Apple’s iPhone is celebrating its 10th anniversary today. The iPhone was first introduced in 2007 by Steve Jobs, and it has come a long way since then. It was one of the first devices to completely ditch the keyboard, at a time when BlackBerry with its QWERTY keyboard was seen as the ultimate smartphone. BlackBerry was something everyone aspired to in the pre-2007 era, but the iPhone changed all of that. The iPhone didn’t need a stylus, it had a touchscreen keyboard, and was pitching apps, not emails as the highlight.
BlackBerry and Nokia ignored the iPhone at their own peril. From 2007, the smartphone industry changed drastically; cut to 2017 and most of us can’t even live without a touchscreen smartphone and yes, Apple’s iPhone and Steve Jobs are to thank for that. The old-style BlackBerry with it QWERTY keyboard is still trying to make a comeback, but let’s face it, today’s generation is more than comfortable with its iPhone clones.
But 2016 hasn’t been all great for Apple’s iPhone. With smartphone innovation slowing down in general, iPhone sales have dropped and according to latest reports, Cupertino has even slashed Apple CEO Tim Cook’s salary in response to this. For Apple, 2017 is being seen as an important year, and there are several reasons for this.
It has been 10 years since they first launched a revolutionary product, the one that shook mobile phones, and took them on a totally different path. The iPhone also ensured the iPod was no longer needed, and now we have smartphones capable of recording, shooting and editing 4K videos in a jiffy.
But the tenth anniversary also means people expect Apple to launch something truly revolutionary this year, an iPhone design that doesn’t look like the last two, one that offers something extra, which appears to have been missing. While, the new iPhone 8 or 7s doesn’t launch till September 2017, here’s a look at the evolution of the iPhone in pictures.
The original iPhone
When iPhone launched in 2007, it was called the Jesus phone, the one that everyone wanted, and other manufacturers wanted to mock. The iPhone was launched by Apple CEO and co-founder, the late Steve Jobs at the MacWorld conference in 2007.
“This is a day I’ve been looking forward to for two and a half years. Every once in a while, a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything,” is how Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone at the launch event.
‘An iPod, a revolutionary mobile phone, and a breakthrough internet communications device’ was how the iPhone was pitched. ‘Today Apple is going to reinvent the phone,’ Jobs said, and he sure was right. The original iPhone supported 2G and came with 4GB of total storage, which sounds so little now. It also came with multi-touch support on the screen.
Apple iPhone 3G was launched in 2008 and came with support for 3G, a boost from the 2G internet on the original device. It also came with GPS, ran iPhone OS 2.0, and had 8GB/16GB storage support. It had 128MB RAM at the time.
Apple iPhone 3GS was released in June 2009, and ran the iPhone OS 3.0, came with an improved 3.0 MP rear camera, and in three storage options, which were 8GB, 16GB and 32GB. The iPhone 3GS promised a faster performance than the previous device, and it also came with support for a video camera. The display remained at 3.5-inches with the 3GS .
Apple iPhone 4, which was first introduced in 2010, was the first time we saw ‘Retina Display’ being mentioned for these devices. iPhone 4 had glass on the front and back, stainless steel on the side, and Steve Jobs called it one of the most beautiful products they have ever released.
It has an LCD IPS display with a 960x640p resolution that came to 326 ppi for the 3.5-inch screen. The iPhone 4 came with 512MB RAM, and for the first time there was a front camera with 0.3 MP resolution, while the rear camera was now 5MP with LED flash. This one ran iOS 4, and also came with support for FaceTime, which would let users do video-calling with their friends on an iPhone. Till 2010, Apple introduced the iPhone at WWDC.
Apple iPhone 4s was introduced in October 2011, and not at WWDC. The iPhone 4s was launched on October 4, 2011, and on October 5, 2011, Steve Jobs passed away. iPhone 4s was launched by Tim Cook, and it had a similar design to the iPhone 4, but came with an improved 8MP rear camera, that would end up being the standard for smartphone cameras for years to come.
It also came with a 64GB storage option. With the iPhone 4s ,we saw the introduction of Siri, Apple’s voice-assistant as well.
Apple iPhone 5 was launched in September 5, 2012, which was at launch thinner and lighter than the older iPhone 4s. It came with a bigger 4-inch LED backlit IPS TFT LCD display with Retina Display resolution. Apple bumped up the resolution to 1,136×640 pixels but again with 326 ppi. The iPhone 5 saw the end of 8GB version of the phone; iPhone 5 came with 16, 32 and 64GB storage and ran iOS 6.0 when it was launched.
iPhone 5 had an improved 8MP rear camera, and came with a 1.2 MP front camera. This was also the first iPhone to come with LTE support. It also introduced full HD video recording at 1080p.
iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c
Apple iPhone 5s was the first to introduce a 64-bit processor on a mobile phone, when it launched in 2013. If every other smartphone now has a 64-bit processor, don’t forget the first push came from Apple. Apple iPhone 5s also came with Touch ID, the company’s fingerprint scanner embedded in the Home button. It ran iOS 7 when it was launched. This one also introduced the gold colour version.
Apple iPhone 5c was supposed to be the first ‘budget’ phone from the company, and sported similar specifications as the older iPhone 5, but came in a plastic polycarbonate body with more colourful options like Blue, Yellow, Green, Pink, along with Black and white.
iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus
Apple iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus were the first devices to ditch the 4-inch screen size in 2014. While the iPhone 6 came with a 4.7-inch Retina HD Display, the iPhone 6 Plus came with an even bigger 5.5-inch one.
iPhone 6 series came in an all-aluminum design, with antenna bands running on top and bottom, and sported an 8MP rear camera, and 2 MP front camera. iPhone 6 launched at a time when bigger display were starting to gain traction especially thanks to Samsung, and Apple was seen as a late entrant to the party. However, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus did exceptional sales for the company.
iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus
Apple iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus were only seen as incremental upgrades to the earlier 6 series and the new ‘s’ series launched in September 2015. Apple bumped up the camera to 12 MP on the iPhone 6s series, included a 5MP front camera, introduced a new rose gold colour option. There’s was also a new 3D Touch feature in the display, which was pressure-sensitive. However, iPhone 6s series failed to see the kind of success enjoyed by the earlier devices.
Apple iPhone SE was the return of the 4-inch iPhone, and came with similar specifications as the iPhone 6, 6s series. The SE was launched in March 2016, a mid-cycle launch from the company.
iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus
Apple iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus were launch in September 2016. This was the first time that Apple introduced a dual-rear camera on the bigger plus version; it also made OIS (Optical Image Stabilization) as standard on both phones. Apple redesigned the Home button, introduced a camera which could capture DSLR-style portraits, and also got rid of the 3.5mm headphone jack on the iPhone. The series also saw a new Jet Black and Matte Black colour variant being introduced.
There are also the first smartphones from Apple to be officially water and dust resistant.
Apple iPhone 8
We know iPhone 8 or iPhone 7s as some are calling it, will launch in September 2017. For Apple, the tenth year of the iPhone means there’s a significant burden of expectations. Rumours claim a redesign all glass body, no home button, wireless charging support, and more. We’ll have to wait and see if 2017 turns out to a revolutionary year for the iPhone or not.