(CBS News) Five years ago today, the original iPhone went on sale at Apple stores across the nation. Today, the iconic smartphone has amassed an estimated $150 billion in sales and over 25 billion apps downloaded.
"I have been looking forward to this for two and a half years," Steve Jobs, the late co-founder of Apple, said to a captive audience. "Today Apple is going to reinvent the phone." Jobs unveiled the first iPhone at the Macworld Conference in San Francisco on January 9, 2007.
The original iPhone had a 3.5-inch display with 160-pixels per inch, a 2-megapixel camera and was running a mobile operating system that would later be come to be known as iOS. Apple filed over 200 patents related the first iPhone.
Apple's revolutionary smartphone had a touch screen that let users pinch, zoom and type with an on-screen QWERTY keyboard. The company completely ditched a traditional keyboard. Today, hardware companies worldwide are still following Apple's lead. Touch screens have become ubiquitous on mobile phones, tablet computers and even computer monitors.
"The software [is] at least five years ahead of others," Jobs said. At the time, no other smartphone had a full web browser, multi-touch gestures or fully-functional Google maps application. Although, Google and Apple will likely part ways for the next iteration of the iPhone, it was a partnership that revolutionized navigation via mobile phones.
The keypad and visual voicemail were also innovative features introduced on the iPhone. For the first time, users would be able to use the use a backspace button to change a phone number dialed incorrectly. They would also be able to see a list of voicemails and select which one to listen to, rather than skip through the entire inbox.
The original iPhone retailed for $499 for a 4GB model and $599 for an 8GB model. AT&T, then Cingular Wireless, was the exclusive distributor of the smartphone. The telecommunications company did not subsidize the cost of the original iPhone until the release of the iPhone 3G.
It goes without saying that the iPhone changed our lives in a significant way. Whether from pushing technology forward or inspiring competitors to create an "iPhone killer," we live in a different world because of its existence.