Apple’s iPhone, Now and Then: Comparing the 2007 iPhone to the iPhone 7

June 29, 2017, 11:00 AM UTC

It might be hard to believe, but 10 years ago today, Apple’s iPhone was officially released, setting off a firestorm in the international mobile phone market.

The original iPhone was a decidedly groundbreaking device, combining Apple’s (AAPL) services with a touchscreen-based handset that would prompt countless others to deliver copycats. The original iPhone kicked off the past decade’s smartphone surge, and still serves as one of the industry’s most legendary products.

Still, if the 2007 iPhone were on store shelves today, you’d laugh at it.

The device would appear bulky, its screen too dull, and its processing power would be a joke. Simply put, the technology world is racing along at lightning speed, and the original iPhone, release 10 years ago today, is about as obsolete as it gets.

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Here’s a look at how the original iPhone compares to Apple’s most recent handset, the iPhone 7:

A Pocket-Ready Device?

The original iPhone was a bulky little bugger. It was about 11.6 mm thick, making it substantially thicker than the 7.1mm-thick iPhone 7. And although the iPhone 7 is about an inch taller and a third of an inch wider, it weighs about the same at 4.8 ounces.

A (Dis)satisfying Display

If you picked up the original iPhone right now, you might be disappointed by its screen. The device’s display measured just 3.5 inches—a tiny screen compared to the 4.7-inch iPhone 7 and 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus. But the bigger problem is that the original iPhone had a 480-by-320-pixel resolution and 163 pixels per inch. While that was fine for the day, nowadays, it would be abysmal. The iPhone 7, for instance, comes with a 1,334-by-750-pixel resolution and has 326 pixels per inch.

Customers take a look of the new iPhone 7 smartphone inside the Apple Inc. store in New York
Customers take a look of the new iPhone 7 smartphone inside the Apple Inc. store in New York on September 16, 2016.Eduardo Munoz — Reuters
Eduardo Munoz — Reuters

The Power Question

It’s hard to quantify just how much more powerful the iPhone 7 is than the original iPhone, but suffice it to say that you’d be waiting an awful long time to do even the simplest of things with Apple’s first handset.

That smartphone came with a processor with a 620MHz clock speed that Apple actually underclocked, or reduced its speed, to 412MHz. The iPhone 7’s processor has a 2.34GHz clock speed. So what does all that mean? The iPhone 7 is far more powerful and faster than the original iPhone.

Is This Thing On? (Probably Not)

Battery life matters greatly in a world dominated by smartphones. But it also mattered in 2007. Too bad the iPhone’s battery could only muster about five hours of talk time. The iPhone 7, on the other hand, delivers up to 14 hours of talk time. The iPhone 7 Plus can deliver 21 hours of talk time.

A Different iOS Experience

Apple’s original iPhone delivered a dramatically different software experience to users. It didn’t have so many built-in apps, like Apple Maps, News, the flashlight, or even the App Store. And the apps it did offer have been dramatically overhauled, so if you picked up the device today, you might be lost trying to navigate its software.

Apple Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs holds new iPhone in San Francisco
Jobs holds the new iPhone in San Francisco, California on January 9, 2007.Kimberly White — Reuters
Kimberly White — Reuters

Where My Selfies At?

This seems relevant in a selfie-dominated world: the original iPhone didn’t have a front-facing camera. In fact, it wasn’t until the iPhone 4, a device Apple released in 2010, that the company offered a front-facing camera in its handset. The iPhone 7, on the other hand, comes with a 7-megapixel front-facing camera and can record video in 1080p. Oh, how times have changed.

What Is This Headphone Jack Thing?

Now that Apple has called the headphone jack obsolete and removed it from the iPhone 7, it might shock you to discover the original iPhone actually had one. Yes, that means you could have plugged your headphones into the iPhone and listened to audio all day long without worrying about dongles or Bluetooth connectivity.

Did someone say, courage?

This photo taken on Sept. 16, 2016 shows the iPhone 7 Plus in an Apple Store at the Grand Central Terminal in New York.Li Muzi—Xinhua News Agency/Getty Images
Li Muzi—Xinhua News Agency/Getty Images

Pricing and Availability

Apple’s original iPhone wasn’t cheap. In fact, it came in two variants with 4GB and 8GB of onboard storage. The 4GB model, which was ultimately discontinued later in the year due to poor demand, cost $499. The 8GB option went for $599.

However, those prices are for a device that was locked in a two-year contract only with AT&T (T). There were no installment plans, no rebates, and for sure, no opportunities to bring the smartphone to another carrier.

Apple’s iPhone 7 starts at $649 and the iPhone 7 Plus starts at $769. But here’s the kicker: it’s available unlocked, allowing you to bring it to the carrier network of your choosing.

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