The History of the iPhone

Learn Who Designed Apple's Flagship Smartphone and How It Was Conceived

iPhone 7
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On June 29, 2007, Apple Computers released its new touchscreen smartphone called the iPhone. Who invented the iPhone? Well, over two hundred different patents were part of the design of the new iPhone, so pinpointing one inventor would be unfair. However, we can discuss the key personnel who brought the iPhone into existence.

History of the iPhone

The first concept for an iPhone type device came about in 2000 when Apple worker John Casey sent some concept art around via internal email, he called it the Telipod - a telephone and iPod combination.

However, this idea eventually evolved into the iPhone we know today.

It was Apple co-founder, Steve Jobs who directed Apple's engineers to develop a touch screen, mobile phone. Jobs at first was considering an Apple tablet computer, that desire eventually manifested in the iPad, and Apple had already produced a palm device with a touch screen, the Newton MessagePad.

Apple Phones

Apple's first smartphone was the ROKR E1, released on September 7, 2005. However, the ROKR was an Apple and Motorola collaboration and Apple was not happy with Motorola's contributions. Within a year, Apple discontinued support for the ROKR. On January 9, 2007, Steve Jobs announced the new iPhone at the Macworld convention. On June 29, 2007, Apple began selling the new iPhone.

What Was So Special About The iPhone?

Apple's head of design, Jonathan Ive is heavily credited with the aesthetic design and look of the iPhone.

The iPhone was the first smartphone that had no hard keypad for dialing, it was entirely a touchscreen device, and the iPhone's touchscreen technology was groundbreaking with multi-touch controls, more than select, you could scroll and zoom as well.

The iPhone also introduced the accelerometer, a motion sensor that allowed you to turn the phone sideways and rotate the display.

While it was the first device to have "apps" or software add-ons. It was the first smartphone to manage the apps market successfully.


The iPhone 4S was released with the addition of a voice-activated personal assistant called Siri. With the addition of Siri, the iPhone can now promote itself as a tool that goes way beyond merely making a phone call. Siri is a piece of artificial intelligence that can do numerous tasks for the user, and Siri can learn and adapt to better serve that user.

Jonathan Ive

British designer, Jonathan Ive, (born February 1967) was also the principal designer of the iMac, titanium and aluminum PowerBook G4, MacBook, unibody MacBook Pro, iPod, iPhone, and iPad.

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Bellis, Mary. "The History of the iPhone." ThoughtCo, Jun. 27, 2017, Bellis, Mary. (2017, June 27). The History of the iPhone. Retrieved from Bellis, Mary. "The History of the iPhone." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 19, 2018).