When the iPhone was launched in 2007, few people could have imagined how much of an impact it had on the world. Every year since then, we’ve been getting a new iPhone with new features and capabilities. But some years are better than others.
While every new iPhone improves the formula, some have been huge leaps forward in design, technology, or both. These were the six most important iPhones ever.
6. iPhone: The Original iPhone (2007)
The original iPhone has already created the blueprint for today’s smartphones. The iPhone was not only a revolutionary piece of technology, it was also very easy to use. Unlike the PDAs and “smart” devices that came before it, the iPhone was operated with just your fingertips. In the words of Steve Jobs, “Who wants a pen?”
Not only was using the iPhone intuitive, it had the amazing power of a portable device at the time. In the early 2000s, a lot of cell phones had access to mobile data, but most of them didn’t have access to the real web. Those early mobile devices weren’t good for much more than downloading some very expensive ringtones. On the other hand, the iPhone could give you a desktop-level Internet experience, which was a revolutionary idea at the time.
A lot of the features and design elements that we take for granted on modern smartphones might not have existed without the original iPhone. Without the original iPhone, there would be no iPhone Pro, iPhone SE, or any modern iPhone at all. There is no denying the impact of the iPhone that started it all.
5. iPhone 3G: The first 3G iPhone (2008)
If the original iPhone was a concept car, the iPhone 3G is the one you can actually drive. The original iPhone can connect you to the internet, but unless you’re connected to Wi-Fi, you’ll be stuck at 2G speeds. These days, throttling your 3G data speeds can almost make you shiver, but back in 2008, 3G was really fast and fast. Because it can access the 3G data network, iPhone 3G can get speeds of up to 3Mbps, which is 30 times faster than the 0.1Mbps speeds on the original iPhone.
3G speed on iPhone 3G made the smartphone as we know it possible. While 2G worked on the original iPhone for sending SMS messages and viewing web pages, when it came to downloading apps or watching videos, it left a lot to be desired. With iPhone 3G, connecting to the internet using mobile data is not a compromise anymore.
And Apple has given you a lot to do with this new data speed. We brought iOS 2.0 App Store, which allows users to download third-party apps, which is one of the things that makes a smartphone a smartphone. It was the iPhone 3G when we really started calling anywhere and anytime.
4. iPhone 4: The first beautiful iPhone (2010)
The iPhone 4 took the iPhone idea and made it beautiful. Although the iPhones that came before them were great pieces of technology, they seemed… in the early 2000s. The iPhone 4 introduced us to Apple’s popular flat and minimal design language now. Its body features an aluminum bumper surrounded by glass on both sides. It was a huge step up from the previous iPhones, and many still claim it to be the best iPhone ever.
Apple has paired this impressive new design with the first-ever Retina display in an iPhone. Putting more pixels than ever in the iPhone 4’s 3.5-inch display has made the device extremely portable, while also making it fun to use. Whether you’re texting, playing games, or watching movies, the iPhone 4 looks better. It was the first time many people introduced the iPhone, and many still don’t look back.
3. iPhone 6s: The iPhone That Lasted Forever (2015)
Just a year before the 6s, Apple unveiled the iPhone 6, which finally succeeded in evolving the iPhone to the size of a more modern smartphone. But the iPhone 6s manages to pack some amazing horsepower into this larger chassis.
While one of the iPhone’s biggest selling points has always been its camera, the iPhone 6s has taken this idea to the next level. The iPhone 6s was the first iPhone that could shoot 4K video, giving users more tools than ever before to unleash their creativity. Apple also modified the iPhone 6s chassis, using stronger 7000 series aluminum to help end the “Bendgate” that plagued the iPhone 6 series the year before.
Although the iPhone 6s came with iOS 9 installed, it kept getting software updates until 2021, with iOS 15. While running iOS 15 on a seven-year-old phone isn’t always the best experience, the fact that it’s possible Absolutely is impressive. The iPhone 6s proved that although iPhones are not cheap, they can last for a long time.
2. iPhone X: Reinventing the iPhone (2017)
The iPhone X was a true paradigm shift in Apple’s design. The iPhone X has finally shrunk the bulky chin and front of the old iPhones and brought us a nearly bezel-less design. But making this change also means rethinking how to use an iPhone without a physical home button. Apple’s solution was simple: just swipe up. It was an excellent example of a less important design language.
The iPhone X was also the first iPhone with Face ID, which lets you unlock iPhone or apps using your face, and has an OLED screen to boot. It laid the foundation for the design that still exists in the iPhone 13 series. The iPhone X also set a new standard when it came to price. When it debuted, it made headlines as the first $1,000 iPhone.
These days, there are many flagship phones that will save you $2000 or more. Whether you have big pockets or you think smartphones are getting expensive, you can’t deny the impact of the iPhone X.
1. iPhone 12: The first 5G iPhone (2020)
When it comes to 5G, Apple is a bit late to the party. The first 5G phones were launched in 2019, but the iPhone 12 series didn’t hit store shelves until late 2020. However, when the iPhone 12 finally landed, it was a huge hit.
When the iPhone 12 was finally launched, the 5G network had already had a huge impact on the world and was well established in most countries. This allowed many users to take advantage of the new speeds right out of the box. These higher speeds brought a host of new capabilities to the iPhone, such as cloud gaming. The iPhone 12 also brought MagSafe to the iPhone, allowing many users to forgo traditional charging cables once and for all.
The iPhone 12 showed us what the next generation of iPhone can do.
What’s next for the iPhone?
Since the release of the original iPhone, each iteration has made progress in design, speed, or both. iPhone transformed smartphones from science fiction into everyday essentials.
However, the competition is fiercer than ever and we’ve seen new technology like foldable phones really hit the market. So, what will the next iPhone bring to the table?
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