Fifteen years ago, on January 9, 2007, Apple’s then CEO Steve Jobs announced the first iPhone: “An iPod, a phone and internet communicator”. News Flash! He was wrong. The revolutionary device has replaced a lot more devices, and not just these three! Apple’s iPhone has managed to replace many more devices since. Starting from an alarm clock, dictaphone to pocket calculators, to name a few. From no selfie camera in the original iPhone to shooting movies and songs like Unsane, Tangerine, and Selena Gomez’s Look At Me Now music video, Apple’s iPhone has grown a lot in the past 15 years. This month, Apple announced that there are more than 1 billion active iPhones worldwide!
From launching that tiny 3.5-inch slab to becoming the world’s first company to surpass a $3 trillion valuation, Apple has come so far in all these years.
Here is a breakdown of how the iPhone matured over time:
The Original iPhone, 2007
“iPhone is a revolutionary and magical product that is literally five years ahead of any other mobile phone”. That’s how Steve Jobs introduced the first iPhone to the world back in 2007. Not exactly magical, but iPhone did manage to turn the smartphone industry upside down ever since. Apple iPhone featured a 3.5-inch touchscreen and a 2MP rear camera. The press release of the first iPhone said, “iPhone Delivers Up to Eight Hours of Talk Time”, hence, the battery was one of the biggest highlights of this handset.
The first iPhone came with 15 pre-installed apps: Calendar, Camera, Clock, Contacts, iPod, Maps (Google Maps), Messages, Notes, Phone, Photos, Safari, Stocks, Voice Memos, Weather and Settings. And no, you could not download any third-party apps on the iPhone. You could not record videos on this handset! iPhone offered up to 16 GB RAM and 128MB of internal storage. It was 11.6mm in thickness and 135gm in weight.
The original iPhone never made its way to India. It was launched at $499 (approx Rs 37,000) in the US.
First iPhone to come to India, iPhone 3G, 2008
The second generation of iPhone was the first iPhone to make it to the Indian shores. In terms of specifications, there was no major update, but one of the headlining features of this handset is the App Store. Yes, this was the first handset to have an App Store. Apple also introduced 3G connectivity in this iPhone.
The 8GB RAM variant was launched at Rs 31,000 and the 16 GB RAM variant was priced at Rs 36,100 in India.
iPhone 3GS, 2009
While the display size remained the same 3.5-inch in iPhone 3GS, Apple bumped up the camera resolution to 3-megapixel and RAM to 32GB in this handset. iPhone 3GS was the first iPhone to come with support for video recording. Although Siri was still not introduced in 2009, Apple did add support for voice control in iPhone 3GS.
Apple iPhone 3GS was launched at a starting price of Rs 35,500 (16GB).
Hear ye, Hear ye, the first iPhone with a selfie camera: iPhone 4, 2010
Apple iPhone 4 was the first iPhone to introduce a front-facing camera. In addition to that, Apple also added a Retina display in this one. The iPhone got slimmer and housed a 5-megapixel rear camera. In terms of storage, the internal storage was bumped up to 512MB from 256MB in iPhone 4. This is where the iPhone features and specifications started looking more futuristic.
Say Hello to Siri: iPhone 4s, 2022
Apple introduced its voice assistant Siri for the first time in iPhone 4S. While this in itself was a major USP for iPhone 4S, but Apple did not stop there, it improved the camera resolution from 5-megapixel to 8-megapixel and added 64GB RAM option. This iPhone came with support for recording 1080p videos. Apple recorded the sale of four million units of iPhone 4S in just the first week of its launch.
5 million iPhone 5 units sold in the first week, 2012
While most of us were worrying about the world ending in 2012, Apple was planning something big. For the first time, Apple introduced a bigger display of 4-inch, bumped up from 3.5-inch. Not only this, the iPhone also came with LTE connectivity for the first time. Additionally, iPhone 5 came with a 1 GB storage option as well. Apple launched its first lightning connector for iPhone 5 in 2012.
This was the first iPhone to sell 5 million units in just the first week of its sale.
Apple in colours: iPhone 5C, iPhone 5s
Apple witnessed another record-breaking sale of 9 million iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C units in the first week of sale. While the iPhone 5C was cheaper than the other as it came with a plastic body. The more expensive iPhone 5s was the first iPhone to come with the iconic Touch ID feature. It also came with support for dual flash and slow-motion video. iPhone 5C came in different colour options for the first time was launched in red, yellow, blue, white and green.
Apple iPhone 6 series, 2015
Apple’s iPhone 6 series included iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. With this series, Apple bumped up the screen size maximum to 5.5-inch, camera resolution to 12-megapixel, and memory to 2GB. Apple also introduced the 3D touch for iPhone in this series. Once again, Apple witnessed huge sale of 13 million units in the first week of sale with the iPhone 6 series.
The affordable iPhone: Apple iPhone SE, 2016
iPhone SE was basically the iPhone 6s internals in a smaller body, minus the 3D touch. This was a cheaper iPhone aimed at consumers who wanted an affordable iPhone for a change.
It was priced at Rs 39,000 in India.
Apple iPhone 7 series, 2016-17
With Apple iPhone 7 series, Apple launched a 16GB and a 32GB base variant for both iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus respectively. The Plus variant even featured a dual rear camera for the first time. The camera came with new features like Portrait mode. One major thing that Apple did this time was to ditch the headphone jack. This was the same launch event where the company introduced its first-ever wireless earbuds called AirPods, hence a solution to the missing headphone jack.
Apple iPhone 8 series, 2017-18
Apple iPhone 8 series include iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. These two iPhones came with a glass back and support for wireless charging. The camera was also updated with new editing features. This iPhone series also did not house a headphone jack and hence, Apple users understood that they have to start using wireless earphones to continue using iPhone.
Apple iPhone X series, 2018-19
Skipping iPhone 9, Apple introduced the iPhone X series that included iPhone X, iPhone X, iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. In addition to selfies with Portrait mode, edge-to-edge Super Retina HD displays, to A13 Bionic chip, the iPhone X series came in six colour options: Red, Yellow, White, Blue, Black and Orange.
Apple iPhone 11 series, 2019
Highlights of the Apple iPhone 11 series, which include iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11, come with a triple rear camera setup. This camera setup included an ultra-wide-angle lens and telephoto lenses. The iPhone 11 Pro Max model also featured a Super Retina XDR 6.5-inch display.
Apple iPhone SE, 2020
Apple introduced the second generation of the affordable iPhone SE in 2020. It brought back the 4.7-inch Retina HD display, home button and Touch ID. This iPhone was powered by an A13 Bionic chipset, a chip used in expensive models. The iPhone SE came with Portrait mode, high-definition video, wireless charging capability and long battery life.
Apple iPhone 12 series, 2020
Apple introduced iPhone 12 series that included iPhone 12 mini, iPhone, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max in 2020. The iPhone got even bigger with a 6.7-inch display. According to the company, the iPhone 12 Pro Max offered 87 percent better low light camera capabilities and 5X zoom. This is closer to professional photography.
The latest: Apple iPhone 13 series, 2021
In the Apple iPhone 13 series, that include iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Mini, iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max, Apple introduced up to 1 TB storage and an A15 Bionic chipset. Apple claims that the iPhone 13 Pro Max can offer up to 28 hours of non-stop video playback. These models also came with a smaller notch, a cinematic mode for better photography. These models were priced almost similar to the iPhone 12 series.
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