Ten years ago today, Steve Jobs took the stage at MacWorld 2007 to introduce the iPhone, a device which would revolutionize among many other things, how we communicate.
Watch his keynote below. Steve starts to introduce the iPhone at about 21:50 into the video.
It’s still a great keynote and it’s always good to see Steve Jobs on a stage.
At the time, there were a few other smartphones available — the smartphone market was just developing. You might call them smart-ish phones.
What the iPhone promised 10 years ago was to take email, Internet, music, photography, and a whole bunch of other possibilities and integrate them into one smooth handheld, pocket-sized seamless device.
In short, Apple just didn’t change mobile phones. They made mobile computing something for all of us and freed us from the tether of multiple, bulkier devices.
How has the iPhone changed my life? I feel more comfortable leaving the house without my wallet then I do without my phone.
I think it’s safe to say that the iPhone invented mobile photography. Without it, mobile photography would be a lot different than it is today.
At the time, most mobile phones didn’t even have a camera. Those that did took really crappy, dark, muddy, noisy, flat 640 x 480 pixel VGA snapshots which were almost impossible to share or to get off your phone.
The original iPhone had a really nice two megapixel camera that most of the time shot better pictures than my larger, bulkier. slower. two megapixel Panasonic Lumix camera. The iPhone camera didn’t look like a camera so it was less likely to affect the scene that you were shooting, especially if it was candid or street photography.
Best of all, it was always with me. I almost never left the house without my iPhone and therefore my camera. Now it was possible to capture all of those everyday moments that otherwise would’ve been lost.
One of the reasons I started this blog back in 2009 was because I found that iPhone photos had their own unique signature. They had a color quality, noise and a texture that made them unique amongst digital photography. It was like shooting with the mobile phone equivalent of a low-end rangefinder.
Those lo-fi qualities of the early iPhone photos appealed to me. I felt they added the same emotional elements that the look and colors of an old family snapshot or the border of an old Polaroid print added to a photograph. My iPhone has been my camera of choice ever since.
Over the years I have shot with every iPhone camera. And we still have most of our old iPhones. We just don’t seem to sell them as we replace them.
I have a few favorites over the years. I love my iPhone 6s Plus. With its aluminum case and rounded edges, it harkens back to the original iPhone. The device itself is very very fast. The camera takes great pictures in a wide variety of conditions. Its 12 megapixels are more than I can foreseeably use in the near future. We’ve got a house full of cameras and my iPhone 6s Plus is the best camera I own for most uses.
I loved the iPhone 4. Images were richly saturated. Sadly, this was corrected in the next-generation iPhone 4s which had a more natural color balance. The iPhone 4 also had a unique lens flare that I’ve seen and no other iPhone. When the light would enter the lines just right, it created a striking 4 x 4 grid of elliptical halos in the image, adding to the uniqueness of iPhone 4 photos.
And I still hold a soft spot for my original iPhone. With that device, I rediscovered the joy of photography that I had when I was a kid shooting with my dad’s and grandfather’s hand-me-down cameras. I still have that phone and I fire it up every now and then to shoot with it. To this day, I think Hipstamatic pics never looked better than when shot on an original iPhone.
So, happy birthday, iPhone. Ten years ago I didn’t know what to do with you and the possibilities were limitless. Today I don’t know what to do without you and the possibilities are still limitless.