iPhone and O2: ten brilliant years

When Steve Jobs took to the stage to unveil “a widescreen iPod with touch controls, a revolutionary mobile phone and a breakthrough internet communications device,” you’d have been forgiven for thinking he was talking about three devices. But no – instead he revealed the iPhone, and changed the way we interact with phones forever.
As the first operator to sell iPhone in the UK, we’ve enjoyed some great times with iPhone. Here are just a few of our favourite iPhone memories – we’d love to hear yours on Facebook or Twitter.

2007: Although Steve Jobs hit the stage in January, it wasn’t until November that O2 customers – and the country as a whole – got its hands on iPhone. But the excitement had never dimmed and we saw the first of many iPhone queues on 9 November 2007. As Matthew Key, our CEO at time, said – “The iPhone is a breakthrough that is changing the way people use their mobiles forever, and we’re thrilled to have it exclusively for O2 customers in the UK.”
2008: iPhone 3G came next, introducing faster data speeds and iPhone OS 2.0 – aka the App Store, as well as support for more email services, among other things. And still the queues continued to grow outside our stores, each launch day.
2009: The launch of iPhone 3GS in 2009 saw iPhone gain performance improvements and a more powerful camera, while also continuing to gain more and more fans. As one customer outside an O2 store in Oxford Street told MacWorld, “I need it… well I don’t need it but I want it.” And we bet it wasn’t the last time those words have been spoken…
2010: As a young bunch of lads called Harry Styles, Zayn Malik, Niall Horan, Liam Payne, and Louis Tomlinson audition for The X Factor (wonder what happened to them) the launch of iPhone 4 draws Brits to stores around the country. Just ask Steven Leung, queuing outside a store in Manchester “I was one of the first to get there at around 4.30am and could see the queue getting longer and longer throughout the morning. It’s the first time I’ve ever queued for something like this but it was worth it as it’s a beautiful looking thing and it’s nice to have it so early.” Good work, Steven.
2011: The queues grow as iPhone’s features grow – iPhone 4S introduces the world to Siri. And this rather nice picture shows the response…
2012: With iPhone 5 bringing new height to the iPhone family, we took to the roof of The O2, the world’s most popular entertainment venue, to give the first iPhone 5 customers in the UK a unique way to buy the phone. And it’s fair to say they loved it – “Being able to get the new iPhone from the top of The O2 has been mind-blowing,” said Helen Squires, after finishing jumping up and down. Although in retrospect maybe we should have given Colin, the Manager of the O2 store in The O2, a coat. Sorry Colin.
2014: 2014 brought the world iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, while we brought a few lucky customers onto the roof of The O2 to hear Tinie Tempah perform live. He did a hell of a job and even posed for a few selfies too – not the last time he’ll have done that, we’re sure.
2015: For the launch of iPhone 6S and 6S Plus in 2015 we decided to do things a bit differently. Instead of having to queue outside stores, our customers were able to skip the queue – helped in this case by a Viking, a pantomime cow and the Chuckle Brothers. Obviously.

As we look back over the last ten years, it’s hard to remember what life was like before we could all carry carry multi-megapixel cameras, thousands of music tracks and entire movies on our mobiles. But thanks to iPhone and the revolution that followed, our phones can do more than ever and we’ll continue to help you get the most from them.