The introduction of the first iPhone brought a slew of new features to the mobile computing landscape, and Apple hasn’t stopped the advancements in the 14 years since the original product’s release. “A widescreen iPod with touch controls, a revolutionary mobile phone and a breakthrough internet communications device,” the late Steve Jobs told an enthusiastic audience at MacWorld in 2007. When the audience realized that those products weren’t separate at all, but a single device, a cascade of applause erupted in the San Francisco auditorium. While the original iPhone let users access mobile technology with just the touch of a finger, modern iPhones provide computing power that could only be imagined back in 2007.

When the iPhone was revealed to the world, the best smartphone options available were clunky and difficult to use. Arguably the most polished phone at the time was the Motorola Razr, which has since been revived by the company in an industry-wide quest to capitalize on nostalgia. Even the Razr was flawed, as it had a low-quality camera, next to zero storage, and no input methods aside from tactile buttons. However, before the iPhone changed the market for smartphones, there was another Apple phone, and it was made in tandem with Motorola. Apple called it the iTunes Phone, and it was unveiled at MacWorld 2005. It was about as awkward as might be expected and was essentially a Motorola phone with a built-in iTunes application that could store about 100 songs.

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The most important advancement of the iPhone was the introduction of multi-touch technology, which brought the ability to directly interact with a device’s graphical user interface with just a fingertip. Since then, display technology has pushed forward in stunning ways. The original iPhone shipped with a 3.5-inch display with a resolution of 320 x 480 pixels, while the current iPhone 13 has an expansive 6.1 inch Super Retina OLED panel with a resolution of 2,532 x 1,170 pixels. The modern OLED panels allow for individual pixels to be turned off when not in use, saving battery life and producing vibrant colors and deep blacks.

Modern iPhones Are Extensions Of The Mac

iPhone 13 green

The display is far from the only part of the iPhone that has changed immeasurably. The first iPhone didn’t even ship with an Apple-designed processor, which seems unimaginable considering the company is now known for creating silicon for every product from headphones to smartphones to desktop computers. The iPhone 13 has the A15 Bionic chip that is faster than some low-end laptops. In fact, the A-series line of processors forms the framework for the more powerful M-series chips found on the latest Macs. On the logic board level, the availability and affordability of flash storage is a drastic change in newer iPhones. The original iPhone started with just four gigabytes of storage, which wouldn’t be enough to store iOS 15 on the iPhone 13. The top-end iPhone 13 offers 512GB of storage, with the Pro variants offering an enormous 1TB.

The camera is another area where the iPhone has significantly evolved. The original iPhone shipped with a single 2MP camera that could take basic photos. The iPhone 13 comes with dual 12MP cameras at the back and another one in the front. The resolution change may not seem significant, but the image quality offered by iPhones has become a benchmark for smartphone photography around the world. The iPhone 13 offers up to 4K video recording, an advanced Night mode, and new features like Cinematic mode. As for the other changes, the iPhone has lost a few ports over the years, with the 30-pin dock connector and 3.5mm headphone jack making way for a unified Lightning interface. The new iPhone 13 supports both fast charging and wireless charging, technologies that weren’t available in 2007. Face ID is another relatively new feature, replacing the Touch ID fingerprint sensor launched with 2013’s iPhone 5s. The original iPhone only offered a 4-digit passcode as a safeguard.

However, the biggest change from the 2007 iPhone to the 2022 iPhones is the way the company thinks of smartphones in the first place. The iPhone was originally an adaptation of the iPod and iTunes; however, it is now a full-fledged computer that can fit in the palm of one’s hand. It’s come at a cost, figuratively and literally — the smartphone is a vital part of human life, and smartphones across the world are more expensive than ever. In 2007, there was only one iPhone available for purchase through cellular carriers. In 2022, Apple offers the iPhone 13 in three storage variants and six colors, letting users pick the iPhone that suits them best. The iPhone has clearly come a long way since 2007, and Apple’s continued advancements in technology coupled with its excellent software support have made the iPhone one of the most popular smartphones in the world.