Its jack was “deeply recessed.”
A footnote worth remembering as the iPhone 7’s missing headphone jack will remain a hot topic over the next several weeks: The first iPhone, which debuted in 2007, didn’t have a normal headphone jack, either.
It did have a 3.5mm headphone port — which was still somewhat rare for mobile phones — and shipped with a new set of Apple earbuds that featured a microphone for phone calls and inline remote control.
But as Recode co-founder Walt Mossberg wrote in his 2007 review, the “headphone jack, which supports both stereo music and phone calls, is deeply recessed, so you may need an adapter for existing headphones.”
Specifically, the iPhone’s audio port was embedded a few millimeters into the top of the iPhone, with a round recess that was narrower than many existing headphone plugs (including mine). This presented three options: Use Apple’s earbuds, which fit; try to whittle down the rubber on your existing headphone jack; or use a dongle.
As Apple described on its website in 2007, “Some stereo headphones may require an adapter (sold separately) to ensure proper fit.”
This was enough of an issue that Apple corrected it with the iPhone 3G in 2008.
When Steve Jobs unveiled that model at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, he made a point to call out its “flush headphone jack, so you can use any headphones you like.”
That news was met with a roaring round of applause (starting around 4 minutes, 20 seconds into this video).