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Published On: Thu, Nov 30th, 2017

The Evolution of the Apple iPhone

Few products have had a bigger impact on our daily lives in recent years than the rise of Apple’s iPhone. As the first widely popular, easily useable smartphone, the iPhone launched a revolution in mobile technology, and lead to a world where almost everyone has an immense quantity of computing power sitting in their pocket. The provision of the technology through iPhone deals that offer a free phone no upfront costs has helped make it ubiquitous.

photo/ Pexels

The Beginnings of the iPhone

After their limited success with the Apple Newton handheld computer, Apple decided to stay away from mobile and tablet technologies for a few years, instead focusing on the iPod, which subsequently came to dominate the portable music player market. The success of the iPod put Apple, who had long been playing distant second to Microsoft’s success, back on the map as a major player in computer technology.

In 2005, Apple became unhappy with the way their mobile software had been deployed on other companies’ products, such as Motorola phones. Apple became committed to producing their own phone. And so in 2007, the first iPhone emerged; Apple announced the phone at the MacWorld convention in 2007, in a storm of media publicity. Both more functional and more beautiful than prior devices of the same kind, its popularity with consumers skyrocketed.

The iPhone 3G and 3GS

The second iPhone model arrived in 2008, and was called the iPhone 3G to make obvious its support for the the latest in wireless data technology. This was also the first iPhone model to contain a GPS. The AppStore launched at the same time as the 3G, allowing apps developed by third parties to be downloaded onto the phone for the first time; this seriously unlocked its potential as a versatile computational device.

The 3GS followed in 2009, inaugurating the product cycle for Apple’s phones, in which a completely new model would be followed a year later by an improved “S” version. The 3GS sported a better camera as well as video recording capabilities.

The iPhone 4

The biggest leap forward in the evolution of the iPhone was probably the iPhone 4. Debuting in 2010 with its completely redesigned casing (modelled on retro cameras), the iPhone 4 incorporated Apple’s first ever retina display, offering a huge increase in picture quality on the 3GS, but with the same size screen. The iPhone 4 was also the first iPhone to include a front-facing camera, fitting with the growing trend of the “selfie”.

The 4S and Siri

What made the 4S a notable leap in the history of the iPhone was its inclusion of Siri, Apple’s revolutionary voice controlled personal assistant technology. Whilst previous voice controlled systems had been rather disappointing, with Siri Apple provided a highly functional piece of software that could recognise questions and commands in normal, conversational language. The iPhone 4S also came with iOS5 included; this version of Apple’s OS was a big improvement on its predecessor.

photo/ David Schwarzenberg

The iPhone 5

The iPhone 5 was the last iPhone that Apple co-founder and then CEO Steve Jobs played a major part in developing before his death from pancreatic cancer in 2011. When it was released it was the slimmest and lightest smartphone in the world. This model was taller with a 4 inch screen replacing the 4S’s 3.5 inches, and a new robust aluminium body. The iPhone 5 was the first iPhone to feature the Apple lightning connector.

The iPhone 5C

With new CEO Tim Cook at the reigns, Apple turned away from Steve Jobs’ strategy of only ever having one model of phone at a time, and decided to release a cheaper and decidedly more colourful version of the iPhone 5: the iPhone 5C.

The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

Continuing in the vein of diversifying their mobile product range, Apple introduced the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in 2014. The 6 increased its screen size compared to the iPhone 5 by 0.7 inches, and the 6 plus sported a whopping 5.5 inches of screen real estate.

The iPhone 8, X and beyond

The last few years have seen Apple follow up with the iPhone 8 and iPhone X. Changes to these models have been less revolutionary compared to previous developments. Nonetheless, Apple continues to dominate the smartphone market, and iPhone deals offering free phone no upfront costs have continued to spread the technology far and wide.

Author: Daniel Quinn

About the Author

- Outside contributors to the Dispatch are always welcome to offer their unique voices, contradictory opinions or presentation of information not included on the site.

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  2. […] Few products have had a bigger impact on our daily lives in recent years than the rise of Appleā€™s iPhone. As the first widely popular, easily useable smartphone, the iPhone launched a revolution in mobile technology, and lead to a world where almost … ( read original story …) […]

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