 4's specifications. The phone's Retina Display was a standout feature, packing 960x640 pixels compared with the 800x480 display on Samsung's flagship at the time, the Samsung Galaxy S.
The iPhone 4 saw Apple face one of the greatest PR disasters in recent tech history, as it was revealed that gripping the phone's steel flanks could cause signal to drop.
On 16 July, at a specially organised event, Jobs said that getting signal loss from holding the phone was "not unique" to the iPhone 4. To prove that rival smartphones were also vulnerable, signal was shown dropping on a BlackBerry and some other mobiles too.
Despite Antennagate, the iPhone 4 was a hit. Later in 2010 a new rival emerged onto the smartphone scene, however: Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system was colourful, easy to use, and was the OS of choice for struggling phone giant Nokia.
The iPhone 4S introduced iOS 5, which brought Twitter integration.
Published:Caption:Luke WestawayPhoto:Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET
iOS 5 also introduced Siri, Apple's snarky, voice command-powered assistant. Siri was fun to toy with, but to this day voice control remains sketchy at best. To find out why making voice control work is such a challenge, check out this video.
On 5 October 2011, the day after the iPhone 4S was shown to the public, Steve Jobs died at his home in Palo Alto, Calif., due to complications from a relapse of his pancreatic cancer. In a statement, Apple said, "Steve's brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives. The world is immeasurably better because of Steve."
...and a significantly less popular feature, Apple Maps. Striking Google's own Maps software from iOS, Apple instead created its own cartographical app using data from GPS company TomTom. The result was dodgy satellite imagery, shoddy listings and sometimes even whole towns struck from the record.
The Maps crisis provoked an apology from CEO Tim Cook, who said, "At Apple, we strive to make world-class products that deliver the best experience possible to our customers. With the launch of our new Maps last week, we fell short on this commitment. We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better."
Though Android devices are winning in market share, the iPhone manages to retain plenty of cultural cache. Here singer-songwriter Taylor Swift brandishes an Apple phone at ABC News' "Good Morning America" Times Square Studio on 23 October 2012, in New York City.
On 10 September 2013, Apple broke from tradition and revealed not one, but two new smartphones. The first was the iPhone 5S, which packed the 64-bit A7 processor and a fingerprint scanner, used to unlock the phone and verify purchases.
The second was the plastic iPhone 5C. Speculation ahead of the 5C's debut suggested that this colourful mobile would be aimed at those shopping on a budget, but in fact it turned out to be rather expensive. Apple sold 9 million of its new iPhones in their first weekend on sale.
With the iPhone still a storming success, Apple's rivals continued to maneuvre in a bid to make their own mobiles a hit. Days before the iPhone 5S was announced, Nokia confirmed plans to sell its handset business to Microsoft. Then-CEO of Microsoft, Steve Ballmer (left), called the acquisition "a bold step into the future."
On 18 June, Amazon revealed a late entry in the smartphone race. The Fire phone seeks to take on the iPhone with dynamic 3D effects, as well as the power to scan everyday objects before buying them online.
That concludes the story of the iPhone so far. What comes next for Apple's smartphone is unclear, but if we think back to life before the iPhone, it's clear that Apple's mobile has left an indelible mark on both the tech sphere, and the wider world. Happy birthday, iPhone -- here's to the next seven years.