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What year did the iPhone come out?

History of the iPhone 2007-2017  October 21, 2018 – 09:16 pm
History of the iPhone

As regularly as clockwork, thoughts start to turn towards the new 2017 iPhone - but before we get too excited about what Apple's got in store, let's take a moment to reflect on what it's released since the very first iPhone back in 2007.

How many of these iconic handsets and new, innovative features can you remember?

iPhone (2007)

It's difficult to overstate the impact the iPhone has had on the smartphone market: by eschewing the keypad for a touchscreen and adding advanced computer-like capabilities that hadn't been seen before, it set the standard for this modern device. "Apple is going to reinvent the phone, " said Steve Jobs at the time, and he was right - but the original iPhone had no third-party apps, no GPS and no video recording.

iPhone 3G (2008)

Also missing from the original iPhone was 3G support, the top data speed of the time, though this was added to the second generation the following year (along with GPS). The first iPhone had been warmly received but by the 3G model people were really starting to see its long-term potential - and the concurrent launch of the App Store was a huge part of that, a true watershed moment in smartphone history.

iPhone 3GS (2009)

And so began the Apple tradition of adding an 'S' to the end of the name for a minor iPhone upgrade. The 2009 model of the iPhone did bring with it video recording capabilities for the first time, and the camera itself got an upgrade too. The "S" ostensibly stood for speed and reflected the improvements in the internal components, and Voice Control (not yet called Siri) was added to the iPhone too.

iPhone 4 (2010)

If the iPhone 3GS was a smaller step forward, the iPhone 4 was a big one - it had a new, sleeker, more modern look, and massively increased the pixel count while keeping the same 3.5-inch display size (this was the first Retina display). It was the first iPhone with a front-facing camera, the first iPhone with some level of multitasking, and one of the most significant iPhones Apple has ever made.

iPhone 4S (2011)

Apple swung back to the minor "S" upgrade for 2011's iPhone 4S, so there's not too much to write home about in terms of new specs and new features. The camera did get an upgrade up to 8 megapixels and perhaps the biggest improvement on the software side (we're up to iOS 5.0 now) was the arrival of Siri, the digital assistant that now plays such a major role on the iPhone.

iPhone 5 (2012)

True to the earlier pattern set down by previous generations, the iPhone 5 was a major upgrade. It added an extra row of icons with an extra-tall screen (remember that?), introduced the Lightning connector and had a lighter, aluminium casing. It really did usher in the modern iPhone era. On the iOS side, we got our first look at a rather buggy Apple Maps, taking over from Google Maps as the default option.


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