The Huffington Post Betsy Isaacson First Posted: 09/14/12 02:20 PM ET Updated: 09/17/12 12:25 PM ET
Let's be serious: the iPhone hasn't changed much in the last 5 years.
Whether you bought the original iPhone or are waiting to pick up your new iPhone 5, you knew what you were in for: a sleek piece of hardware running a beautifully designed, buttery-smooth operating system. But if we compare the oldest and newest iPhones side-by-side, what do we see? Different materials, a slimmer build, a taller screen, support for LTE...The world has seen bigger changes.
From 2007 to 2012, here are 11 things that have undergone bigger changes than the iPhone has since it launched.
In 2007, Myspace was at the height of its popularity and a terror to protective parents everywhere, while Facebook was little more than a exclusive online hangout for Ivy-Leaguers. <a href="http://www.peterlang.us/2010/04/decline-of-myspace-rise-of-facebook-graph/" target="_hplink">Since then, the tables have turned:</a> Facebook has become the dominant social network and one of the most visited sites on the web. Myspace, meanwhile, battle a precipitous decline in traffic and was <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/29/myspace-sold-specific-media_n_887046.html#s299496&title=August_2003_Myspace" target="_hplink">sold for a meager $35 million</a> in 2011, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/02/justin-timberlake-myspace_n_889287.html" target="_hplink">attracting performer Justin Timberlake</a> as a part owner. The former social giant is working to get back to its roots in indie music but has also earned itself an unfortunate new nickname: "<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/29/myspace-sold-specific-media_n_887046.html#s299496&title=August_2003_Myspace" target="_hplink">DeadSpace</a>."
In 2008, we were tweeting about how young he looked. No longer. The presidency has aged Barack Obama at least a decade. In 2008, his hair was dark; now it's shot straight past salt-and-pepper streaks into cloudy whites and grays. But as changes go, it's not the grimmest: At least his mind's stayed sharp.
Credit the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) for this one. After decades of skepticism surrounding the Higgs boson theory, physicists believe they've successfully observed two separate instances of the mythical subatomic particle. Theoreticians presented their findings on July 4th, 2012. "It's something that may, in the end, be one of the biggest observations of any new phenomena in our field in the last 30 or 40 years," a spokesman for one of the research teams said of the breakthrough, <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/05/science/cern-physicists-may-have-discovered-higgs-boson-particle.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all" target="_hplink">according to the New York Times</a>. Both instances of what may have been a Higgs boson particle were observed at CERN's Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland. <a href="http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn22260-higgs-boson-gets-peerreview-seal-of-approval.html" target="_hplink">With New Scientist currently reporting</a> that the Higgs boson findings have passed peer review, a new era in physics may be beginning.
Remember when <em>The Hills</em> star Heidi Montag looked human? Those days have passed. Montag's <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/slideshow/heidi-montags-plastic-surgery-transformation-12175653" target="_hplink">quest for plasticky perfection </a>has taken her deep into uncanny valley, with a face change fit for a wanted woman and a boob job to match.
Sometimes it's a good idea to brag about your kid. In January of 2007, <a href="http://www.vincentabry.com/en/justin-bieber-first-video-was-on-youtube-in-january-2007-infographic-1609" target="_hplink">Pattie Mallet posted a video on YouTube of her young son singing Ne-Yo's "So Sick."</a> In 2008, that video was found by Scooter Braun and the rest, they say, was history. Justin Bieber's single "Baby" is the world's most viewed video on YouTube, <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kffacxfA7G4" target="_hplink">with nearly 700 million views</a>, and <a href="http://www.vincentabry.com/en/justin-bieber-first-video-was-on-youtube-in-january-2007-infographic-1609" target="_hplink">Bieber himself is reported to be at a net worth of $110 million</a>.
When the iPhone was launched, all the excitement was on the ground: <a href="http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/chronology_mars.html" target="_hplink">We hadn't put a rover on Mars for over four years</a>. In 2011, however, NASA launched its next-gen Curiosity rover, <a href="https://twitter.com/MarsCuriosity" target="_hplink">which lights up the Twittersphere with her snarky tweets</a> -- that's right, the new rover tweets. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/06/mars-rover-curiosity-landing-live-updates_n_1742499.html" target="_hplink">Curiosity's high-profile touchdown on the Martian surface</a> was no moon landing, but the successful mission marked a huge milestone for NASA and the U.S. space program.
In 2007, Samsung phones were -- there's no other word for it -- ugly. Today, they're on par with the iPhone's in sleekness and sex appeal, <a href="http://www.engadget.com/2011/04/18/apple-sues-samsung-over-for-copying-the-iphone-and-ipad/" target="_hplink">but the alleged appropriation of iPhone's "look and feel" prompted Apple to sue Samsung for patent infringement</a>. The iPhone-maker recently won a landslide victory by a California jury, which ordered that Samsung cough up <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/24/apple-samsung-patent-lawsuit-ruling_n_1829472.html" target="_hplink">over $1 billion in damages</a>. Now Samsung says Apple's trying to drive Samsung out of the market, and both are securing as many <a href="http://www.mobileburn.com/20478/news/apple-and-samsung-secure-lte-patents-ahead-of-next-round-of-lawsuits" target="_hplink">4G LTE patents as they can</a> in preparation for the next front in their ongoing war.
In 2007, Kickstarter didn't exist. Now it's the go-to hotspot for entrepreneurs, a dreaming-place for the underemployed, a business of hope in a dark economy. <a href="http://gigaom.com/2012/05/22/kickstarter-founder-perry-chen-intervie/" target="_hplink">Since its founding in 2009</a>, Kickstarter has funded everything from<a href="http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1523379957/oculus-rift-step-into-the-game" target="_hplink"> a virtual reality platform</a> to a <a href="http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/597507018/pebble-e-paper-watch-for-iphone-and-android" target="_hplink">watch that doubles as a smartphone screen</a>, the latter of which raised $10 million in donations via Kickstarter. Impressive!
In 2007, 3D printing was an obscure industrial process, one with potential realized by only a few. Since then, we've found ways to print the seemingly impossible: <a href="http://www.nature.com/news/science-in-three-dimensions-the-print-revolution-1.10939" target="_hplink">priceless artifacts, live organs, even wholly new chemical compounds</a>. And with companies like <a href="http://reprap.org/wiki/Main_Page" target="_hplink">RepRap</a> looking to bring 3D printing to household prices, we could be looking at fundamental changes in the manufacturing industry in the not-too-far future -- or at funding scads of newly empowered fabricators.