With the launch of iPhone X and 2017, Apple is letting the world know that this year is the 10th anniversary of the launch of the original iPhone smartphone which took the world by storm. Over these past 10 years, there have been numerous other iPhone models launched, 18 in total to be exact, each with Apple’s touch of innovation driving the series further. Our list of All iPhone versions to date looks back on these devices which revolutionized the smartphone market and made Apple a household name.
List of All iPhone Versions to Date
While many would consider Apple to be slow in the innovation department and adopting features extremely late compared to Android devices, these past 10 years have proven that Apple doesn’t believe in rushing technology and would rather perfect it in their own vision instead of rushing products out to the market. While that philosophy may have died down a bit, the launch of iPhone X and our review of the $1000 smartphone seems to indicate the company is once again interested in making big changes in the smartphone world.
The very first iPhone from Apple which started it all and put the company at where it is now in the smartphone market. While it is officially known as iPhone, the device is commonly referred to as iPhone 2G because of its lack of 3G cellular support. The iPhone 2G boasted decent specifications for its time with storage of 4, 8 and 16GB and a 400MHz ARM 1176 processor with 128MB RAM.
While for the most part, the specifications of iPhone 3G were the same as that of iPhone 2G, the added support of 3G antenna gave it a major edge over the old device. Apple also took away the 4GB storage option leaving users with just 8GB and 16GB models to purchase. The iPhone 3G also saw a slight change in the design, mainly with a plastic case body.
The iPhone 3GS is where iPhone versions really started to pick up in terms of performance. The upgraded model of iPhone 3G boasted 256MB RAM as well as increased storage up to 32GB. The processor also got an overhaul and Apple switched to ARM Cortex A8 at 620MHz for iPhone 3GS instead of using the old ARM 1176. At its launch, the iPhone 3GS also got a lot of praise for its 3.1-megapixel camera which was capable of recording 480p30 videos.
While the iPhone 4 may have been the next big iteration of the iPhone, the company didn’t really make many drastic changes in performance although the design did see an overhaul from curved edges to a slightly more blocky and rectangular phone. Among other things, Apple also introduced a front facing camera and upgraded the rear camera to 5MP with 720p30 video recording. While the processor remained the same, it was overclocked to 800MHz to be used in iPhone 4, although the RAM was upgraded to 512MB for the new iOS 4 firmware.
This can perhaps be considered the point where Apple started dropping the ball with iPhone versions and focused more on incremental updates over actually upgraded phones. In iPhone 4S, not only did the processor (they did upgrade to Cortex A9 which was clocked at 800MHz) and RAM remain the same, even the design of the new phone was almost identical to the old iPhone 4. The biggest changes in iPhone 4S over the old phone was the upgraded camera of 8MP and increased storage up to 64GB.
While the iPhone 5 saw some big changes when it comes to the performance of iPhone versions, the design mostly remained the same. Apple still used the old 8MP camera but upgraded the processor to a 1.2GHz A6 processor, bumped up the RAM to 1GB and added the increased storage option of 64GB while taking away the 8GB model. iPhone 5 is also when Apple finally made the shift to LTE 4G for cellular data.
While iPhone 4 only had two different models, with the iPhone 5 Apple jumped on the train of launching multiple different iPhone versions within the same series, even if they were launched a year apart. After the release of iPhone 5, the company launched the iPhone 5c which was basically a budget device for students and youngsters who wanted similar specs as the normal iPhone 5 but couldn’t afford to pay more. The iPhone 5c had brightly colored plastic body with colors like Yellow, Green and Pink. In terms of specifications, it was the same as iPhone 5.
Alongside iPhone 5c, the company also launched the iPhone 5s, a very minor incremental update over the base iPhone 5. The iPhone 5s pretty much just slightly bumped up the processor from dual-core 1.2GHz A6 to 1.3GHz dual-core A7 while introducing some new software features like the slow-mo video capture through iOS 7. Most of the other things in iPhone 5s were identical to the 5c, even the storage options and RAM.
Launched in 2014, the iPhone 6 was the next big “upgrade” from Apple in the smartphone market. It bumped up the battery capacity to a fairly decent 1809mA. While on paper the camera specifications remained mostly the same, the iPhone 6 delivered high quality pictures while also providing exciting new video recording software features such as the option to record 720p240 slow-motion videos. Apple also upgraded to the dual-core 1.38GHz A8 processor and increased storage up to 128GB while taking away the 32GB model.
iPhone 6 Plus
Another extremely small incremental update as Apple continued its trend of yearly launches with little to no innovation. Pretty much everything in the iPhone 6 Plus was the same with the exception of the increased screen size of 5.5-inch compared to 4.7-inch of iPhone 6. Apple also massively upgraded the battery capacity on 6 Plus to 2906mA compared to the 1809mA of iPhone 6. With the increase in screen size, the resolution was also bumped up to 1080p but overall the device didn’t feel much of an upgrade if you didn’t want a massive phone and already had an iPhone 6.
