iPhone at 15: looking back at the first Apple phone and how to rewatch the 2007 launch

Image of Steve Jobs holding the first iPhone
Image of Steve Jobs holding the first iPhone (Image credit: Apple)

15 years ago, Steve Jobs revealed the original iPhone to the world and it began a wave of innovation that changed the mobile phone market forever. 

"Today, Apple is going to reinvent the phone", Steve Jobs famously said during the launch.

The mobile phone market was then dominated by Nokia handsets and competitors such as BlackBerry, LG and Sony Ericsson. But now here was Apple with its first attempt, and it looked entirely different.

The first edition of the iPhone was revealed at a Macworld Conference on January 9, 2007. It then wouldn't be available to buy until June 29 of the same year in the US, and those in the UK had to wait until November.

What did the first iPhone offer?

It wasn't all there to start with, though. TechRadar's review of the original iPhone gave it four stars. Our reviewer called the handset, "Elegant, intuitive and fast" but noted "the iPhone could do more".

It featured a 3.5-inch screen with a resolution of 320 x 480. For context, the most recent iPhone 13 comes with a 6.1-inch display with a resolution of 1170 x 2532.

The original iPhone had dimensions of 115 x 61 x 11.6mm, and it weighed 135g.

It only featured one camera (no selfies here) which was a 2MP shooter. It ran iPhone OS software, although the software wouldn't get its name until 2008, before it was then renamed iOS in 2010.

The original software didn't feature an App Store, so you were limited to the built-in applications. Those included apps such as Camera, Maps, Calculator, iTunes, Calendar, YouTube, Weather, Notes, Phone, Mail, Photos, Stocks, Clock, Settings and Safari.

The original iPhone

The original iPhone (Image credit: Apple)

You had the choice of 4GB or 8GB of storage, and a 16GB version came in 2008. Each of those devices ran on 128MB of RAM. 

It came with a 1,400mAh battery inside, which our reviewer seemed impressed by. In our testing, it was able to last seven hours in our continuious talk test, plus it was able to play videos for 6 hours and 15 minutes.

It wasn't cheap, either. In the US, the phone cost $499 for a 4GB model, jumping up to $599 for the 8GB model, plus you needed to enter a two-year contract to get the phone.

It went on to sell over six million units in its first year, and it spawned one of the world's most popular smartphones series.

Want to see the original iPhone launch and how much tech events have changed in the last 15 years? Below, you'll find Steve Jobs taking to the stage and introducing the next big thing from Apple in 2007.

James Peckham

James is Managing Editor for Android Police. Previously, he was Senior Phones Editor for TechRadar, and he has covered smartphones and the mobile space for the best part of a decade bringing you news on all the big announcements from top manufacturers making mobile phones and other portable gadgets. James is often testing out and reviewing the latest and greatest mobile phones, smartwatches, tablets, virtual reality headsets, fitness trackers and more. He once fell over.