These days, we yawn and roll our eyes at each new smartphone model. The changes seem to be tiny—evolutionary. Where are the big steps forward?
Well, it may be that there aren’t many big steps left to take. Every kind of machine evolves, finally reaching an ultimate incarnation of itself. How often, for example, do you replace your refrigerator? Or your air conditioner? There just aren’t many compelling new features left to add.
Even so, we’ve come a very long way since 2007, when Apple (AAPL) released the very first iPhone. Every year, there’s another model, each faster and loaded up with more features. As we prepare for the September 12 unveiling of the 10th-anniversary iPhone, here’s a chronology of what was new with each year’s iteration.
iPhone (June 2007)
The very first iPhone introduced a very long list of firsts. The big one, of course, was that it was all touchscreen—no typing keys. Not just a touchscreen—a multitouch screen, with all of those touch gestures we now take for granted, like “pinch to zoom” and swiping through lists.
It also introduced visual voicemail, where your messages appear in an inbox. Its email and web browser apps were full-fledged, showing all the formatting you’d see on a desktop computer—a first for phones.
It’s also worth remembering what the first iPhone didn’t have: A front camera. A camera flash. Video recording. Cut and paste. GPS. MMS (sending photos as text messages). A memory-card slot. Voice dialing. Word-complete suggestions. A choice of carrier (it was AT&T [T] only, and really slow).
And there was no app store. You got 16 apps, and you were happy.
The base model cost $500, and packed 4 gigabytes of storage.
As I wrote in my review in The New York Times: “The iPhone is revolutionary; it’s flawed. It’s substance; it’s style. It does things no phone has ever done before; it lacks features found even on the most basic phones.”
Original article here https://finance.yahoo.com/news/apples-iphone-improved-since-2007-debut-191453444.html