The Evolution of the iPhone: Every Model from 2007–2020

Published April 28th, 2020 - 12:48 GMT

Have you ever wondered when the first iPhone came out? We have the full history of the iPhone right here.

 

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1. 2007: iPhone

1. 2007 - iPhone: The very first iPhone, was indeed revolutionary at its time. Touchscreen phones were very new and unique for consumers at that point—this iPhone had a 3.5-inch multi-touch display. The design was like nothing seen in the smartphone space before. Consumers liked what they saw, clearly—as many as 6.1 million iPhones were sold in the first year itself.

2. 2008: iPhone 3G

2. 2008 - iPhone 3G: Just as the name suggest, the big addition in this iPhone was the 3G mobile network capability. The other additions included GPS capabilities for location tracking and navigation. But what the iPhone 3G is fondly remembered for; is that it was the first iPhone with an App Store and the ability to download and run third-party apps. This iPhone also added push-email. The iPhone craze was at its peak when the iPhone 3G was launched, and 1 million units were sold in the first week of launch.

3. 2009: iPhone 3GS

3. 2009 - iPhone 3GS: This is the first time that Apple genuinely focused on power. “The fastest, most powerful iPhone yet,” was how the iPhone 3GS was sold. This edition packed in a more powerful processor and included more RAM and storage space, compared with the iPhone 3G. This was perhaps the starting point for all hardware battles that smartphone makers have indulged in over the years. This iPhone also sold close to 1 million in the first week of launch.

4. 2010: iPhone 4

4. 2010 - iPhone 4: The fourth-generation iPhone saw a completely new design language, with a stainless steel frame, flat sides and glass on the front and back. This was also the first iPhone to support the CDMA mobile networks, in various countries. Performance remained in focus—this now had even more RAM (512MB as compared with the iPhone 3GS which had 256MB RAM) to allow better app performance, since third party apps were a rage now. The iPhone 4 featured the first Retina display in smartphones.

5. 2011: iPhone 4S

5. 2011- iPhone 4S: A lot changed under the hood in the iPhone 4S, but on the outside it looked identical to the iPhone 4. This phone was announced a day before the passing away of Steve Jobs. It packed in an updated processor as well as a better camera. Along with the new iOS 5 operating system, the iPhone 4S introduced the world to voice recognition assistant Siri as well as cloud storage service iCloud, both unique propositions at the time.

6. 2012: iPhone 5

6. 2012 - iPhone 5: The iPhone 5 ushered in a lot of stuff which remains a part of the latest line-up of Apple iPhones as well—the Lightning connector for charging and data transfer (the iPhones till now had used a wider 30-pin connector) and the earbuds. A design refresh also included a screen size increase from 3.5 inches to 4 inches and a thinner aluminium chassis. Support for LTE mobile networks was also introduced. More than 5 million phones were sold during the first three days of hitting the shelves.

7. 2013: iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C

7. 2013 - iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C: It was the first time that Apple unleashed two different iPhones in the same year, with the same screen size. The iPhone 5s was the logical successor to the iPhone 5, and retained the same design and as well as dimensions. But under the hood was a new 64-bit processor (seen for the first time in a smartphone), an improved camera, Touch ID fingerprint scanner integrated into the home button and the M7 “motion co-processor”, which allowed fitness tracking as well. The iPhone 5C was pushed as a more affordable iPhone, with a polycarbonate shell and various colour options, but it didn’t exactly set sales charts on fire.

8. 2014: iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus

8. 2014 - iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus: This was the first-time Apple introduced two iPhones with different screen sizes, with the iPhone 6 getting a 4.7-inch screen and the iPhone 6s plus rocking a phablet-esque (at least at the time) 5.5-inch screen. The design was significantly refreshed as well, and the new iPhones were thinner too. For the first time, 128GB storage options were on offer as well. There was, however, the entire “Bendgate” furore after some users reported the iPhone 6 Plus bending, under pressure at certain angles.

9. 2015: iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus

9. 2015 - iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus: Following the trend of the “s” line-up over the years, the 6s and the 6s Plus were more powerful updates of the 6 and 6 Plus. The design remained the same, as well as the screen size. A newer processor, better camera were the other highlights. Apple switched to a stronger 7000 series aluminium alloy chassis, to counter reports of the 6000 series aluminium bending in the predecessors. For the first time, the Rose Gold colour option was made available—something that has been adopted by pretty much every other phone maker since. These iPhones also introduced the 3D touch technology, which detects differing pressure of your touch on the iPhone’s screen and allows quicker access to app menus and execute certain tasks quicker. The Touch ID hardware was improved as well, which reduced the fingerprint scan time.

