The iPhone went on sale 10 years ago today - here's how far it's come

Key Points
  • The original iPhone launched on June 29, 2007 -- ten years ago today.
  • Here are some of the biggest changes between the original iPhone and the iPhone 7.
CNBC puts Apple's first-generation iPhone to the test
CNBC puts Apple's first-generation iPhone to the test

Ten years ago, on June 29 2007, Apple launched the original iPhone. At the time, BlackBerry, Palm and Windows Mobile smartphones ruled the market with QWERTY keyboards and styluses.

Then Apple began selling the iPhone and the entire smartphone industry flipped on its head. (It even destroyed plenty of gadgets along the way.)

Multitouch screens became the must-have on every smartphone, and consumers finally got a taste of a user interface that was easy to see and interact with. Even though it lacked some features of other smartphones, like faster 3G data speeds, the iPhone quickly became a must-have for consumers who could afford it.

Let's revisit the iPhone and review some of its original features compared to what's offered on the market today.

The original iPhone had a 3.5-inch display with a 480 x 320-pixel resolution. Today, the high-end iPhone 7 Plus has a 5.5-inch display with a 1920 x 1080 resolution. That's like moving from VCR quality to full HD.

The late Steve Jobs, Apple founder and former CEO, introduces the iPhone at a conference in 2007.
Getty Images

The iPhone wasn't using the latest wireless technology. It ran on AT&T's slow EDGE network instead of faster 3G networks that were available at the time.


Its Safari web browser was unlike anything we'd ever seen before. Loading websites that looked the same as they did on a computer screen was a huge deal. I remember it took about a minute to load a full site, which was acceptable!


The keyboard was a first of its kind, unbelievably easy to type on. It was particularly surprising given how smartphone users were used to typing on hardware keyboards offered by BlackBerry and Palm.


The entry-level iPhone shipped with just 4GB of storage (that option was discontinued soon after launch.) That's smaller than some applications in the iTunes App Store! Today, users can equip their iPhones with up to 256GB of storage.


It had Google Maps! Before the iPhone launched, standalone GPS units were still extremely popular.


The first iPhone also didn't have immediate access to an app store. You had email, a browser and a music player and a few other apps which were plenty advanced for the time.


While we didn't have a fingerprint reader on the first iPhone, we did have a multi-touch display, something that had never been introduced on a mass-consumer smartphone before. Soon other smartphones adopted the same technology.

Getty | Apple

The original iPhone was only available on Cingular. Today, you can buy an iPhone that supports wireless networks around the world.


The iPhone was priced at $599 (for the 8GB) model and still required a 2-year Cingular contract. Most phones at the time were priced far less. Today, you can buy an iPhone 7 for $649 without any contract at all.