When the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus launched late last year, they joined one of the most successful product lines to ever exist. There’s no denying the iPhone has been an incredible success for Apple, but as the device celebrates its 10th anniversary, how did it get where it is today? In this article, we’ll look back at the journey to the iPhone 7 through the history of 10 years worth of iPhones and understand how Apple managed to make a product so universally accessible and loved.
According to Sky News, then-Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the first iPhone model in 2007. Rumored to have taken over two years to develop, the first iPhone launched in June 2007 with the trademark home button, a metal rear casing and a now relatively small 3.5″ touchscreen. Sales began slowly at just 3.5 million units sold in 2007.
The iPhone didn’t truly take off until the release of the 3G variant in 2008. Apple’s second iPhone was a big departure from the original, opting for a new plastic rear, which allowed Apple to significantly drop the price of the device. However, the phone did gain 3G connectivity, GPS, third-party apps, and a white model to choose from. Apple later refined their second generation iPhone with the release of the 3GS in 2009, which offered much-needed performance improvements and a camera capable of recording video.
Redesign for the Times
Facing increased competition from smartphones running Google’s Android platform, according to the Verge, Apple completely overhauled the iPhone with the release of the 4 in 2010. The iPhone’s first major redesign used a combination of both stainless steel and glass, with a slimline design vastly different to the previous 3GS. Apple maintained a 3.5″ display, but upgraded it with Retina resolution, whilst introducing a forward facing camera for FaceTime and bumping the main camera up to 5-megapixels.
Apple unveiled their improved 4S variant in 2011, with a faster processor, an 8-megapixel camera and the debut of voice assistant Siri. However, Apple founder Steve Jobs passes away the day after the phone was announced. The 4S becomes the first iPhone to surpass one million units sold in the first 24 hours and Apple overtakes Nokia in revenue.
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Bigger is Better
Apple increased the iPhone’s display size for the first time in 2012 with the release of the iPhone 5. An all-new aluminum design iPhone featured a 4″ display, whilst Apple continued to make their phone thinner and lighter than ever before. The 5 was later joined in 2013 by the 5C and 5S – the former introducing a cheaper more colorful plastic iPhone 5, whilst the 5S continued to build on the work of its predecessor, with a fingerprint Touch ID sensor replacing the infamous home button and a new luxurious gold color option.
A Modern Twist
Apple’s most recent iPhone redesign came in 2014 with the release of the iPhone 6 and new 6 Plus variant. The iPhone 6 offered a significantly bigger display at 4.7″, whilst the 6 Plus offered a much bigger 5.5″ display in order to compete with larger Android phablets. The curved body devices both featured Retina HD displays and NFC chips for Apple Pay. Both phones were improved upon the next year with the release of the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, both offering pressure sensitive 3D touch technology.
The company’s most recent pair of iPhones came just last year, the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. Apple was widely criticized for not offering a big upgrade with their most recent iPhones and also removing the standard 3.5mm headphone port. 2016 also marked the first revenue drop for the company since the iPhone launched in 2007.
[Featured Image by Stephen Lam/Getty Images]