"When the iPhone had no modern competition (meaning its competition was Symbian and BlackBerry)"
You are Charles Arthur and I claim my £10.
Seriously though... Lets all play "Windows Mobile or Palm didn't exist".
My Feb 2007 HTC Athena was vastly superior to the first few generations of the iPhone. I too had tabbed browsing but unlike the iPhone I could use 3G rather than Edge. I could play Flash video, I had GPS, rear and front facing camera, camera flash, copy'n'paste, video calling, MMS, a much bigger screen (5"), higher screen resolution and pixel density, more RAM , a faster processor, SD support, grown up bluetooth, stereo speakers, multitasking, gyroscope, S/W and a detachable H/W keyboard. Oh and it was made out of aluminium.
Kinda like an iPad pro but you could use it as a phone.