Let’s See How Far iPhone Has Come Since Its Launch

January 9 marks the 15th anniversary of the Apple iPhone launch. To commemorate the occasion, let’s look back and see the features first iPhone lacked when it was first unveiled.


  • iPhone didn’t get the ability to copy-paste until 2009.
  • The first Apple iPhone had no front camera.
  • There was no built-in flashlight on the first iPhone.

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Apple unveiled iPhone on January 9, 2007, integrating three products --- mobile phone, iPod and internet communications device -- into one compact and lightweight portable gadget. Apple iPhone featured an entirely new user interface based on a multi-touch display and software that allowed users to control the device with their fingertips. Slowly, the tech giant ushered in a new era of software and sophistication never seen before in mobile devices, dramatically redefining what smartphones can do.

Here we are at the 15th anniversary of Apple iPhone launch. The world is awaiting iPhone 14 variant anticipating interesting features. Meanwhile, it would be fascinating to know a few features that is now widespread, but lacked in the first iPhone when it was initially released.

Top iPhone Features Today

Copy-Paste feature – Interestingly, iPhone didn’t get the ability to copy-paste until 2009.

Video Recording - The first iPhone could click photos, but the video recording was added to the iPhone in 2009.

App Store – Calendar, Calculator, Phone, Notes, Weather and Photos came pre-installed on the first iPhone, but there was no official option to install third-party apps until the App Store started in July 2008. There were provisions for developers to provide web-based applications, which didn’t get much acceptance due to below-average performance.

Front camera – Selfie is comparatively a new-age concept. Apple iPhone first generation had no front camera. In reality, until the iPhone 4 was released in 2010 with FaceTime video chatting, there was no front camera in iPhone first generation.

GPS - The original iPhone came with a Google Maps software pre-installed, it there was no turn-by-turn directions as the device lacked a GPS. Apple integrated GPS in iPhone 3G in 2008.

Flashlight - There was no built-in flashlight on the first iPhone because it didn't have an LED flash. When the App Store appeared, some flashlight apps were released that simulated a flashlight by displaying a white screen at maximum brightness.

Home screen wallpaper – The magic of home screen wallpapers did not appear in iPhones until iOS 4, released in 2010. The user could not install a custom Home Screen wallpaper on the iPhone, and the software upgrade did not support the original iPhone.

Photo messaging - The first iPhone allowed users to send text messages via SMS, but there was no provision to send image/photo. MMS support was added to iPhone OS 3.0 in 2009 and it was limited to the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS.

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An astute writer with a track record in writing and publishing content for various industries, Ria brings on board her wealth of experience in journalism and love for technology to TelecomTalk. When not writing or reading, she spends a copious amount of time daydreaming and finding obscure Japanese folklore on the internet.

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