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The evolution of Apple's iPhone (video)

We delve into the history behind this iconic gadget, examining the iPhone's changing face, as well as Apple's most spectacular smart phone hits -- and its biggest misses.

Luke Westaway Senior editor
Luke Westaway is a senior editor at CNET and writer/ presenter of Adventures in Tech, a thrilling gadget show produced in our London office. Luke's focus is on keeping you in the loop with a mix of video, features, expert opinion and analysis.
Luke Westaway
2 min read
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Watch this: Apple iPhone evolution

NOTE: We've updated this video to a more recent version that includes the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C. To see the most recent edition, click here.

Prepare yourself for a heady dose of tech nostalgia, as we explore the origins -- and evolution -- of Apple's iPhone.

Hit play on the video above and see Steve Jobs' iconic gadget traced back to its roots. We'll be charting the most important new apps and features that the iPhone has sprouted over the years -- as well as its biggest mis-steps.

These days, we take highfalutin smart phones for granted, and it's easy to forget that prior to 2007, so-called smart phones were little more than blocky plastic bricks, with hard-to-view screens and slathered with tiny, mechanical buttons.

The first iPhone was criminally basic by today's standards, but at the time it blew our tiny minds with its expansive, hyper-responsive touchscreen and blindingly simple interface.

Indeed, if you want a clue as to just how revolutionary some of these early smart phone features were, wait until you hear the cheers of an appreciate crowd as Jobs demonstrates the first ever public pinch-to-zoom. One year later Apple would unleash its App Store, turning the iPhone into a kind of digital Swiss Army Knife, and leaving an indelible mark on the wider tech industry.

Hands-on with the sharp, slim iPhone 5 (pictures)

See all photos

The iPhone may have exploded onto the scene in a whirlwind of money and adoration, but fast-forward to 2013 and rivals like Samsung and HTC have levelled the playing field with tempting Android alternatives.

Apple's last few iPhones meanwhile have been modest upgrades with none of the world-changing features found on earlier models, leading us to ask -- can Apple surprise us again? Or are the iconic smart phone's most impressive feats now behind it?

I want to hear your thoughts, so let me know whether you think the iPhone is running out of steam, and which version was your personal favourite. As always, the comments box below is the place to have your say.