The history of Apple’s iPhone

Ahead of the release of Apple's new iPhone next week, Information Age looks at the history of the iPhone its 10th anniversary.

Apple is celebrating its ten-year anniversary this year, culminating with the release of the iPhone 8 next week. In celebration of the smartphone that truly changed the world, Information Age takes a look back at ten years of the iPhone.

What is the history of iPhone so far?

iPhone (2007)

In 2007 Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, announced a revolutionary new phone for the next generation of technology; the iPhone. He announced that the users of the new phone will be able to download music and videos. He demonstrated this process at the annual Macworld Expo in San Francisco (2007).

At the time this technology was truly innovative, with Jobs describing it as a “magic device”.

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In 2007, this iPhone cost a considerable amount of money, around $499-$599 depending on the storage package you opted for. Compared to today’s market, the iPhone is on sale on sites such as eBay for around $29.99.

Nevertheless, iPhone’s story commenced.

iPhone 3G (2008)

In 2008, Steve Jobs re-announced a new iPhone known as iPhone 3G. It was declared that the features of this new iPhone were twice as fast as the original first generation iPhone. It was proclaimed that it included a new method of GPS.

Jobs, addressing the issue of cost, said that the smartphone would be on the market for $199-$299, which was remarkably lower value for money compared to the earlier first generation.

“Just one year after launching the iPhone, we’re launching the new iPhone 3G that is twice as fast at half the price,” claimed Jobs (2008).

iPhone 3GS (2009)

Then the use of iPhone ‘S’ began – the ‘S’ supposedly stood for ‘speed’, but represented only a minor upgrade. It also meant slim improvements to the internal components had also taken place.

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The 2009 iPhone model also brought the capability of video recordings, and voice control was added to the new upgrade too (this was not yet announced as Siri).

iPhone 4 (2010)

Apple announced their new iPhone 4 in 2010, which made a step in a tremendous direction towards a more modern, sleeker better looking phone then the previous 3GS models.

This brand-new design from iPhone included an excellent new feature known as FaceTime. Indeed, this is where the popular FaceTime app began. It was the beginning of video calling, which plays such a large role in society today.

“iPhone 4 is the biggest leap since the original iPhone”, said Jobs. “FaceTime video calling sets a new standard for mobile communication, and our new Retina display is the highest resolution display ever in a phone, with text looking like it does on a fine printed page. We have been dreaming about both of these breakthroughs for decades”.

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In 2010 you could purchase your very own iPhone 4 for $199…attached to a two-year contract.

iPhone 4S (2011)

In 2011 Apple released its new iPhone 4s. It was once again a minor upgrade from the previous iPhone 4, however it did include one major feature that plays a major role in all iPhone and most apple devices today; Siri. It was the biggest improvement that the 4S offered, and what it represents today can’t be understated.

iPhone 5 (2012)

Apple once again updated their earlier design and created a far sleeker looking iPhone. It was both thinner and lighter then the previous iPhone 4S.

In the new update apple also replaced the micro-sim card in the iPhone 4S for a newer Nano-sim in the iPhone 5. The iPhone 5 at this time also offered the convenience to FaceTime with 3G instead of having to either be connected to a Wi-Fi source or having to use 4G. These significant improvements created the most diverse iPhone of the era.

iPhone 5C (2013)

In 2013 Apple released a brand-new style of iPhone, the iPhone 5C. This new iPhone was very similar to the iPhone 5, however it had a plastic cover which caused the meant the new phone was cheaper than its predecessor.

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The phone offered multiple differing colours, and the iOS 7 was launched at the same time as the 5C was released, causing it to bring much more multi-tasking opportunities through the app: Control Centre.

iPhone 5S (2013)

Then began the revolution of Apple releasing two new iPhones in a single year. This new iPhone 5S was released the same date as the iPhone 5C. The difference being that the iPhone 5S had a much more professional looking exterior compared to the 5C. It did not have a plastic hardcover, but in fact maintained the similar metal style to its earlier iPhone 5.

Once again this iPhone was named with an ‘S’ on the end of it, which of course indicates that there had been minor changes to the iPhone as this seemed to be the cycle with earlier iPhones.

However, this particular upgrade did in fact hold some revolutionary technology, which was in fact Touch ID. Never before had people seen iPhone use Touch ID, so this of course was one of iPhones greatest surprises in its technology.

iPhone 6 (2014)

Next in line to be launched by Apple was the iPhone 6. The design of the iPhone was once again renovated and had a larger screen capacity compared to earlier models. The camera was upgraded which gave much better photo and video results then we have ever seen apple create before.

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This pristine iPhone also introduced the new payment system; apple pay, which has allowed people to never leave the house without a method of payment.

iPhone 6 plus (2014)

As predicted iPhone also released a second iPhone the same year as the 6, known as the 6 plus. The name pretty much indicates what specifically is different in this iPhone, and so the only major difference between the iPhone 6 and the 6 plus, is that the iPhone 6 plus have a much larger screen compared to any other iPhone ever made. This larger screen almost mimics another Apple product, the iPad.

iPhone 6S (2015)

The new iPhone 6S offered very few upgrades compared to the previous iPhone 6. It kept exactly the same design however the interior design did appear to have a few new features.

“The only thing that has changed is everything” – Apple.

This new iPhone did in fact release Live photos and 3D touch with seemed to be a remarkable step forward. It made the iPhone seem to be more entertaining as there was so many new features that are available compared to earlier models.

iPhone 7 (2016)

Just last year apple released its brand-new iPhone 7. The new phone contained much more HD quality photos to allow professional looking photography right at your figure tips.

So, what are the rumours for iPhone 8 this year?

2017 will mark the 10th anniversary of the iPhone and Apple has something major planned to celebrate the occasion. The internet giant has ambitious plans for the device, and there are already plenty of rumours hinting at the extraordinary features coming in the 2017 iPhone.

Apple is believed to be testing more than 10 prototype models, so it’s not entirely clear what Apple users are going to see.

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Stories imply the iPhone 8 will feature a thorough redesign, with an edge-to-edge display. This would mean that there would be no room for the home button and the front facing camera.

In its place, most rumours suggest Touch ID will be constructed directly into the display, meaning there will be no physical home button. It has been suggested that Apple is having trouble executing Touch ID under the display.

Speculations further suggest that Apple is finally going to move away from the aluminium used in the iPhone 5, 5s, 6, 6s, 7 and SE, and instead re-adopt a similar glass body to that of its earlier model the iPhone 4. Apparently, the glass will be built around a polished stainless steel frame that is similar to design of the apple watch.

Early iPhone 7S/8 rumours suggested Apple was working on long range wireless charging technologies that could be executed as soon as 2017, but more recent theory suggests that instead of long-range wireless charging techniques, Apple will instead use an inductive-style wireless charging solution (similar to the Apple Watch) for the device.

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The Apple supplier, Wistron has accidentally confirmed that wireless charging is planned for at least one iPhone model.

Information Age will look more closely at the potential features of the impending iPhone in an article following this, ahead of the smartphone’s release on September 12th.

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