Ten years ago, the tech world shifted dramatically with the arrival of the first pocket computer, better known as Apple’s original iPhone. The combination of touchscreen hardware and a sophisticated, dynamically adjustable interface sparked a mobile revolution that re-ordered the landscape of many industries – and forever changed how people use technology.

Everything from mobile app stores to the Bring Your Own Device revolution at work to the creation of Android and a new tablet industry followed from that iPhone and the operating system it ran.

With that in mind, and with iOS 11 due out within weeks, here’s a look at iOS highlights and how Apple’s mobile OS has changed and evolved each year since 2007.

iPhone OS 1

The first iPhone relied on the slow EDGE network from AT&T for cellular internet access, had limited storage (it maxed out at 8GB) and lacked basic features such as MMS and cut/copy/paste. And yet, it was the most remarkable piece of technology most people had ever held in the palm of their hand.

The iPhone represented a paradigm shift not only for devices, but for the entire mobile industry. It was enough to knock down then top-dogs Nokia and RIM (BlackBerry) while breathing new life into competitors who until then had stuck to aping RIM’s designs.


Sure, it looks dated now, but the original iPhone in 2007 had all of the main components that its successors have today.

In a world full of buttons and keyboards, the iPhone was sleek and polished and it relied on a new software interface that used multitouch. In an instant, physical keyboards were out; swiping was in. The then-new dynamic UI changed based on context and function; it was sophisticated enough for long-time computer and smartphone users but simple enough to draw in tech newbies. The iPhone was a game-changer.

iPhone OS 2

If the opening combo of iOS and iPhone re-ordered the mobile landscape, the second version (first unveiled as a developer beta in March 2008) solidified the iPhone’s success. With iPhone OS 2’s release on July 11, 2008, the iPhone gained an App Store, allowing third-party applications onto the iPhone platform. iPhone users could also view Microsoft Office documents in email attachments, and the iPhone software sported new enterprise-friendly features like push-email, -contacts and -calendars, as well as enforced security policies with device configuration and remote wipe.

This version bolstered business support and allowed the iPhone 3G to be used in work environments with access to 3G networks for faster data access via cellular networks,  support for Microsoft Exchange, Cisco IPsec VPN, WPA2/802.1x, parental controls, and additional languages – allowing the iPhone to appeal to a broader audience.

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