The iPhone turns 10: A look back

The original iPhone was released 10 years ago this week. CNET takes a look back at the biggest gadget release ever.

John Falcone Senior Editorial Director, Shopping
John P. Falcone is the senior director of commerce content at CNET, where he coordinates coverage of the site's buying recommendations alongside the CNET Advice team (where he previously headed the consumer electronics reviews section). He's been a CNET editor since 2003.
Expertise Over 20 years experience in electronics and gadget reviews and analysis, and consumer shopping advice Credentials
  • Self-taught tinkerer, informal IT and gadget consultant to friends and family (with several self-built gaming PCs under his belt)
John Falcone
3 min read
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The original iPhone hit stores on June 29, 2007 -- and the world hasn't been the same since.

If that sounds like hyperbole, consider this: You're probably reading this on an iPhone or its chief rival, an Android phone. You've seen countless photos or videos in the past 24 hours -- on social media, on TV news -- that were shot on an iPhone. Social media and messaging, meanwhile, wouldn't be nearly as powerful or universal if it hadn't been supersized on mobile, cut free from the shackles of the desktop computer.  

Remember point-and-shoot cameras, dashboard GPS units, camcorders, PDAs and, yes, even the iPod? Those were just some of the gadget categories that either disappeared altogether or ended up reduced to niche status thanks to the ubiquity of the iPhone and the modern phones that it pioneered.

And Apple itself is the most valuable company in the world right now, with a market cap of about three quarters of a trillion dollars, thanks mostly to the success of the iPhone. 

With that in mind, let's take a look back to where it all began a decade ago. (And note that much of this content was first published in January of this year, to mark the tenth anniversary of the iPhone's unveiling on January 9, 2007.)

Watch this: The iPhone: 2007, meet 2017

We review CNET's original iPhone review: Kent German reviewed the iPhone when it was first released. Now he takes the original text, and annotates it with his thoughts and reflections 10 years on.

My all-nighter with the first iPhone: What was it like to turn a full review of the most coveted gadget in history in under 24 hours? Kent provides a play-by-play.

iPhone 2007, meet 2017: What it's like using the original iPhone, 10 years later: Scott Stein fired up his first-generation iPhone -- and it still works! Here's what it's like to use that product a decade later -- and how it compares to its modern descendant, the iPhone 7 Plus.

10 ways the iPhone changed everything: Yes, the iPhone really did change everything. Shara Tibken documents how the post-iPhone world is a different place -- for better, and for worse.

10 years ago today: Remembering Steve Jobs make iPhone history: CNET News' Editor-in-Chief Connie Guglielmo was in the room on January 9, 2007 when Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone to the world. This is what she saw.

Apple's iPhone turns 10. Where does it go from here?: The iPhone has had an amazing first decade. But how will it change over the next 10 years?


iPhone original vs. iPhone 7 Plus

The original 2007 iPhone (left) next to the 2016 iPhone 7 Plus.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Apple's original iPhone 10 years later: The original iPhone, in photos.

How the original iPhone stacks up to the iPhone 7 Plus: The mini 3.5-inch screen of the original iPhone looks downright puny next to the monster 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus.     

Here's what the 2007 iPhone's photos look like: You won't believe how far phone cameras have come until you see the photos we shot using the original iPhone.

The iPhone and the gadgets it laid to rest: RIP camcorders, GPS and ebook readers. Oh, and magazines, compasses, and calculators. Here are all the things the iPhone killed off. 

These were the most popular phones in 2007: BlackBerry. Nokia. Windows Mobile. Motorola. Palm. These were the phones that were hot when the iPhone hit the market.

This was the hottest tech 10 years ago: The tech world into which the iPhone was born looks a lot different than the one today. Here's what you'd find on the shelves of Best Buy back in 2007.

10 years of crazy iPhone accessories: The iPhone spawned an entire industry of custom accessories: docks, cables, cases and chargers, to name just a few. But for all the practical ones, there were plenty that were just plain weird. 


Watch this: Our first iPhone review from 2007

Watch Steve Jobs introduce the original iPhone: Apple's cofounder was a master showman, and the launch of the iPhone was arguably his greatest performance ever. 

Our first glimpse of the iPhone: After Jobs' presentation, the closest anyone could get to the iPhone was seeing it under glass. 

CNET's original iPhone video review: Kent German and Donald Bell give a video tour of the original iPhone soon after its June 2007 release. 

The fun and frenzy of reviewing the first iPhone: Kent German reflects on what it was like to review the most-hyped gadget of all time.

The iPhone: 2007, meet 2017: What's it like using the original iPhone in 2017? This is the video portion of Scott Stein's nostalgic look back. 

Updated since original publication with additional links.