10. 2016: iPhone SE

10. 2016 - iPhone SE: The SE, to be honest, was a bit unexpected. Apple truly believed that consumers wanted a smaller screen size, and hence the return of the 4-inch display already seen on the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s before this. The design was also very much like the iPhone 5, so much so that many of the earlier accessories such as cases worked with the SE too. The internals were top-notch though, and exactly replicated the iPhone 6s, which was the latest hardware combination at the time.

11. 2016: iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus

11. 2016 - iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus: A lot changed with the 7 series of the iPhone. The 3.5mm headphone jack has finally been given a send-off in both phones, water resistance was added, each display is 25% richer as well as the ability to reproduce more colours than the predecessor and the 7 Plus also gets the dual camera and optical zoom. The Jet black (glossy) and black (matte) colour options were well received. In terms of performance, these were the most powerful iPhones till date.

12. 2017: iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus

12. 2017 - iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus: Apple really turned up the wick on the processor front with this iteration. The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus ran the very powerful A11 Bionic processor. In terms of the looks, these looked very similar to the predecessors, except for one big change—the glass layer on the back, which enabled wireless charging, making these the first iPhones to do so. The cameras were improved along the way, and the True-Tone display feature was now a standard option too.

13. 2017 iPhone X

13. 2017 - iPhone X: The big one. The biggest iPhone evolution in years. Gone was the home button which had resided below the display, for years now. The screen became taller, this became the first iPhone with an OLED screen and there was a notch on the top which divided opinion as quickly as it divided the notification bar on the iOS 11 interface. The fingerprint sensor was replaced by the Face ID image recognition technology and the dual cameras on the back were primed for AR apps. This had a larger display than the iPhone 8 Plus (5.8-inch as against 5.5-inch) yet was more compact to hold and considerably lighter too. This is when the challenges have become stronger for Apple iPhones too, with very powerful Android flagship phones now coming our way.

14. 2018: iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max

14. 2018 - iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max: The new iPhones, running the A12 Bionic processor, are 15 percent faster than the excellent A11 Bionic. The A11 Bionic chip could do 600 billion computations per second, whereas the new A12 Bionic can perform as many as 5 trillion computational operations per second, which also benefits the Face ID facial recognition feature. The 6.5-inch display on the iPhone XS Max is the largest ever in an iPhone. Apple also added the dual-SIM functionality, after many years of users demanding it, but in a different avatar—one of the SIM slots here would actually be a virtual SIM, also known as e-SIM. Nevertheless, these iPhones were significantly more expensive too—prices starting Rs99,900.

15.  2018: iPhone XR

15. 2018 - iPhone XR: Some said this would be the affordable iPhone the world had been craving for. Some said this will be the return of the iPhone 5c. It was neither. Distinctly beautiful, available in many colours, but in most respects, as capable and powerful as the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. Apart from the single camera at the back, which somewhat restricts the Portrait photography mode. This has an LCD display instead of an OLED—Apple calls it Liquid Retina, and for most intents and purposes, this does the job done. Price does remain a factor though—this costs Rs76,900 onwards.

16. 2019 iPhone 11

16. 2019 - iPhone 11: On the 11th sep. 2019 the company revealed its iphone 11 device The phone came with 6 different colors : white, red, magenta, yellow, green and black. The phone is covered with thick glass, which according to Apple, is the most robust in the market. It has a water resistance rating of IP68 to the depth of two meters and up to 30 minutes.

17. iPhone 11 Pro

17. iPhone 11 Pro: For Apple customers looking for a smaller phone with a top-of-the-line display, the iPhone 11 Pro is for you. The 5.8-inch Super Retina XDR display is Apple's most crisp, and clear to date. This phone features not two, but three, 12 MP HDR camera lenses, offering wide, ultra wide, and telephoto lenses. The color options are more muted than the iPhone 11, but there's always the option to add a flashy case!

18. iPhone 11 Pro Max, September 20, 2019

18. iPhone 11 Pro Max: Apple's largest and most expensive phone of 2019 is the iPhone 11 Pro Max. The display is Apple's Super Retina XDR, as with the 11 Pro, but sized at 6.5-inches. The Pro Max features the same,three-lens camera setup as the 11 Pro, as well as the same color choices, making size nearly the only difference between the devices.

19. 2020 iPhone SE2

19. 2020 - iPhone SE2: Apple introduced the second generation of SE in April 2020, and the new iPhone SE2 is considered the smallest iPhone available now, and it is one of the most powerful smartphones from Apple, and the new iPhone SE contains a home screen button that includes a fingerprint sensor (Touch ID) ), Instead of Face ID technology, which first appeared on the iPhone X in 2017, making it suitable for the current situation after the outbreak of the Coronavirus.

