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15 Years of the iPhone – Look How Far They’ve Come

Jan 5, 2022 •

15 years ago, a forward-thinking Steve Jobs debuted the original iPhone. United States residents had to wait six months after the January 9, 2007 Macworld Conference to purchase the phone, and United Kingdom residents had to wait until November. Once the iPhone became available for purchase, however, users flocked — and a revolution was born.

The Cell Phone Landscape in 2007

The cell phones — yes, we had cell phones and not smartphones — were brick and flip models that did little more than talk and text. A few basic functions, such as a calculator and alarm clock, were on modest models. The fancy ones also had Snake or a similar game.

This was the landscape that the original iPhone debuted in, and it was an immediate standout. Compared to the handsets from Nokia, LG, Sony Ericsson and Blackberry (remember the keyboard?), the iPhone was sleek, streamlined and speedy.

The new aesthetic was accompanied by hardware improvements that made the iPhone more capable than any other model on the market. Some 6 million people purchased the phone in its first year.

The Original IPhone’s Specs

The original iPhone had a 3.5-inch screen that boasted a high-definition 320 x 480 resolution. For perspective, the iPhone 13’s screen is 6.1 inches and has a resolution of 1170 x 2532. The iPhone 13 Pro Max boasts an even larger 6.68-inch screen that’s almost twice as large as the original’s, and a resolution of 1284 x 2778 that makes the original 320 x 480…let’s just say not-high-def.

The base version of the original iPhone ran on 128 megabytes of RAM and had 4 gigabytes of storage. That’s enough space for less than 5 of today’s more capable apps.

Of course, the lack of storage space was partly a moot point, because you couldn’t download anything to the phone. There was no App Store connected, so users were limited to the factory-installed Calculator, CalenDar, YouTube (a main feature) and iTunes (a main feature).

The camera on that first iPhone was 2 megapixels, which is comparable to the cheapest non-smart cell phones of a few years ago. That was on the sole camera, too.

The IPhone’s Biggest Improvements

Many improvements have been made from the original iPhone to the iPhone 13. Here are a few of the most notable ones.

The App Store

The iPhone 3G debuted one year after the original model, and it was the first to feature the App Store. The store granted users access to some 500 applications, greatly increasing the phone’s capabilities.

Users were no longer limited to a calculator, Safari, and iTunes — two of the most notable apps were Remote and Texas Hold’em. Remote turned the phone into a remote for Macs and Apple TVs, while Texas Hold’em…gambling is one of the oldest games, and also one o the oldest apps.

Multiple High-Res Cameras

The iPhone’s cameras are one of its main features and a primary reason why many people who purchase higher-end new models upgrade from the base version. Today’s iPhones feature multiple cameras, some of which are good enough to shoot professional photos or videos on.

The first 2-megapixel iPhone camera captured only basic images, and it solely took pictures from the back lens. Remember how many misses you’d have when turning the phone around for a selfie?

Memory

Memory on the iPhone has increased between 30 and 300 fold, depending on which models you compare. The 4, 8 and 16 gigabytes of memory were sufficient for simple photos back in 2007, but that’s not nearly enough for apps, or even decent photos, that today’s phones handle.

The iPhone 13 comes with at least 128 gigabytes, for reference. The 13 Pro Max can store up to 1 terabyte of apps, photos, videos, and other data.

5G Connectivity

The most recent major upgrade has been from 4G LTE to 5G. A still-new cellular technology, 5G is essential to smart device communication and will prove to be a breakthrough in pursuing even more capabilities.

Sell Your Old IPhone

Even though the iPhone has come a long way over the generations, older iPhones can still be worth quite a lot. Hold on to an original iPhone if you happen to have one — it’s a collectible. If you have an older iPhone 7, iPhone 8, iPhone X or iPhone 11, though, consider selling the phone for cash.

We at MLG Cash buy older iPhones, such as these, and we pay good money for them. Find out what your phone is worth on our website, and that money could be yours as soon as you drop it off at one of the 5,000+ UPS Stores that we partner with.