Editor's note: The iPhone is 5 years old. Last year, I reflected on my very first iPhone, and what owning one was like before the smartphone landscape had utterly changed...before the App Store...before iPads. What I wrote last year is still true now, maybe even more so, although one important event has transpired since: Steve Jobs died October 5, 2011, less than four months later. What follows is what I wrote, along with photos of that iPhone that I still have kicking around, compared with the iPhone 4S. Looking at them side by side, it's amazing how little has changed in terms of form.
It was only 2007 when the iPhone debuted. It seems like longer. My first HDTV, my Wii, and my PlayStation 3 all existed before the first iPhone. Yet, in 2007, BlackBerrys were all the rage. The Motorola Q was an eye-catching phone. Android didn't exist.
Also, my grandparents were still alive. I wasn't married. I didn't have a kid. I was freelance-writing a novel. My life was different then.
The iPhone lines were crazy, but if you picked the right time you could sneak into an Apple Store and buy one. That's because the first iPhone started at $499. No one knew yet whether the device was a smash hit. Apple didn't have a reservation system in place yet, or claim tickets. In the summer of 2007, the iPhone was a novelty. … Read more