The Evolution of iPhones | MyPaperHub

The iPhone is a line of Smartphone that are designed and marketed by the Apple Inc. They run through an iOS mobile operating system. Steve Jobs, one of the brains behind the iPhone and the Apple company, made a speech in January 2007 promising that the company would introduce a phone that will change the course of mobile technology for good (CNET, 2014). In the speech, he said that they would introduce a product that has a widescreen iPod with touch controls, a revolutionary gadget, and a breakthrough internet device as a single product. The product was no other than the iPhone. The release of the first generation iPhone was released in June 2007 marking the company’s entry into the mobile industry (CNET, 2014). The Apple company was already credited to have revolutionized the Computer industry with the Mac and the personal players industry with the iPod making the unveiling of the iPhone a third exciting innovation from the same company that changed the course of history on mobile phones (Apple, 2015). Since the launch of the first iPhone, critics were fast to emphasize that the iPhones were just a refine of ideas and not an invention of their won grand inventions in technology. However, a keen look at the evolution and success of the iPhone over the years it is vivid that it uses the mantra of iteration and evolution.

Over the course of its evolution from the first iPhone to the current iPhone 6, most of the industry players had labeled a failure of the gadget in the industry. The iPhone more than any other player in the mobile industry was built on an evolutionary approach (CNET, 2014). It was improved through many small steps and cut away developed branches that failed to work or were inefficient. Its leadership in an evolutionary approach to the industry was illustrated with the approach that iPhone took on the mobile applications that made coding for a Symbian look so easy (iMore, 2014). It was because, at the time there were no apps and so Apple realized that HTML5 was the future of mobile technology, and hence the web-based apps were the way forward. According to this approach, the developers would host titles on their servers and a shortcut icon placed on the iPhone screen making it look flawless to the user (Hanson, 2015).

The first iPhone released in June of 2009 marked Apple’s entry into the cellular market. Steve Jobs, the CEO of the company, described the first iPhone as, "a wide-screen iPod with hand controls that are a revolutionary mobile phone and also a breakthrough Internet communications device,". It was the first Apple-branded product that ran on OS X. Based on a touch-based user interface, had a single button, and controlled using one or two fingers gestures. The iPhone had a 2-megapixel camera, Bluetooth 2.0 EDR, 1400 mAh battery, and a 3.5-inch multi-touch screen. It also contained a custom-made version of Safari that allowed Web browsing of any web page. Moreover, had a revamped interface of an iPod that had a Cover Flow, an integrated access to YouTube and Google Maps, an iChat texting interface and a standard set of other mobile apps such as a calendar, calculator, and an address book (Kepple & Loehrke, 2015). However, it was only available on an AT&T voice/data plans and was limited to an EDGE-based network access and not the faster 3G wireless networking. The slowness of the EDGE-based network as compared to the 3G was mitigated with the incorporation of 802.11g Wi-Fi chipset that allowed faster browsing on any available WIFI. During its launch, there were no third-party applications available (Hanson, 2015). However, third-party developers quickly came up with compatible applications within a few months. Others were able to unlock the mobile phone from the AT&T network to use other networks. The selling price of the phone at the time was at $499 for the 4 GB model, and then the price dropped to $399 with the 8GB model and with the release of the 16 GB model, the price went to $499 (Kepple & Loehrke, 2015).

One year later after the launch of the first iPhone, Apple launched the iPhone 3G in June 2008. The iPhone 3G at its launch was praised for being twice a faster at half the price as compared to the earlier version. Apple had also realized the need to allow the iPhone to run on third party applications due to the increased number of underground developers and hence the iPhone 3G allowed for the use of the applications created with the iPhone SDK. Moreover, it was now available for sale ion more than 70 countries, which was an indication of iPhone’s global markets. The model had the code name N82 with the device number iPhone1.2. It had a 3.5-inch screen at 320x480 and 163ppi being the original. Moreover, it received a significant upgrade and could support 3G UMTS/HSPA networks with Steve Jobs claiming that it was 36% faster than the other leading 3G phones of the time. It also retained the Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR and 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi but added a GPS chip. It had a 128MB of RAM, but the battery dropped to 1150 mAh but not compromising the battery life. By 2009, the iPhone revolutionized further with the launch of the iPhone 3GS that incorporated the voice dialing, a landscape Keyboard and it had more hype due to the cut, copy, paste functions that significantly increased the hype on the phone. The camera Resolution also rose to 3 megapixels maintaining the price of $199 to $299. At its launch, there were 50, 000 third party applications available.

