It’s eight years to the day since Steve Jobs first revealed the iPhone to the world.
It was nothing short of a miracle.
Before the iPhone came out, smart phones were clunky devices, half keyboard and half screen.
Full websites didn’t run on mobile phones, so companies were forced to build weak, mobile versions of their sites.
The iPhone changed everything.
And yet, the iPhone experience we all enjoy today didn’t happen overnight. It took years of Apple adding feature upon feature. By today’s standards, the original iPhone was a useless brick.
As a reminder of how far the iPhone has come, we’ve put together this slideshow on how the first iPhone was pretty crappy.
There’s an important lesson here: People tend to quickly judge products on what they can and cannot do, while failing to account for how the product improves over time. As the iPhone shows, it’s ok to start with limitations and gradually expand the product over the years.
As speculation mounts ahead of the release of the Apple Watch, it’s worth keeping this in mind.
Yes, the original iPhone was a miracle. As a reminder, here's what the competition looked like at the time.
Now, that said, it's fun to look back and see how much really basic stuff was missing from the first iPhone.
That 2G connection was extra painful because AT&T was the only carrier option available. And AT&T had its problems (like dropped calls).
What makes the iPhone the iPhone is all the apps. When Apple first launched the iPhone it had no App Store. Steve Jobs wasn't sure if he wanted to have an App Store. He wanted to totally control the app experience. Eventually he relented, and created the App Store. Even if he was ok with an App Store, there's no way it could have been ready on day one. It's a major undertaking.
Hopefully you liked a black background, because that was the only choice you had! You couldn't change the iPhone's wallpaper picture.
There was no notification center, no Siri, and no control center. These are all complicated features, so it's not stunning, but this is just a quick reminder of major stuff Apple has added.
You're not wrong to say 'so what.' The point here is that technology takes time to fully form. While the iPhone was a miracle when it was released, it still had a long way to go. So remember that the next time a tech company releases a new product. Assuming the fundamental product vision is sound, version one is just a starting point.