Looking Back At 10 Years Of The IPhone
Looking back at 10 years of the iPhone. Remembering every iPhone Apple has ever made. Every year, there are certain events on the calendar we at iPad & iPhone User can count on, and one of those events is the release of a new iPhone. It’s during this period when reviewers devote most (if not all) of their time to Apple’s new phone. After all, you want to invest wisely, and we take the job of properly evaluating each new iPhone very, very seriously. Looking back at the past 10 years of reviews, it’s interesting to see not only how technology has evolved over time, but how users have adapted to the technology. For example, when the first iPhone hit the market, reviewers wondered how people would adaptor to an on-screen keyboard. Now, with the benefit of hindsight, it seems like such a concern is ridiculous. Below are summaries of our iPhone reviews from the past 10 years.
Looking Back At 10 Years Of The IPhone
Looking back at 10 years of the iPhone
The original iPhone (2007)
Overall design: Steve Jobs proudly described the iPod as a beautiful piece of hardware that had amazing software inside it. And with the iPhone, Apple’s hardware designers have once again wrapped the output of the company’s in-house developers into a remarkable piece of hardware.
When Flash was king: There are a few limitations that prevent Safari on iPhone from truly showing the real 26 ISSUE 122 • iPAD & iPHONE USER
Internet. The biggest is the fact that perhaps the most common browser plug-in in existence, Adobe’s Flash, is nowhere to be found … although the iPhone’s included YouTube player solves the problem for that popular video-sharing website, it doesn’t address the larger fact that numerous websites use Flash to play video or display other interactive content.
What we said: “The iPhone is the real deal. It’s a product that has already changed the way people look at the devices they carry in their pockets and purses. After only a few days with mine, the prospect of carrying
a cellphone with me wherever I go no longer fills me with begrudging acceptance, but actual excitement.”
iPhone 3G (2008)
Key new features: 3G networking, GPS, no more recessed headphone jack. What we said: “If you’ve been cautious and waited a year for the second generation of iPhone, your patience will be rewarded. The iPhone 3G improves on the original iPhone’s audio quality, offers access to a faster data network, and sports built-in GPS functionality.”
iPhone 3GS (2009)
Third time’s the charm – at least that was true with the iPhone. This is the phone where Apple really started to hit its stride. Other smartphones started to hit the market, but the iPhone 3GS’s combination of refinements and new features kept the iPhone at the front of the pack.
What we said: “As of right now, the best smartphone on the planet is the iPhone 3GS … the iPhone 3GS is the best choice around.”
iPhone 4 (2010)
Key new features: Glass case, HSUPA support, A4 processor, 512MB RAM, Retina display, 720p video camera, 5Mp still camera, FaceTime
What we said: “I like the metal styling and the solid feel, and the flat glass front and back are gorgeous. But I’m concerned that the glass back adds an unnecessary level of fragility to the product. What’s the point of designing a beautiful product if it’s so fragile that your customers need to stick it in a case (or wrap it in a rubber bumper) in order to protect it?”
iPhone 4S (2011)
This phone is marked by the introduction of Siri. The iPhone already had voice controls, but Siri takes it to a whole new level. Also this is when Apple started releasing new iPhones in the fall instead of the summer.
Jason Snell has the review.
Key new features: Siri, A5 processor, 8Mp still camera, 1080p video camera, AirPlay mirroring. What we said: “The iPhone 4S has speed, a great camera, some cool voice-recognition features, and the same beautiful industrial design that was introduced in the iPhone 4. It’s destined to be immensely popular. The S, in this case, seems to stand for ‘sure thing’.”
iPhone 5. iPhone 5 (2012)
Lightning struck with the iPhone 5, replacing the 30-pin connector in the previous iPhones. Users everywhere bemoaned the fact that cables and adaptors needed to be purchased, and even some accessories weren’t usable anymore.Key features: Lightning connector, 4in 16:9 ratio Retina display, A6 processor, LTE support, 720p FaceTime camera, wideband audio
What we said: “Once again, Apple hasn’t reinvented the iPhone. All it’s done is make the best smartphone around even better.”
iPhone 5s (2013)
This was the first iPhone offered with a gold finish. Why a gold iPhone? Some speculated that a gold iPhone would help Apple gain market share in China. As it turned out, gold was popular in the US.