By this time, Apple had started to reserve the “s” iPhone versions to deliver decent upgrades to its iPhone devices as was evident with the launch if iPhone 6s which was quite an upgrade over the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Apple also changed the design of the phone considerably with the Rose Gold becoming a more prominent color scheme over the old Space Gray one. iPhone 6s had the upgraded dual-core 1.85GHz A9 processor, 2GB RAM and a massively overhauled camera. The iPhone 6s rear camera was upgraded to 12.2MP capable of recording 4K videos in 30FPS. The front facing camera was also upgraded to 5 megapixels from the previous 1.2MP.
iPhone 6s Plus
While the “s” series of iPhones became the hardware upgrade in a considerable way, the Plus iPhone versions ended up being similar in terms of hardware but gave users the option of a bigger screen. The iPhone 6s Plus was no different and delivered a 5.5-inch 1080p IPS display compared to the 4.7-inch screen on iPhone 6s. Because of the bigger screen, the iPhone 6s Plus also had a bigger battery capacity of 2750mA compared to 1715mA of iPhone 6s. Besides these changes, the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus were pretty much identical.
Not exactly sitting in any broader series of iPhone devices, the iPhone SE was launched in 2016 specifically targeting those consumers who preferred smaller screens on their iPhone devices, something which had been lacking lately. While the iPhone 6s was a comfortable phone for a lot of people with its reasonably sized 4.7-inch display, the iPhone SE gave another option by delivering a 4-inch screen with 640p display. In terms of other specifications, this iPhone model was the same as iPhone 6s with a 12.2MP rear camera, albeit a reduced 1.2MP front camera. It also offered the same storage options up to 128GB, 2GB RAM and 1.8GHz A9 processor.
Apple once again changed the design of iPhone devices, although not a lot with the iPhone 7 with a smaller bezel compared to the iPhone 6 series. While the specifications of iPhone 7’s rear camera remained the same, it delivered picture quality that was previously unheard of on iPhone devices. The front facing camera got a huge bump to 7MP as well. Apple also used its top of the line A10 Fusion processor clocked at 2.34GHz in the iPhone 7 while increasing storage options up to 256GB.
iPhone 7 Plus
Announced alongside the iPhone 7, this iPhone version had the same specifications as the smaller 4.7-inch display device except for a few minor changes, one of which happens to be the dual-lens 12.2MP camera at the back. With the increased screen size of 5.5-inch, Apple bumped up the battery capacity on iPhone 7 Plus to 2900mA although the A10 processor was slightly clocked down to 2.24GHz. Following the market trend at the time, Apple finally upgraded the RAM to 3GB in iPhone 7 Plus for improved multitasking.
With the start of 2017, the 10th anniversary of iPhone, rumors started emerging regarding the new iPhone versions Apple would launch this year. The company finally announced three new phones, one of which is the iPhone 8. While the iPhone 8 only introduces slight new changes to the iPhone design, it does improve in a lot of other areas especially where performance is concerned. Apple added their latest hexa-core A11 Bionic processor to the smartphone, the same processor that powers all their new smartphones. The RAM capacity remains the same and the battery size is 1821mA. On top of that, Apple also took away the 32GB and 128GB storage options which were available in iPhone 7 Plus so users can only buy the iPhone 8 in 64GB and 256GB storage, starting at $700.
iPhone 8 Plus
As we established earlier in our list of all iPhone versions to date, the Plus series is mostly just reserved for an increase in screen size and it couldn’t be more apparent when it comes to iPhone 8 Plus. Going with the same tradition as previous devices, the iPhone 8 Plus has a 5.5-inch display compared to 4.7-inch of iPhone 8. Both devices use the same A11 Bionic chip and have the same storage capacity. However, Apple did increase the RAM in iPhone 8 Plus to 3GB and the bigger phone also has a dual-lens 12MP camera at the back capable of Portrait Mode photos and 4K30 video recording. To power this bigger device, the battery size is also increased to 2691mA as compared to 1821mA of iPhone 8.
The third and last smartphone Apple launched as part of the iPhone’s 10th Anniversary, the iPhone X is the biggest overhaul in terms of design the company has done to their devices since iPhone 5. Apple ditched the physical Home button to accommodate their new bezel-less approach which basically means pretty much the entire front face of the iPhone X is the screen. While it has the same processor and RAM as the iPhone 8 Plus, even the camera being similar dual-lens with some added software enhancements, because of its design, Apple is charging a massive $1000 for the 64GB model of iPhone X. The battery capacity of iPhone X is also comparable to iPhone 8 Plus and all in all, the most expensive iPhone version to date seems pretty much just an iPhone 8 Plus with a unique new design. Whether it performs well and is worth the price tag or not, you can check out our iPhone X review to find out.
So there you have it, our complete list of all iPhone versions to date starting from the launch of the iPhone 2G in 2007 which not only gave a big corner of the smartphone market to Apple but also launched the iOS, which is currently in its 11th major iteration, as the most optimized smartphone firmware thanks to Apple’s in-house quality control over both hardware and software.