Part 1: Technology Flashback—First iPhone (2007)

Steve Jobs introduces the first iPhone in 2007.

People have been celebrating the iPhone’s eighth birthday, so I figure it would be a perfect time to share my iPhone buying experience on June 29, 2007. It was, perhaps, the biggest day in technology history.

Steve Jobs announced the iPhone on January 9, 2007. It immediately caused a frenzy and technology analysts everywhere predicted the iPhone would change the future. It did. I personally think Samsung Galaxy phones are better than iPhones, but the Galaxy S and Galaxy Note series wouldn’t exist without the iPhone.

The first iPhone was thick compared to the latest iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

At first, I wasn’t going to get the iPhone since it only ran on AT&T’s slow Edge network. I also didn’t want to switch to AT&T. However, the more I saw the ads, the more I wanted this phone. I was plotting where I would get it on June 15, 2007. I had to have it the second it came out. The iPhone actually achieved the goal that Windows Mobile and Palm OS phones tried to achieve: putting a small computer in the pockets of consumers.

I couldn’t imagine having a phone without a thumbpad. However, all reviewers noted that typing on the iPhone was faster than using a thumboard and harder to make mistakes. The claim seemed suspicious, but the reviewers were right. I also was excited that a phone with a 3.5-inch screen had a 480 x 320 pixel resolution. It seems like a joke now, but that was a lot in 2007 for a 3.5-inch screen. I could look at realistic pictures and watch movies that don’t look completely pixelated.

The most intriguing part of the iPhone was the “pinch-to-zoom” feature. We all take it for granted now since every phone has it. But this was groundbreaking in 2007 and was perfect for surfing the Internet. By June 28, 2007, I was planning my final plan of attack.

June 29, 2007: Camping out for the first iPhone on my bean bag in Torrance, California.

I lived in Torrance, California at the time and I planned to camp out at the AT&T store on Hawthorne Street. I knew there wouldn’t be as huge of a line there as other places. I called in sick for work that day and headed out there at 5 a.m., even though the phone wouldn’t be sold until 5 p.m. To my surprise, I was the first person there.

By 7 a.m., there were thirteen other people. All of them, like me, were technology enthusiasts whose mouths and minds were watering for Apple’s new device. We shared stories of our previous smartphones. We shared stories of our first cell phones. By 1 p.m., there were more than 50 people in line. We kept viewing the Internet to read other people’s experiences buying the iPhone on the East Coast.

There was a rumor going around that AT&T was requiring you to purchase an accessory in order to purchase the iPhone. Unfortunately, the rumors were true and there was a huge backlash. Still, we were too excited about purchasing the iPhone to really make a stink about it. Then, it was time. I was going to be the first person in Torrance California to purchase the iPhone.

Check back next week for Part 2 of my first iPhone experience!

About Daryl

Daryl Deino has been a technology enthusiast since 1995 and has written for several newspapers and technology sites. Please reach him at [email protected]
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