One decade ago this week, on Jan. 9, 2007, Apple's Steve Jobs announced the first iPhone at the MacWorld convention in San Francisco. It was promptly dubbed the "Jesus Phone" by a critical public who
crucified it worshipped it like a gift from God itself. And so it began.
The iPhone's success certainly stems from its hardware design(s). But Apple is also to be credited with developing the app ecosystem, convincing a world of developers to not only develop apps for the iPhone, but to cede Apple a cut of the profits, submit their apps to Apple's guidelines, and let Apple cut out competitors when it chooses. In all honesty, developing that app ecosystem almost stands as a greater achievement than the phone itself.
Over the years, the iPhone has slimmed down, bulked up, added new colors, another antenna, more carriers, a friendly yet somewhat cheeky personal assistant, and yes, a few additional customers as well. Newer versions of iOS, specifically iOS 7 in 2013, brought some major interface changes (farewell "realistic" skeumorphic 3D, hello flat imagery).
It hasn't been a completely smooth ride; Apple would like to forget the iPhone 4 death grip, Mapgate and iPhone 6 Bendgate, among other things.
In the last 10 years, the iPad also conquered tablets, but it's always the iPhone—a device so popular, an entire city in China is dedicated to its creation—that customers love most. It's more than a phone at this point, it's an icon, even if it's a flawed one.
As you flip through the following pages, be sure to check out how the phone's basic design has gone mostly unchanged. That initial look has served Apple well, as the iPhone along with millions of other smartphones out there, remains an incredible slab of technology that fits in your pocket.