Tech & The Web

iPhone Anniversary: Device Celebrates 10 Years

Thursday was a notable iPhone anniversary: the device celebrated 10 years since its launch back in 2007. Can you believe it’s been that long?

When I realized the we just had an iPhone anniversary — and in fact, the big 10th anniversary at that — I started thinking back to my first iPhone.

Back in 2007, in the days leading up to the iPhone’s launch, I was adamant about one thing: as many people were contemplating camping out and lining up to buy their very own, I was not going to be one of them.

On June 29, 2007, in a post titled, “iDay,” I commented on the people who’d been camping out to get their hands on the smartphone. And in that post, aside from the cost of the device, I made this observation:

How much do you really need to do with a cell phone? Sure, mine has a little calendar/reminder function, which I use. It has a built-in digital camera, which I have used occasionally. It has text messaging, which I don’t use. It has email, which I wouldn’t think of trying to use on a cell phone. It has internet, which is annoying enough on a full-sized computer.

Well, my, my, my.

How times have changed.

At some point over the course of the next few months, I apparently changed my mind, because by 2008, my archives showed I already had an iPhone.

More than just “using” the calendar/reminder features on the flip phone I had prior to the iPhone, I rely on those functions on my smartphone of choice. I routinely set up calendar reminders and timers, and like so many other people, my iPhone doubles as an alarm clock. (Thank goodness they included a snooze button.)

I use the built-in digital camera for pictures and video and post some of those efforts on my Instagram account.

Text messaging? Oh, yes. I use it. Often. Almost daily. That doesn’t mean I’m sending that many texts to people — I’m still old-fashioned enough to prefer actual conversations — but I also receive texts from a variety of sources and for a variety of reasons.

Ditto with email, which I once claimed I wouldn’t think of trying on a cell phone. Well, I not only read emails, but I send them, too. Imagine that.

And while I maintain my 2007 view that the internet can still be annoying on a full-sized (desktop) computer, I surf the web with my smartphone for a variety of applications, including my real job.

To be fair, I wasn’t the only one who wasn’t initially impressed with Steve Jobs’ proud achievement. TechCrunch posted a story written days before the iPhone’s release date listing numerous reasons the device would surely be “a bomb.”

We were both proven wrong, it would seem.

After reviewing the previous models, I think I’m on my fourth iPhone at the moment. I think I went from the initial iPhone to the iPhone 3G. That may have been the phone I had to replace when a strip of the screen stopped functioning: that strip happened to coincide with the numbers 3, 4 and 5 on the numeric keypad. When the majority of numbers you’re calling have the area code 843, just try getting a call put through when the 3, 4 and 5 buttons aren’t responsive.

After the iPhone 5, I “supersized” my trusty digital companion with the iPhone 6S+, a larger screen that’s easier on the eyes — trust me, for those of you under the age of 40, one day you’ll understsand. Granted, it makes reading texts and emails easier, but it also makes for a better web experience.

What bothers me most is the future design changes.

The more I read about rumors of what the next iPhone — whatever it’ll be called — the more I grow concerned about two specific “improvements.”

The first is the obsession with an all-glass phone. Seriously, what’s the issue with all-glass? Why is that better? A phone dropped off a desk onto a floor is a lot less likely to crack if it’s made of something like aluminum than metal. Even polished back aluminum, after all, can have the same appearance as glass with a smaller danger of becoming cracked from an impact.

For the record, I use an OtterBox case to protect my iPhone. Seeing someone walking around with the phone outside of any protective cover or shield at all makes me nervous for that person: it’s only a matter of time before some tragedy occurs.

It’s my obsession with protecting the phone, I suppose, that prompts the second concern: I really don’t like the idea of a screen that extends all the way to the edge, which seems to be the next obsession of developers. I’d rather have a bit of an edge, a rim, around which the protective covering can go. If it means the screen stops a few extra millimeters away from the edge of the device, why is that possibly a problem when you compare that “drawback” to the cost of replacing a broken screen?

I’m not sure when I’ll replace my current phone. I think I’m eligible for an upgrade later this year, although I’m not certain I’ll do it then. I want to see not only what the newest version of that predicted flop from a decade ago will do, but also how its users can adequately protect it so their investment is less likely to be shattered right in front of their eyes.

How about you? Do you have an iPhone? Have you ever owned one?

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 27 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.