Twelve years ago today, Apple released the first generation iPhone, which was stylised as “iPhone 2G”. This was the first iPhone and paved the way for the future of smartphones. At the time, this phone was incredible, and in lots of ways, is still incredible today.
The iPhone 2G launched in the United States first, followed by several other countries such as the United Kingdom, France, Germany and more in the weeks to follow. It sold around 6.1 million units before it was discontinued by Apple in favour of the new iPhone 3G in July of 2008. It launched with iPhone OS 1, and was supported up to iPhone OS 3.1.3, which was quite a long time for free software updates at the time. It launched with the price tag of $499 for the 4GB model, and $599 for the 8GB model. There was also a 16GB model, which was a HUGE amount of storage at the time for such a small device, that launched in February 2008 for $499. In February 2008, Apple dropped the price of the 8GB model from $599 to $399, and following this price drop, sold the one millionth iPhone a few days later.
When the iPhone came out, it featured Quad-band GSM, cellular with GRPS and Edge support, which nowadays is probably the worst signal you can get (aside from having no signal, but let’s face it – if you’re on GRPS or Edge, you may as well just have no signal at all). I remember thinking the iPhone was so fast, and looking back on it, it was super slow. In terms of memory, it really didn’t have much. It featured 128MB of eDRAM memory, which is nothing compared to today’s standards.
It was quite advanced in terms of what was inside of it. It featured a 3.5” 320×480 non-Retina Multi-Touch display at 163 Pixels Per Inch (PPI) – the first of its kind, an accelerometer, an ambient light sensor, a microphone, and proximity sensor. I find the screen size hilarious because as time progressed, people wanted bigger phones. Now we have the iPhone XS Max, which is 6.5” diagonally. Interestingly enough, nowadays, some people prefer the smaller screens. And example of this is the iPhone SE, which everyone seems to want a successor for. The camera for the iPhone 2G was 2MP, which is so bad compared to the 12MP cameras offered by the iPhones nowadays. Also, this phone had no front facing iSight camera (yeah, that’s insane!).
And there we have it. It looks like a very simple phone when you look back on it, but at the time, this phone was everything. It was a message to the world that this was the future, and that it was only going to get better from here. The iPhone has undoubtedly not only changed my world, but everyone else’s. Steve Jobs was not lying when he said “today, Apple reinvents the phone”, because the iPhone flipped the industry on its head, and I am forever grateful for that. It’s only when you look around, you truly see how the iPhone 2G was responsible for the changes in the industry.
So, in very plain and simple English – Happy birthday, iPhone. Thank you for everything.