WSJ: The iPhone at 15

From Joanna Stern's "The iPhone’s Creators Reveal the Consequences They Never Expected" in Saturday's Weekend Wall Street Journal:

Was the iPhone the first smartphone? Absolutely not. But the ones before it, from BlackBerry, Motorola, Palm and others, were only awesome if you were a briefcase-toting, email-obsessed exec. And even then, let’s be honest, they weren’t awesome.

With a new all-touch design and a simple app-based interface, the iPhone was the phone that changed phones—and then everything. Android phones from Samsung and others eventually expanded the market and reached the masses, but Apple had the Model T, the first one to follow down the road.

In a new documentary, I set out to pinpoint the biggest changes in the iPhone’s 15-year history to see how it went from a cute device for phone calls and music to one at the center of our lives. Alongside that I traced the impact of the phone on Noah Schmick, a boy who was born the same day as the iPhone. You can watch the full film here.

Cue the video:

My take: I'm not a great fan of anniversary stories, but if Walt Mossberg isn't available, I can't think of anyone better than Stern to pull it off.


  1. CG said:
    PED- Thanks for posting this. Best line was “If you gave this thing to a caveman, they’d freak out”!!


    July 2, 2022
  2. Michael Goldfeder said:
    A nice trip down memory lane. I switched over from a “Crackberry” and have never looked back. The growth in the App Store compared to the nominal expectations is quite impressive.

    July 3, 2022
    • David Emery said:
      I always thought the Crackberry was a lousy idea. For email, I want a full size keyboard and screen. And I watched my bosses who were slaved to theirs trying to read and respond to stuff and said, “nope.”

      July 3, 2022
  3. I think it’s cool that Tony Fadell, father of the iPhone, and Baby Noah — released the same day as the iPhone — have the same-shaped head.

    July 3, 2022

Leave a Reply