When Apple founder Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone in 2007, here’s how he described it: “An iPod, a phone, and an internet connecting device.”

That was at Apple headquarters on January 9th, 2007. For many of us, 2007 doesn’t seem that far away. In its 15 years, one can argue that the iPhone, and smartphones in general, changed daily life as much as any other invention.

For kicks I searched Google for Black Friday advertisements from 2006, just to see what life was like before smartphones. A Best Buy ad showed digital video and still cameras, mp3 players, alarm clocks, and video game systems.

Going back a little farther into the 90s, a Radio Shack ad listed 15 electronic devices in a sales circular. Of those 15 products, 14 come pre-loaded on every smartphone in one form or another.

That includes a calculator, weather radio, cameras, radar detectors, walkie-talkies, voicemail recorders, and, of course, telephones.

Why keep an AM/FM clock radio on a bedside table when a smartphone can do the same thing?

Google loads its phones with Google Maps and Waze and Apple’s got Apple Maps. Both give turn-by-turn directions like an old GPS device from the 2000s and both have real-time notifications of any police officer looking for speeders.

The cameras on smartphones are powerful enough now that professional photographers are about the only ones buying actual video cameras and DSLRs.

MP3 players from 2006 had about 4GB of storage which could hold roughly 240 songs. Today’s basic smartphone with 128 GB of space can hold up to 6,000 songs.

Surprisingly, the cost of iPhones hasn’t risen as dramatically as the technology improved. The first series iPhone from 2007 cost $500. The newest iPhone 13 starts at $800.

15 years later, smartphones give us the ability to do almost anything a desktop computer can do. Plus games, TV, movies, music, staying in touch daily with practically every friend we’ve ever known.

All in a device we keep in our pocket.

Everyone can agree that smartphones are a huge part of our lives now. A study that just came out this week, shows the average American spends a third of their waking hours, staring at a smartphone screen.

Happy Birthday iPhone; you’ve accomplished quite a lot in 15 years.

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