iPhone at 5: How Apple Changed the Smartphone, Business Mobility

 
 
By Michelle Maisto  |  Posted 2012-06-26
 
 
 

"Apple Reinvents the Phone"

Apple introduced the iPhone Jan. 9, 2007, saying it had combined three products: a mobile phone, a widescreen iPod and an Internet-connected desktop. Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who passed away last year, said it was "literally five years ahead of any other mobile phone."

"Apple Reinvents the Phone"

Original Apple iPhone

The first iPhone featured a 3.5-inch display, a 2-megapixel camera, access to iTunes' 350 shows, 250-plus films and more than 5,000 music videos. A 4GB model was priced at $499 and an 8GB at $599.

Original Apple iPhone

Apple iPhone 3G

On June 9, 2008, the iPhone 3G was introduced. Apple hailed it as "twice as fast at half the price." The 4GB model was gone, replaced with an 8GB model for $199 and a 16GB for $299, with a two-year AT&T contract. It boasted built-in GPS, support for Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync and the ability to run over WiFi, EDGE and 3G networks, where available.

Apple iPhone 3G

Enter: The App Store

The iPhone 3G also included Apple's new App Store, providing iPhone users with access to "hundreds" of third-party apps, as well as MobileMe, a cloud-based solution that updates email, contacts and calendar information automatically. (Today, the App Store includes more than 650,000 apps.)

Enter: The App Store

Apple iPhone 3GS

On June 8, 2009, we met the iPhone 3GS, "the most powerful iPhone yet," Apple said, as the 3GS was twice as fast as the 3G, with a longer battery life, 3MP camera, video recording and hands-free voice control. Addressing a user gripe, Apple also added copy, cut and paste capabilities.

Apple iPhone 3GS

Apple iPhone 3GS

The "freedom of voice control," as Apple's Phil Schiller described it, enabled a user to do things such as say, "Play the next track," or ask, "What's playing now?" Not that the phone would answer aloud. The 3GS was priced at $199 for a 16GB model and $299 for a 32GB model, with an AT&T contract.

Apple iPhone 3GS

Apple iPhone 4

With the iPhone 4—the thinnest iPhone yet, though still with a 3.5-inch display—Apple fans were introduced to FaceTime on a new Retina display, "the highest-resolution display ever built into a phone," Apple said in its June 7, 2010, announcement.

Apple iPhone 4

Apple iPhone 4

The iPhone 4 also featured the A4 processor—Apple's first and own CPU, thanks to its purchase of PA Semiconductor—a 5MP camera with high-definition video recording and 40 percent longer talk time. Eight months later, Verizon began selling a Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) version of the iPhone 4, ending AT&T's longtime exclusive relationship with Apple.

Apple iPhone 4

Apple iPhone 4

The fourth iPhone also received a dramatic redesign. The former plastic body was replaced with "aluminosilcate glass," said to be chemically strengthened to be 30 times harder than plastic and more scratch-resistant, and a stainless steel band. The camera was upgraded to a 5MP camera, though model options remained at 16GB or 32GB for $199 or $299, respectively.

Apple iPhone 4

Apple iPhone 4S

With the iPhone 4S, introduced Oct. 4, 2011, came a "blazing fast" dual-core A5 chip, giving the fifth iPhone twice the processing power and seven times the graphics speed of the iPhone 4 while battery life stayed the same. Notably missing were 4G (Long-Term Evolution ) LTE and near-field communication (NFC) technology, both of which the pundits had expected.

Apple iPhone 4S

Apple iPhone 4S

Another iPhone 4S first: Siri. Suddenly the iPhone could not only reply audibly but perform tasks like updating a calendar, reminding users of events and Googling things a user wants to know, like if it's going to rain or where to buy organic mushrooms nearby.

Apple iPhone 4S

Apple iPhone 4S

On the 4S, the camera was significantly upgraded to include an 8MP sensor with 60 percent more pixels, adding more detail to images. iOS 5 and iCloud were also introduced, giving iPhone an easier way to store and access content.

Apple iPhone 4S

Apple iPhone 4S

Finally, storage received a healthy boost, with 16, 32 and 64GB options now available, for $199, $299 and $399, respectively. Sprint also got in on the action, making the iPhone available on three major networks. It's likely the next iPhone will additionally be available from T-Mobile and U.S. Cellular.

Apple iPhone 4S

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