Apple has sold more than one billion units of iPhone. January 9, 2007 marked a very significant milestone for the Cupertino company. The stage was set for the unveiling of one of the most anticipated devices in 2007. Apple had already revolutionized the computer space with the Mac and the music player space with iPod. And Steve Jobs wasn’t going to stop at that. He decided to do away with the physical keyboard that was so common in BlackBerry phones, introduced the multitouch interface and multitasking. Equipped with three disruptive technologies, Apple launched iPhone. On January 9, 2007 Steve Jobs put on sneakers, stood on the stage and gave one of the most incredible keynote presentations of his life – “iPhone is a revolutionary and magical product that is literally five years ahead of any other mobile phone. We are all born with the ultimate pointing device—our fingers—and iPhone uses them to create the most revolutionary user interface since the mouse“.
At that point in time, it sounded like science fiction. Nobody thought a device like iPhone could actually be built. But when people started lining up to buy the first ever iPhone, Apple knew it was on the right track. How has the iPhone evolved from the very first model to the current iPhone 7? What makes iPhones one of the most preferred and loved phones in the world? What gets Apple going? Let’s take a look.
It all started with the modest first generation iPhone. With a 3.5-inch display and 2MP rear camera, the iPhone came with touch screen. Sporting just 320×480 pixels resolution and weighing about 135grams, the phone was an instant hit. Retail outlets were out of stock within 60minutes of the release. Apple had started a revolution!
iPhone 3G and 3GS
Then came the successors iPhone 3G and 3GS. iPhone 3G was released in July 2008 and came with iPhone OS v2.0. Users had access to the new Apple App Store, an eco-system developed by Apple to let third-party developers create their own apps and sell them. The ‘3G’ in the name stood for high-speed connectivity and the phone’s successor iPhone 3GS – where S again stood for speed – was launched 11 months later. Though the iPhone 3GS didn’t have any significant upgrades over iPhone 3G, people flocked to buy the phone simply because the company said the phone was faster than iPhone 3G.
iPhone 4 and 4S
Sporting a stainless steel frame, high-resolution LCD retina display and the slimmest version of all iPhones launched till then, the iPhone 4 was a significant change for Apple. iPhone 4 also became the first phone to house a front camera. The iPhone 4 was followed by the 5th generation iPhone 4S which released in October 2011. But the S in iPhone 4S didn’t stand for speed – it actually stood for Siri. Siri was received well by Apple fans. Another welcome change for iPhone 4S came in the form of iMessage.
iPhone 5, 5S and 5C
iPhone 5 was thinner than its predecessors and also lighter. Apple sold nearly 2 million units of iPhone 5 in the first 24 hours of pre-order. iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C were released in September 2013. The iPhone 5S was the first ever iPhone to come with a 64-bit dual-core processor. The iPhone 5C replaced iPhone 5 and probably caught everybody’s attention because of its hard-coated poly-carbonate body.
iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6S and 6S Plus
iPhone 6 and 6 Plus were released in September 2014 and came with large displays. The iPhone 6 featured a 4.7-inches display while the iPhone 6 Plus came with a 5.5-inches display. Despite powerful processors, upgraded connectivity options, better cameras and the support for NFC mobile payment, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus failed to make the impression Apple anticipated. And then came iPhone 6S and 6S Plus. Released in September 2015, the phones came with newer features like 3D Touch. Apple had fixed all the issues that iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus had.
iPhone Special Edition (SE), iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus
The Special Edition phone combined the best features of iPhone 5S and 6S. The phone fared well in the markets. And then came the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, released in 2016. Apple incorporated certain landmark decisions into these phones – removing the earphone jack to make way for Bluetooth Air Pods. While there are mixed reviews about Apple doing away with the traditional earphone jack, the phones have been embraced fairly well by Apple fans.
The Road Ahead
Apple will continue to make gorgeous phones – phones people fall in love with. Steve Jobs always said – “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works“. The attention to details, the effort that goes into aesthetics and design, the looks and the feel and the pure passion associated with every iPhone development will continue to make iPhones the most loved mobile phones.