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How Apple iPhones Shaped Smartphone Industry One Step At A time
Apple created a 'dent in the universe' when Steve Jobs launched the first iPhone in 2007. While mobile phones were already in vogue back then, Apple changed the game by introducing the iPhone. Apple has been designing iPhones for 12 years now.
The first iPhone was launched in 2007 and the latest iPhone 11 series was released recently. Here's a timeline of iPhones and the innovation they brought to the table.
Apple iPhone: The Rise Of Smartphones
The first iPhone came with options of 4GB, 8GB, and 16GB storage capacities. Back in 2007, there was no App Store and the phone didn't require much storage. But the iPhone came with access to the internet. Apple also introduced a rear camera with 2MP and a 3.5-inch touchscreen. There were also multi-touch and proximity sensor features. The original iPhone sold 300,000 units in its first weekend.
Apple iPhone 3G Introduces App Store
Apple decided to skip the iPhone 2 and directly went to launch the iPhone 3G in 2008. As the name suggests, the device came with support for 3G networks. An important addition is the App Store. Coming to the specs, there wasn't much difference between the original iPhone and the iPhone 3G. But a year later, in 2009, Apple launched the iPhone 3GS, which came with a higher storage option of 32GB. The camera was also upgraded to 3MP and now had a video recording feature. The iPhone 3GS also introduced the Voice Control feature.
Apple Introduced Selfie Camera With iPhone 4
In 2010, Apple launched the next version of its smartphone: the iPhone 4. The front-facing camera became a trend that kickstarted selfies. The device had 512MB RAM and could certainly handle a lot more than its predecessor. The iPhone 4 also came with a Retina display but, the memory capacity was still limited to 32GB.
Siri Comes On iPhone 4S
It was time Apple finally gave a good makeover to the iPhone. So, the company launched the iPhone 4S in 2011. Firstly, Apple introduced Siri, a voice assistant that began a new trend among smartphone manufacturers. The camera also got a major upgrade from 5MP to 8MP. The RAM remained at 512MB, but Apple jumped the storage option to 64GB. There were nearly four million iPhone 4S sold in the first weekend alone.
Apple iPhone 5 Came With LTE Connections
The biggest change that the iPhone 5 brought in 2012 was its capability to connect to LTE networks. While 3G was cool, LTE connectivity took the smartphone to a whole new level. The RAM was boosted to 1GB. Apple also introduced the Lightning connector with the iPhone 5. This was also the model that came with a bigger screen size of 4-inches, much bigger than the older models that had 3.5-inch screens.
Apple Launches iPhone 5S and 5C In 2013
A year later, Apple launched the iPhone 5C as a slightly more affordable iPhone as it came with a plastic shell. The iPhone 5C came in four color variants, but there weren't many upgrades in the features it offered. However, the iPhone 5S, which was launched alongside, had many more new features. It came with Touch ID, which kickstarted another trend in the industry. The smartphone also had slow-motion video recording option, and dual flash. The iPhone 5S also had an M7 motion co-processor that allowed the user to do much more with the iPhone.
Apple iPhone 6, 6 Plus With Large Screen
Apple had already set a bar with the iPhone design and capabilities. The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus were launched in 2014 and the first noticeable upgrade was in the size of the screen. However, the specs of the iPhone 6 were largely similar to the iPhone 5S. The iPhone 6 Plus came with even larger screen size. The iPhone 6 series came with an HD screen, another upgrade from the Retina display. The storage option was also spiked up to 128GB. Apple sold 10 million units within the first weekend of the launch.
Apple iPhone 6S, 6S Plus Introduced 3D Touch
The exteriors of the iPhone 6 and the 6S don't have any difference. The real upgrades of the smartphone happened under the hood. The iPhone 6S and the 6S Plus came with an aluminum casing, to overcome the bending issues users faced with the iPhone 6. Apple also introduced 3D Touch, a new feature that would respond depending upon the pressure exerted by the user on the screen.
Apple iPhone 7, 7 Plus Improved Camera Capabilities
Before going to the iPhone 7 series, Apple introduced the iPhone SE in 2017 that has similar specs as the iPhone 6S, but in the body of the iPhone 5. The iPhone 7 and the 7 Plus were launched in the same year, bringing in new features with the camera, like improved zoom and a Portrait mode.
The iPhone 7 Plus model also packed a dual-camera setup, where the user could capture photos using Depth of Field. Another important feature of the iPhone 7 and the 7 Plus is that Apple removed the earphone jack. Instead, the iPhone shipped with EarPods that plugged into the Lightning port. Apple also launched the wireless AirPods during the same event.
Apple Introduces Wireless Charging With iPhone 8, 8 Plus
Apple brought out the iPhone 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus with a wireless charging and a glass cover on the back. The camera capabilities were further enhanced. Both smartphones, launched in 2017, came with a true-tone display that improved the viewing experience by automatically reducing blue-light exposure. By now, users were also adapted to the lack of a headphone jack and wireless earbuds were gaining popularity.
Apple iPhone X: The iPhone Reinvented
Apple launched the iPhone X for its 10th anniversary. The iPhone 9 was skipped and the iPhone X (10) was named for the same reason. The new smartphone included two front-facing cameras, allowing the user to take selfies in Portrait mode. The smartphone also introduced the Face ID and completely removed the central Home button with the Touch ID. This gave the smartphone an even larger screen appearance.
Apple iPhone XS, XS Max, XR: An Upgrade To iPhone X
A year on, Apple launched the iPhone XS and the XS Max. The iPhone XR was launched a month later. The devices were an upgrade of the iPhone X. The iPhone XS and the XS Max introduced the A12 Bionic chip that shot up the processing power of the smartphone. At the same time, the upgraded Bionic chip also reduced the battery drain. The iPhone XR was a cheaper model when compared with the iPhone XS and the XS Max. The iPhone XR came with Liquid Retina display, as opposed to the Super Retina display in the other two models.
Apple’s Latest: iPhone 11 Series
Apple launched the iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and the 11 Pro Max this year. The iPhone 11 packs a dual-camera setup with two 12MP sensors, which offers wide and ultra-wide lenses. The iPhone 11 Pro and the 11 Pro Max, on the other hand, packs a triple camera setup, a first among iPhones. There are three 12MP lenses on the iPhone 11 Pro and the 11 Pro Max that capture wide, ultra-wide, and telephoto pictures. Apple also gave users few color variants to pick from with the iPhone 11 series.
Apple iPhone: What Next?
Apple has been releasing iPhones year after year for more than a decade now. And every new gen of the iPhone is packed with new features, some big, some small. Certainly, Apple will continue launching new editions of its best-selling device for years to come!