Happy 5th Birthday, Original iPhone [Story Time]

The original iPhone activation screen

Today marks five years since the original iPhone went on sale. It was only available in the USA, but Canadians and others were able to easily buy one down south and bring it home.

After visiting the Alderwood Mall Apple Store in Lynnwood and having played with the iPhone a couple times prior, I just knew I had to get one. It just so happened on the day I visited the store, I noted the top story on Digg (remember that site?) was the jailbreak for iPhone OS 1.1.1. I immediately purchased an 8GB iPhone for $500 CDN and made my way home.

Unboxing; note the original iPhone dock works for the iPhone 4/4S!

The jailbreak and activation process was quite complex for a n00b like myself at the time. This was new to me since my old phone was a Nokia 6230i, that didn’t require any tinkering whatsoever (other than to enter an unlock code).

The process involved downgrading from 1.1.1 to the unlockable 1.0.2 firmware. The craziest part of the jailbreak and unlock process was using tools such as iBrickr, iUnlock and typing in terminal commands within Putty. Talk about nerve-wracking thinking one could ultimately ‘brick’ their precious new iPhone. But of course, the process went smoothly and took all night. iPhone in Canada was born.

Looking back, the original iPhone truly was ahead of its time compared to the leading smartphones at the time. Multi-touch was just so eerily accurate and it was such a treat to surf the ‘real web’ using mobile Safari. For those without data plans, knowing where to find free WiFi became a sport. Emailing pictures was just too easy, and Cover Flow always a way to show off your new phone.

Reactions from strangers were always a highlight, as once they spotted your iPhone it was like they saw the Virgin Mary’s face on a grilled cheese sandwich–they just wouldn’t leave you alone. “OMG IS THAT AN IPHONE OMFG WHERE CAN I BUY ONE! ARGGHHH”

Fast forward to present day, and it’s incredible how much iOS has changed (ie the App Store) since its inception, although the design and objective of the iPhone has not. Today we salute the original iPhone and Steve Jobs for the best on stage performance we’ve seen to date, one that continues to give chills down my spine every single time I watch it.

The original iPhone will continue to be a nostalgic piece of Apple history for years to come. For the early adopters out there, you know what I’m talking about.

Do you still have your original iPhone? Where did you buy it and how did you activate/unlock it? Share your story below in the comments.

P.S. - Like our news? Support the site: become a Patreon subscriber. Or shop with our Amazon link, or buy us a coffee! We use affiliate links when possible--thanks for supporting independent media.