The iPhone at 15: Steve Jobs Revealed His Greatest Product in 2007

The first iPhone went on sale on June 29, 2007 and it helped Apple grow into a $3 trillion company over the next 15 years.

Patrick Holland Managing Editor
Patrick Holland has been a phone reviewer for CNET since 2016. He is a former theater director who occasionally makes short films. Patrick has an eye for photography and a passion for everything mobile. He is a colorful raconteur who will guide you through the ever-changing, fast-paced world of phones, especially the iPhone and iOS. He used to co-host CNET's I'm So Obsessed podcast and interviewed guests like Jeff Goldblum, Alfre Woodard, Stephen Merchant, Sam Jay, Edgar Wright and Roy Wood Jr.
Expertise Apple, iPhone, iOS, Android, Samsung, Sony, Google, Motorola, interviews, coffee equipment, cats Credentials
  • Patrick's play The Cowboy is included in the Best American Short Plays 2011-12 anthology. He co-wrote and starred in the short film Baden Krunk that won the Best Wisconsin Short Film award at the Milwaukee Short Film Festival.
Patrick Holland
3 min read
Steve Jobs iPhone 15th anniversary

On Jan. 9, 2007 at the MacWorld Expo, Steve Job unveiled the first iPhone.

David Paul Morris/Getty Images

Fifteen years ago today, the first iPhone went on sale. It was five months after Steve Jobs, in perhaps his most iconic Apple keynote, introduced the original iPhone: "An iPod, a phone and internet communicator. An iPod, a phone, are you getting it?"

Steve Jobs revealed Apple's phone on Jan. 9, 2007. Night at the Museum was No. 1 in theaters. Nokia was the big name in phones. President Gerald Ford had been buried days earlier. And in a wildcard playoff game, the Indianapolis Colts had just defeated the Kansas City Chiefs before going on to win the Super Bowl. 

"iPhone is a revolutionary and magical product that is literally five years ahead of any other mobile phone," Jobs said during his keynote speech.

The iPhone wasn't actually magical. There were even behind-the-scenes efforts required to keep the iPhone from crashing while Jobs demonstrated it during the keynote. But 15 years later, it would be hard to argue that the iPhone wasn't revolutionary. Whether you are a loyal iPhone owner or have never owned one, the impact the iPhone has made in our daily lives is indisputable.

Read: What it was like attending the very first iPhone event


Months after being announced, the iPhone arrived in stores on June 29, 2007.

Sarah Tew/CNET

To celebrate the 15th anniversary of the iPhone, here are 15 facts about the iPhone and Apple.

Apple is now worth $3 trillion dollars

In 2007, Apple's market capitalization (the total value of all the shares of Apple stock) was $174.03 billion. On Jan. 3, 2022, it hit $3 trillion dollars, the highest market capitalization for any company ever.

The first iPhone had an aluminum body

The original iPhone came with a silver brushed aluminum finish. The current iPhone 13 has an aluminum frame, glass front and back, and comes in five colors. The iPhone 13 Pro is available in three finishes.

Watch this: Here's which iPhone you should buy in 2022

An iPhone for $499

The original iPhone cost $499 and came with 4GB of storage. For $100 more you could get one with 8GB of storage. The iPhone 13 Pro Max costs $1,099 for 256GB of storage and tops out at 1TB of storage for $1,599.

It predates Instagram, Uber, TikTok and more

The following companies didn't exist in 2007: Instagram, Uber, TikTok, Twitch, Snap, Lyft, DoorDash, Tinder, Slack, Lime, Postmates, Venmo and Pinterest.

It only had a single camera

The original iPhone had a single camera and it was located on the back. The iPhone 13 Pro has four cameras (three on the back and one on the front).

You couldn't copy and paste

You couldn't copy and paste text with the original iPhone. In fact, copy and paste wasn't added until 2009 with the release of iPhone OS 3.

Steve Jobs iPhone 15th anniversary

The first iPhone had 15 apps.

Tony Avelar/AFP

There were only 15 apps to start

The original iPhone had 15 apps: Calendar, Camera, Clock, Contacts, iPod, Maps (Google Maps), Messages, Notes, Phone, Photos, Safari, Stocks, Voice Memos, Weather and Settings.

The first of 34 iPhone models

There have been 34 iPhone models, and Apple currently sells eight.

You couldn't record video

You couldn't record videos with the original iPhone. Now the iPhone 13 Pro can record 4K 60fps video and can even record in ProRes at 4K 30fps.

A future movie maker

The following movies were filmed with an iPhone: Unsane, Tangerine, Detour, High Flying Bird, Snow Steam Iron and Lady Gaga: Stupid Love (which is technically a music video).

You couldn't text photos

The original iPhone didn't support MMS for sending things like photos and videos via text messages. It was added as a part of iPhone OS 3.

Watch this: The fun and frenzy of reviewing the first iPhone

A 3.5-inch screen

The original iPhone had a 3.5-inch screen. The iPhone 13 Mini has a 5.4-inch screen, the iPhone 13 comes with a 6.1-inch screen and the 13 Pro Max has a giant 6.7-inch screen.

Blue bubbles came later

FaceTime was released in 2010 and iMessage in 2011.

The App Store came later

The App Store opened on July 10, 2008 with 500 apps. According to Apple's website, there are currently 1.8 million apps in the App Store.

A million iPhones sold every day and a half

On Sept. 10, 2007 (74 days after the launch of the original iPhone) Apple sold its millionth iPhone. In 2018, Apple sold 216.7 million iPhones which is roughly a million iPhones sold every 1.5 days. Apple stopped sharing the number of iPhones sold after 2018.

How the original iPhone stacks up to the iPhone 7 Plus

See all photos