An Android user's look back at 10 years of iPhone

Where were you ten years ago when Apple first launched the iPhone?

I was midway through college and barely able to fathom what technology would look like in the year 2017. There was no such thing as a "smartphone" back then; they were all called cell phones or BlackBerrys, and at that time I was sitting pretty with an LG VX9800, which I already figured was pretty smart for the sheer fact that it could browse the mobile web.

I owe my personal technology journey to the iPhone, even though I've avoided it for nearly a decade.

I would spend a majority of my shifts at my suburban town's drive-thru coffee shop posting moody entries on Livejournal and furiously texting friends. (Fun fact: that coffee shop turned into a Bikini Cafe after I moved to the city. I sure as hell dodged that bullet.) My phone was already a major part of my life back then, and I continually strived to have the coolest one with the most "next-gen" features — like a microSD card slot, a headphone jack, or a 2-megapixel rear camera. I would eagerly save up my money each year to upgrade my device on my birthday, and though that meant I couldn't always afford to drink down the street with my pals, at least I could text them from a full QWERTY keyboard.

Back then, I was also vehemently anti-Apple. I was a PC gamer, and iPods were everywhere. I wanted badly to define myself as an individual within the sea of sameness. Why would I want the same device as everyone else when I could sport a similar alternative?

Three years after the iPhone launched, however, I was out of college and writing for an Apple magazine. I had adopted the MacBook Pro into my daily computer routine, but I knew I also needed a smartphone to be up to par with the rest of the industry's trends (and to navigate Google Maps). I couldn't buy an iPhone at the time because it wasn't on Verizon, so I went for the next best thing: the HTC Incredible. It was on my birthday that year that I became an Android user.

There are plenty of reports out there that point to Andy Rubin's rag-tag team of developers being the first to market with a mobile operating system. But if it wasn't for the iPhone preparing society — and preparing me — for the idea of a "smart phone," I might have been stuck in the past for a little while longer. In essence, I owe my personal technology journey to the iPhone, even though I've been actively avoiding it for nearly a decade.

(Disclosure: There were eight months of the year 2012 that I held an iPhone 4S. I've managed to put it in the past.)

What were your first thoughts on the original iPhone?

Where were you when Apple made its initial announcement? Did you even think we'd be where we are today, with smartphones paving the way to replace desktop computers and standalone virtual reality headsets? Leave us a comment, or join our friends at iMore for a look back at the iPhone.

Florence Ion

Florence Ion was formerly an editor and columnist at Android Central. She writes about Android-powered devices of all types and explores their usefulness in her everyday life. You can follow her on Twitter or watch her Tuesday nights on All About Android.