In 2010, the iPhone $ hit the market and was codenamed N90/N92. It offered significant improvements to the display. Apple brought in an optical lamination and an in-plane switching (ISP) panel with light-emitting diode (LED) backlight. The phone made images look as though they were painted just below the glass and significantly improved the viewing angles. The resolution was doubled vertically and horizontally to increase the megapixel to 5 while retaining the 3.5-inches screen size. Apple also switched to the microSIM for the carrier card to save space and retained the Bluetooth. The Wi-Fi went to 802.11 g/b/n only on 2.4 MHz band and had a stainless steel around the iPhone that acted as the antenna. At the top left were the Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and aGPS, while the rest contained the UMTS/HSPA an aspect never done before as Jobs reiterated. The gadget was available at 16GB and 32GB band the RAM increased to 512MB and the battery increased to 1420mAh to maintain the battery life even with the use of Retina. It brought in the Face Time video chat and iBooks; HD video recording keeping its price. In 2011, the iPhone 4S revolutionized the iPhone even further with the introduction of iOS 5 mobile operating system, A5 dual-core processor, iMessage; Twitter integration; location-based reminders and increased the Camera to 8 megapixels. The prices ranged between $199 to $399. At its launch, there were 360,000 third party apps available (Kepple & Loehrke, 2015).

Launched in 2012, iPhone 5 was the biggest thing to happen to iPhone. It was codenamed N41/N42 and was the fourth major redesign and the second major improvement to the iPhone’s display since the first gadget. It was, however, the first time that Apple had changed the aspect ratios from 3:2 in all the previous phones to 16:9, which was more cinematic. It meant that movies and even TV could be watched with ease without much letterboxing. It also added the pixels of the phone from 3.5-inches to 4-inches keeping the 326ppi density going from 940x640 to 1136x640. Apple was also able to switch to in-cell technology that let them combine the touch sensor and LCD into one layer. With the pixels of iPhone 4 and 4s looking as though they were painted beneath the screen, those of iPhone 5 looked as though they were painted on the glass reducing the reflections. It had a faster iOS 6 with an improved Maps app with a 3-D navigation and Passbook. It also had a new way to scan movie tickets, boarding passes and even coupons among others. Later Apple launched the iPhone 5C had an A6 chip as the previous one and a new casing of polycarbonate. It had an illuminated Face Time camera. The iPhone 5S evolved further to be the first 64-bit Smartphone. It had a finger print identity sensor that was capable of 360-degree readability. Moreover, it contained an IOS 7 operating system while maintaining the 8-megapixel camera.

The iPhone 6 was launched in September had 138.1 x 67 x 6.9 mm dimensions weighing 129 g using a Nano Sim. It incorporated the Apple pay a new feature of mobile payment. The hype was more on its A8 processing chip that offered 50 times faster as compared to the first iPhone and also a 25% bump compared to the iPhone 5S. It has a 4.7-inch display, improved with a iSight camera and also the near-field communication (NFC) technology (Apple, 2015). It however maintained the 8megapixel camera and ranged between $199 to $399 in price. 2014 still witnessed the launch of the iPhone Plus that had a 5.5-inch screen display. It had an improved insight came and maintained the other features of the iPhone 6. Its price however went higher ranging between $299 to $499  (Apple, 2015). In 2015, the iPhone 6S hit the market with a new technology on pressure sensitive 3D touch. It can read the user’s inputs based on how hard or soft one presses on the screen of the iPhone. It also offered a new array of color, as it is available in silver, gold, rose gold and space grey (Estes, 2015). Further advancements were witnessed on its 64-bit A9 processing Chip that increased it computer-processing speed to 70% and 90% for its graphics processing. It also had a HD 4K video that had 8 million pixels and a Face Time HD camera with 5 megapixels. Its camera resolution increased typo a record high of 12 megapixels. Its original price was between $199 to $399 As if that was not enough, later in the year 2015, the latest model of iPhone 6S Plus was unveiled  (Estes, 2015). The new model maintained the features of the iPhone 6S but returned the durable 5.5-inch display. Its original price was at range of $299 to $499. 


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Hanson, M. (2015). iPhone through the ages: just how much has it changed?. TechRadar.

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