The Evolution of Apple & the iPhone
In 2007, Apple released it’s first iPhone. Like clockwork, a new model has been released every year since. This technology is a vast leap from Apple’s first release of the Apple Computer 1 in April of 1976. Not only has the evolution of these products changed drastically but also they are changing the way we live. For example, we’ve gone from clunky desktops and carrying multiple devices for a variety of uses, like iPods and cell phones, to sleek all in one handheld computer.
Subsequently, with the release of a new iPhone every year has given Apple a chance to make improvements on its previously released models with fixes to a combination of issues relating from software, bugs, cameras, etc. In a world where we have become accustomed to having information at lightening speed at our fingertips, apps for assistance, etc. therefore Apple has successfully created a “what’s next” mentality. Apple and iPhone users have become addicted to what is in store for the next iPhone release and are eagerly awaiting their next upgrade.
The Evolution of the iPhone
- First iPhone: June 2007 – The first-generation iPhone was cutting-edge and a stand out from other mobile devices in existence at that time. It was small, “smart” features that set this tiny hand-held computer apart from predecessors like the Blackberry and Palm. Some of these unique traits included the absence of a keyboard, tapping and pulling apart two fingers to zoom and an instant message format for SMS texting. The first iPhone wasn’t just a high-quality cellular phone, but it packed an iPod, PDA, and calendar, as well as email and web browsing applications with support.
- iPhone 3G: July 2008 – With this update, the iPhone boasted a few more revolutionary features like 3G data speed and GPS. The new and improved operating system had a VPN and the ability to sync info like contacts and music. As far as the look and design were concerned, the shape on the backside was updated and the multi-touch display was larger. Some features remained similar to the 1st generation iPhone, like the 2-megapixel camera, iPod and 16 GB of memory.
- iPhone 3GS: June 2009 – The biggest change in the 3GS model was a notably enhanced camera. This version now had a 3-megapixel lens, autofocus, and tap to focus feature. Not only did the camera quality improve, but users could now record video. Voice Control or Siri in its infancy was also added. Lastly, the “S” stood for speed, as Apple advanced the overall speed.
- iPhone 4: June 2010 – The iPhone 4 was vastly different in look and feel as it had a completely updated shape, with squared off edges. The camera improved considerably and now had 5 megapixels and an LED flash. In fact, the iPhone 4’s camera was the biggest improvement in functionality to date. Additionally, there was a front facing camera and the back-facing camera could record high-quality video in HD.
- iPhone 4S: October 2011 – Apple continued to make strides in the camera feature with the 4S model. The new 8G camera could shoot video at 1080p HD quality, plus aperture, stabilization, and low light functions were all enhanced for a greater overall image. This model now had A5 software and most notable of all, the digital assistant, Siri was born.
- iPhone 5: September 2012 – By this time it was apparent that Apple was committed to providing consumers with a high performing camera. Updates to capture speed, macro photography and HDR were introduced as well as a scratch-resistant sapphire lens cover and the ability to take panoramic photos. This version had a lighter aluminum body and an extra long display that allowed for an extra row of icons.
- iPhone 5s/5c: September 2013 – At this point, Apple decided to release two models per year. The 5S and 5C now had an A7 processor and a few new camera features like burst mode and slow-mo video. The 5C was Apple’s introduction to a budget-friendly iPhone and users could choose from a variety of colors to add a visually appealing look to the model.
- iPhone 6/6 Plus: September 2014 – The 6 and 6 Plus not only had more improvements to the camera, but the front-facing camera got a “facelift” too, with 8 megapixels and greater low light performance. The iPhone 6 was slightly bigger in size; however, Apple gave way to the demand for a larger more tablet sized iPhone option and introduced the 6S. The 6S screen was 5.5 inches diagonally, from corner to corner.
- iPhone 6s/6s Plus: September 2015 – There weren’t notable external changes to these models, so the size and feel pretty much stayed the same. The big differences were a 12 mega pixel camera, a Live Photo feature, and 3D Touch technology. This is also the first version available in rose gold.
- iPhone 7/7 Plus: September 2016 – The iPhone is finally waterproof with the release of the 7 and 7 Plus. The incredibly slim and sleek 7 also has no standard headphone jack, therefore requiring Bluetooth headphones, the included iPhone earbuds, or an adapter. The “taptic” engine allows the user to feel a response to tapping the home button or vibrations from actions like firing a weapon in a game, for example. Lastly, the phone is available in a sexy jet-black version.
- iPhone 8/8 Plus: September 2017 – The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus will afford the consumer some similar features to the upcoming X version, like wireless inductive charging, but it will be less costly. This phone is introduced the same year as the X.
- iPhone X: November 2017 – The X model is the first to have facial recognition technology and this new wave of iPhones has no home button. With no home button and facial recognition, users find themselves touching their iPhone much less than usual, even with Apple Pay. The “X” is actually the number 10 and it’s the fastest charging iPhone in history, with wireless charging available as well. The A11 Bionic chip within is the zippiest iPhone processor yet.
- iPhone Xs/Xs Max: September 2018 – These iPhones have a super retina display, with significantly more pixels than the original X. The XS Max has a whopping 6.5-inch screen for exceptional visibility. This phone packs an A12 Bionic processor, which is remarkably quicker than the A11. XS models have double the storage at 512 GB, whereas previous versions topped out at 256. The camera allows for adjusting the depth of field and an improved LED flash, among other camera upgrades. A huge additional feature is the ability to record in stereo with 4 microphones built in.
- iPhone Xr: October 2018 – Finally, the latest edition iPhone is the XR model. This is another budget-friendly iPhone and it’s very similar to the XS. Instead of an OLED display, it has a very crisp LED display. The screen is 6.1 inches, slightly smaller than the XS Max. Available to consumers is a variety of fun color choices. It’s made of aluminum alloy and feels lighter than the previous two models. The improvement that sets it apart from any other model is that it has the longest battery life, notably above the X and XS.
So, what’s next for the iPhone in 2019?
While there is nothing confirmed, iPhone should be on track to launch a new model again this Fall. Rumors suggest more improvements to the iPhone camera and they could possibly include reverting back to USB-C. Again, nothing concrete has been released by Apple. But only a couple months after the release of the iPhone Xr and we are already anxiously waiting for what’s next.