The iPhone Turns 15 Today—Here’s How It Changed Us

From a Wall Street Journal story by Joanna Stern headlined “The iPhone Turns 15 Today. Here’s How It Changed Us”:

On June 29, 2007, the original iPhone went on sale, igniting the smartphone revolution.

Sure, smartphones such as the BlackBerry Curve and the Samsung BlackJack existed, but they were saddled with plastic keyboards and were meant—at least primarily—for boring old emails. Apple’s touch-enabled piece of glass and metal was different.

In fact, it’s probably hard for you to remember the days when your “phone”—if we should even call them that—wasn’t able to immediately summon a car, snap a professional-looking portrait or bring up a pack of your closest friends on a video call?

Yet Noah Schmick literally can’t remember a time before phones did most of those things.

That’s the premise of my new documentary, “The iPhone Baby: How 15 Years Shaped a Generation.” Over the past 15 years, the iPhone grew and developed. So did Noah…and his dependence on smartphones. Through interviews with current and former Apple executives, I traced the biggest moments in the iPhone’s development and how they all impacted Noah’s generation.

By the time Noah was three, the App Store had launched and Noah was playing games on his father’s iPhone 3G. A few years later, Apple was determined to make its device a full-fledged camera and Noah was asking his mom to record videos of him to post on YouTube. By age 11, he had a big-screen iPhone 6S Plus to play games on and message friends. Now at age 15, he has an iPhone 13 with a battery that can last the school day and then some.

“Truly, we just thought this was gonna be a fun, easy-to-use thing when you want to do a few messages,” Tony Fadell, a former senior Apple executive who worked on the original iPhone, told me in the video. “We didn’t think it was going to become the center of your life.”

It was a world-changing technological innovation. You can watch the documentary here.

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