Key features: Touch ID, A7 processor, M7 motion coprocessor, larger camera sensor with bigger lens, camera flash of two LEDs, burst mode for still camera, slo-mo video modeWhat we said: “The iPhone 5s continues Apple’s relentless iteration, with the company adding several cutting-edge technologies into the product line, impressively improving on last year’s model while utterly blowing away the features of the two-year-old phones owned by users who are ready to upgrade.”
iPhone 5c (2013)
The iPhone 5c was offered as a more affordable option to the 5s and was based on the A6 processor that was used in the iPhone 5. Also, the 5c had a polycarbonate case available in an assortment of colours.
Key features: Polycarbonate case, based on the iPhone5; missing many feature found in iPhone 5sWhat we said: “When the history of Apple’s 2013 iPhone-a-palooza is written, the iPhone 5c will inevitably be viewed as the opening act to the iPhone 5s’s headliner. But anyone who chooses the more colourful iPhone will hardly care.”
iPhone 5ciPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus (2014)
It was go big or go home for Apple in 2014. Smartphones with larger screen grew in popularity, and Apple responded. With its new iPhones, Apple ditched the 4in screen and went with 4.7 inches for the iPhone
6, and 5.5 inches for the iPhone 6 Plus.
Key new features: Larger screens, A8 processor, camera improvements.
What we said: “Make no mistake: the most important new thing about the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus is their size. While their processors run faster and their cameras focus more exactingly, the real story is that these are larger phones with larger screens.”
iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus (2015)
Apple’s marketing slogan for the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus was, “The only thing that’s changed is everything,” the idea being that the major changes didn’t happen to the design and exterior, but inside the phone. This iPhone was a big deal, getting the highest ratings Macworld has ever given to an iPhone. Jason Snell with the review.
Key new features: 3D Touch, Live Photos, 12Mp still camera, 4K video camera, 5Mp FaceTime camera, selfie flash, A9 processor, M9 motion coprocessor, 2GB RAM
What we said: “What’s more remarkable is not that this year’s iPhone is once again the best model ever, it’s the margin by which it improves on last year’s model. It’s a surprisingly wide one.”
Some people like having a smaller phone, so in response, Apple released the iPhone SE. It sports a design like the iPhone 5s, but it’s a more capable phone. It lacks some features of the iPhone 6s, though.
Key new features: 4in screen, A9 processor, Live Photos, 12Mp still camera, 4K video camera, 1.2Mp FaceTime camera. What we said: “The iPhone SE is powerful, speedy, and a worthy addition to the low end of the line-up.”
iPhone 7 and 7 Plus (2016)
Only one thing matters about the iPhone 7 and 7
Plus: it doesn’t have a headphone jack. Forget about everything else. So many people fretted about this that no one cared about the phone’s other features. But we did, because that’s our job.
Key new features: Lightning-only connector, A10
Fusion processor, M10 motion coprocessor, two-lens camera system (iPhone 7 Plus only), 7Mp FaceTime camera, Portrait mode with photos, increased colour gamut and brightness with screens, Home button, water resistance
What we said: “If you’re excited enough about the camera to upgrade, or your current iPhone is old enough that you want to upgrade, this [the iPhone 7] is the best iPhone for you. But if the drawbacks make you want to sit out a year, I think that’s really smart.”
Looking back at 10 years of the iPhone
Looking back at 10 years of the Apple iPhone, The iPhone turns 10: A look back, An Android user’s look back at 10 years of iPhone, The iPhone 10 years in: Everything that’s changed from 2007 to 2017, Looking back at the birth of the iPhone, 10 years later, Looking back 10 years to the original iPhone’s introduction, iPhone 10th anniversary: looking back at how Apple changed, Looking forward, looking back: Reflecting on 10 years of iPhone