Apple exec reminds us that the original iPhone was way smaller than you remember

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  • Apple exec Greg “Joz” Joswiak reminisced on the first iPhone and said it was “so small.”
  • Joz said people thought the iPhone was huge back then, but now the iPhone 15 has a massive display.
  • Steve Jobs was famously against bigger phones, but Apple under Tim Cook has proven people wanted larger screens.

Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing Greg “Joz” Joswiak has fond memories of the original iPhone launch — and how physically small the phone was in hindsight.

In an interview with tech vlogger Brian Tong at the company’s spaceship-like Apple Park headquarters, the exec said the launch of the original iPhone was one of the most memorable moments in his 38 years with Apple.

The Apple exec said he woke up early in the morning to reports that people were lining up at the store for the 6 p.m. launch — and the memory still gives him goosebumps.

But despite it being a defining moment for the company, Joz says people forget just how tiny the first iPhone was by today’s standards.

“Go back and look at the original iPhone,” Joz said in the interview. “It seems so small.”

“You’re like, really, was it that small?”

At the time, people thought the 3.5-inch screen was huge because it was the first phone that featured anything like that, Joz said.

“Remember, everybody was like it has a massive 3.5″ display — because it changed everything, right? It was the first phone that did anything like that,” Joz said. “And now you look at this you know, massive beautiful display and edge to edge, it’s just pretty damn sweet, Brian,” Joz said, referring to his iPhone 15 (the marketing exec naturally took the opportunity to say the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Max were his top three iPhones).

Ironically, Apple founder Steve Jobs was vocally against bigger phones in the years after the iPhone’s launch. In 2010 he said “no one” would want a phone with a big screen.

At the keynote debut of Apple’s first iPhone in 2007, Jobs said the device “fits beautifully in the palm of your hand,” making it perfect for phone calls.

But Apple changed its tune on bigger phones pretty quickly once Tim Cook took over as CEO. The company started to transition to a larger screen and overall device footprint with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in 2015. Since then, the iPhone has only gotten bigger, and has made more money than ever for Apple, further disproving Jobs’s theory.

In comparison to the original iPhone, the iPhone 15 Pro Max is nearly double its size, with a 6.69-inch screen frame. The largest model is the iPhone 13 Pro Max, which has a 6.7-inch display.

There is still interest in the original iPhone from collectors.

YouTuber Marques Brownlee, better known as MKBHD, said he paid $40,000 for a sealed iPhone in 2023 — and promptly opened it up for an unboxing video.

Later that same year, a factory-sealed 4GB original iPhone fetched $190,372.80 at auction — more than 317 times the original price tag.

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