1. 2007: iPhone
2. 2008: iPhone 3G
3. 2009: iPhone 3GS
4. 2010: iPhone 4
5. 2011: iPhone 4S
6. 2012: iPhone 5
7. 2013: iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C
8. 2014: iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus
9. 2015: iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus
10. 2016: iPhone SE
11. 2016: iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus
12. 2017: iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus
13. 2017 iPhone X
14. 2018: iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max
15.  2018: iPhone XR
16. 2019 iPhone 11
17. iPhone 11 Pro
18. iPhone 11 Pro Max, September 20, 2019
19. 2020 iPhone SE2
1. 2007: iPhone
1. 2007 - iPhone: The very first iPhone, was indeed revolutionary at its time. Touchscreen phones were very new and unique for consumers at that point—this iPhone had a 3.5-inch multi-touch display. The design was like nothing seen in the smartphone space before. Consumers liked what they saw, clearly—as many as 6.1 million iPhones were sold in the first year itself.
2. 2008: iPhone 3G
2. 2008 - iPhone 3G: Just as the name suggest, the big addition in this iPhone was the 3G mobile network capability. The other additions included GPS capabilities for location tracking and navigation. But what the iPhone 3G is fondly remembered for; is that it was the first iPhone with an App Store and the ability to download and run third-party apps. This iPhone also added push-email. The iPhone craze was at its peak when the iPhone 3G was launched, and 1 million units were sold in the first week of launch.
3. 2009: iPhone 3GS
3. 2009 - iPhone 3GS: This is the first time that Apple genuinely focused on power. “The fastest, most powerful iPhone yet,” was how the iPhone 3GS was sold. This edition packed in a more powerful processor and included more RAM and storage space, compared with the iPhone 3G. This was perhaps the starting point for all hardware battles that smartphone makers have indulged in over the years. This iPhone also sold close to 1 million in the first week of launch.
4. 2010: iPhone 4
4. 2010 - iPhone 4: The fourth-generation iPhone saw a completely new design language, with a stainless steel frame, flat sides and glass on the front and back. This was also the first iPhone to support the CDMA mobile networks, in various countries. Performance remained in focus—this now had even more RAM (512MB as compared with the iPhone 3GS which had 256MB RAM) to allow better app performance, since third party apps were a rage now. The iPhone 4 featured the first Retina display in smartphones.
5. 2011: iPhone 4S
5. 2011- iPhone 4S: A lot changed under the hood in the iPhone 4S, but on the outside it looked identical to the iPhone 4. This phone was announced a day before the passing away of Steve Jobs. It packed in an updated processor as well as a better camera. Along with the new iOS 5 operating system, the iPhone 4S introduced the world to voice recognition assistant Siri as well as cloud storage service iCloud, both unique propositions at the time.
6. 2012: iPhone 5
6. 2012 - iPhone 5: The iPhone 5 ushered in a lot of stuff which remains a part of the latest line-up of Apple iPhones as well—the Lightning connector for charging and data transfer (the iPhones till now had used a wider 30-pin connector) and the earbuds. A design refresh also included a screen size increase from 3.5 inches to 4 inches and a thinner aluminium chassis. Support for LTE mobile networks was also introduced. More than 5 million phones were sold during the first three days of hitting the shelves.
7. 2013: iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C
7. 2013 - iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C: It was the first time that Apple unleashed two different iPhones in the same year, with the same screen size. The iPhone 5s was the logical successor to the iPhone 5, and retained the same design and as well as dimensions. But under the hood was a new 64-bit processor (seen for the first time in a smartphone), an improved camera, Touch ID fingerprint scanner integrated into the home button and the M7 “motion co-processor”, which allowed fitness tracking as well. The iPhone 5C was pushed as a more affordable iPhone, with a polycarbonate shell and various colour options, but it didn’t exactly set sales charts on fire.
8. 2014: iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus
8. 2014 - iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus: This was the first-time Apple introduced two iPhones with different screen sizes, with the iPhone 6 getting a 4.7-inch screen and the iPhone 6s plus rocking a phablet-esque (at least at the time) 5.5-inch screen. The design was significantly refreshed as well, and the new iPhones were thinner too. For the first time, 128GB storage options were on offer as well. There was, however, the entire “Bendgate” furore after some users reported the iPhone 6 Plus bending, under pressure at certain angles.
9. 2015: iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus
9. 2015 - iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus: Following the trend of the “s” line-up over the years, the 6s and the 6s Plus were more powerful updates of the 6 and 6 Plus. The design remained the same, as well as the screen size. A newer processor, better camera were the other highlights. Apple switched to a stronger 7000 series aluminium alloy chassis, to counter reports of the 6000 series aluminium bending in the predecessors. For the first time, the Rose Gold colour option was made available—something that has been adopted by pretty much every other phone maker since. These iPhones also introduced the 3D touch technology, which detects differing pressure of your touch on the iPhone’s screen and allows quicker access to app menus and execute certain tasks quicker. The Touch ID hardware was improved as well, which reduced the fingerprint scan time.
