The Evolution of the iPhone: 2007 to 2016

The iPhone completed 10 years in 2016. In 2007, as it was first unveiled, Steve Jobs said that Apple was going to redefine the word “Phone”. With the Mac and the iPad, Apple had already revolutionized two product categories. With the iPhone, Steve Jobs was eyeing the third. Here is how the it has evolved over the years.

#1 – iPhone (2007)


It might be hard to believe that you could put only 16 GB of data in the original iPhone.

But there was not much to be put on the phone either as there was no App Store yet. The phone could handle only 128 MB of memory and the camera was only 2 mega pixels. There were also no third party apps, no GPS and no video recorder on the phone. But you had a phone with a camera which seemed to be a luxury back in 2007. First of all, the iPhone knocked down the physical keyboard which was all the existing smartphones had to offer. It brought in touch screens. It had the pinch-to-zoom feature. You could just tap and the screen would zoom in. This feature seemed to be nothing less than magic. Moreover, the device had the multitasking feature which enable you to switch from mail to music to contacts and back.

Something that most of us don’t give a thought to is that there was no iPhone 2. Apple didn’t launch one with a ‘2’ in its name. Its successor was the iPhone 3G.

#2 – iPhone 3G (2008)


The iPhone 3G wasn’t much different from the original iPhone in terms of the internal specifications. The only difference was that 3G came into play. Now, you could access internet with much faster speeds. Most importantly, there was an App Store now.

#3 – iPhone 3GS


With iPhone 3GS, Apple introduced the 32 GB option for the first time. With the introduction of the App Store in iPhone 3G, 16 GB of memory would soon be inadequate. There were new apps to check out, after all. Apple also added voice control in this model. The video recording feature was also added and the camera was upgraded to 3.0 mega pixels. The voice control was not called Siri yet. Also, with this, Apple initiated the tradition of adding an ‘S’  to the model name for an upgrade.

#4 – iPhone 4 (2010)


This was an even bigger step ahead. The iPhone 4 was the first iPhone with a front camera. It also had a Retina Display. Apple had highly increased the pixels while keeping the screen size same to 3.5 inches. It had a modern day look with a bit sleeker shape. With 512 MB memory, the 4 could handle a lot more than the 3GS which had only 256 MB memory.

#5 – iPhone 4S (2011)


The iPhone 4S didn’t differ much from the 4. The camera was upgraded to 8 MP from 5MP. The 64 GB option was also introduced for the first time. But the biggest upgrade was the arrival of SIRI, your personal assistant in it which proves to be a really helpful feature today. Apple had sold 4 million units of this model in the first week.

#6 – iPhone 5 (2012)


With the 5, the memory was upgraded all the way up to 1 GB. The camera stayed the same. Move over 3G, the iPhone 5 had LTE connectivity. Also, Apple, for the first tine had increased the screen size by 0.5 inches. The previous models had a 3.5 inch display, this model had a 4 inch display. Apple sold 5 million units of this model.

#7 – iPhone 5S and 5C (2013)


The 5C was nothing but an affordable version of the 5S. It had a plastic shell and was available in 4 different colors. The 5S brought with it the touch ID, slow motion video and the M7 motion coprocessor.

#8 – iPhone 6 and 6 Plus (2014)

iPhone 6

The 6 marked a change in the look of the phone. The internal specifications were almost as the 5S, but it came with a significantly larger screen and an even larger one with 6S. The option of having 128 GB storage was made available for the first time while keeping the memory same. The camera didn’t see any upgrade. Despite this model seeing no significant change, Apple sold 10 million units of this model in the first week itself.

#9 – iPhone 6S and 6S plus (2015)

iPhone 6S

As far as the look is concerned, these models looked exactly the same as the previous ones. But Apple made quite a few changes. The camera was upgraded from 8 MP to 12 MP. The memory was also doubled. 3D touch was also introduced, but like any other technology, 3D touch is not being used to its full potential because it’s in its early days. Also, since iPhone 6 had some bending issues, Apple gave these models with 7000 series aluminium to prevent future issues.

#10 – iPhone SE (2015)

If you’re wondering which model is this, then you’re probably not alone. Because iPhone SE was just like the 6S. It had all its features but in a slightly smaller size. It also didn’t have the 3D touch. This was introduced as a more affordable version of the 6S, and people loved it.

#11 – iPhone 7 and 7S plus (2016)

iPhone 7

With the 7 & 7S plus, Apple dropped the base model with 16 GB storage. These came with a base storage of 32 GB going all the way up to 256 GB. The 7S proved to be a bigger success than all the other S models because of its dual camera. This made a very significant lossless zoom feature possible. It also had the portrait mode which enabled you to click beautiful pictures. With this, Apple also introduced a new jet black colour.

Over the years, Apple has seen a lot of changes. But you’ve got to admit, they’ve continued to reinvent the phone.