10. 2016: iPhone SE
10. 2016 - iPhone SE: The SE, to be honest, was a bit unexpected. Apple truly believed that consumers wanted a smaller screen size, and hence the return of the 4-inch display already seen on the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s before this. The design was also very much like the iPhone 5, so much so that many of the earlier accessories such as cases worked with the SE too. The internals were top-notch though, and exactly replicated the iPhone 6s, which was the latest hardware combination at the time.
11. 2016: iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus
11. 2016 - iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus: A lot changed with the 7 series of the iPhone. The 3.5mm headphone jack has finally been given a send-off in both phones, water resistance was added, each display is 25% richer as well as the ability to reproduce more colours than the predecessor and the 7 Plus also gets the dual camera and optical zoom. The Jet black (glossy) and black (matte) colour options were well received. In terms of performance, these were the most powerful iPhones till date.
12. 2017: iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus
12. 2017 - iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus: Apple really turned up the wick on the processor front with this iteration. The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus ran the very powerful A11 Bionic processor. In terms of the looks, these looked very similar to the predecessors, except for one big change—the glass layer on the back, which enabled wireless charging, making these the first iPhones to do so. The cameras were improved along the way, and the True-Tone display feature was now a standard option too.
13. 2017 iPhone X
13. 2017 - iPhone X: The big one. The biggest iPhone evolution in years. Gone was the home button which had resided below the display, for years now. The screen became taller, this became the first iPhone with an OLED screen and there was a notch on the top which divided opinion as quickly as it divided the notification bar on the iOS 11 interface. The fingerprint sensor was replaced by the Face ID image recognition technology and the dual cameras on the back were primed for AR apps. This had a larger display than the iPhone 8 Plus (5.8-inch as against 5.5-inch) yet was more compact to hold and considerably lighter too. This is when the challenges have become stronger for Apple iPhones too, with very powerful Android flagship phones now coming our way.
14. 2018: iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max
14. 2018 - iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max: The new iPhones, running the A12 Bionic processor, are 15 percent faster than the excellent A11 Bionic. The A11 Bionic chip could do 600 billion computations per second, whereas the new A12 Bionic can perform as many as 5 trillion computational operations per second, which also benefits the Face ID facial recognition feature. The 6.5-inch display on the iPhone XS Max is the largest ever in an iPhone. Apple also added the dual-SIM functionality, after many years of users demanding it, but in a different avatar—one of the SIM slots here would actually be a virtual SIM, also known as e-SIM. Nevertheless, these iPhones were significantly more expensive too—prices starting Rs99,900.
15.  2018: iPhone XR
15. 2018 - iPhone XR: Some said this would be the affordable iPhone the world had been craving for. Some said this will be the return of the iPhone 5c. It was neither. Distinctly beautiful, available in many colours, but in most respects, as capable and powerful as the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. Apart from the single camera at the back, which somewhat restricts the Portrait photography mode. This has an LCD display instead of an OLED—Apple calls it Liquid Retina, and for most intents and purposes, this does the job done. Price does remain a factor though—this costs Rs76,900 onwards.
16. 2019 iPhone 11
16. 2019 - iPhone 11: On the 11th sep. 2019 the company revealed its iphone 11 device The phone came with 6 different colors : white, red, magenta, yellow, green and black. The phone is covered with thick glass, which according to Apple, is the most robust in the market. It has a water resistance rating of IP68 to the depth of two meters and up to 30 minutes.
17. iPhone 11 Pro
17. iPhone 11 Pro: For Apple customers looking for a smaller phone with a top-of-the-line display, the iPhone 11 Pro is for you. The 5.8-inch Super Retina XDR display is Apple's most crisp, and clear to date. This phone features not two, but three, 12 MP HDR camera lenses, offering wide, ultra wide, and telephoto lenses. The color options are more muted than the iPhone 11, but there's always the option to add a flashy case!
18. iPhone 11 Pro Max, September 20, 2019
18. iPhone 11 Pro Max: Apple's largest and most expensive phone of 2019 is the iPhone 11 Pro Max. The display is Apple's Super Retina XDR, as with the 11 Pro, but sized at 6.5-inches. The Pro Max features the same,three-lens camera setup as the 11 Pro, as well as the same color choices, making size nearly the only difference between the devices.
19. 2020 iPhone SE2
19. 2020 - iPhone SE2: Apple introduced the second generation of SE in April 2020, and the new iPhone SE2 is considered the smallest iPhone available now, and it is one of the most powerful smartphones from Apple, and the new iPhone SE contains a home screen button that includes a fingerprint sensor (Touch ID) ), Instead of Face ID technology, which first appeared on the iPhone X in 2017, making it suitable for the current situation after the outbreak of the Coronavirus.