The evolution of Apple’s iPhone has been one of incremental upgrades, but the end result is a device that has improved tremendously. The original iPhone had just enough storage for about four movies. The top-level current iPhone has storage for about 16 times that. Its’ screen has seven times the pixels, and it’s the phone is about 25% lighter and thinner than the original. There’s no need to say we’ve made big progress, if you’d only look at the evolution, from the first, to the sixth iPhone. Let’s take a look back.
iPhone to iPhone 3G
The iPhone was a completely new concept and a completely new category when it came around on June 29th of 2007. The original iPhone sold 6 million devices, and provided proof of concept that paved the way for the success of an industry. Connectivity on the original iPhone was deathly slow though, running on the EDGE network, and proving the value of the web on a phone was much harder because of that. The iPhone 3G brought the concept to the mainstream by using 3G connectivity to bridge the gap and connect iPhones to the world. Interesting fact: The camera could not take videos for either model.
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iPhone 3G to iPhone 3GS
The iPhone 3GS was where the major upgrades came that popularized the iPhone beyond belief, and this model was so popular and reliable that it remained in production until late 2012, a year after its’ predecessor was discontinued and over three years after it had been released. That really gives you an idea of how ahead of it’s time this device was. The storage sizes went from 8 and 16 GB, to 16 and 32 GB. This was also the first model of iPhone to offer video capabilities, and had an improved camera with a better sensor and higher resolution. The new processor offered a 50% faster speeds and the RAM was doubled which led to a much faster phone that is still very popular.
iPhone 3GS to iPhone 4
The iPhone 3GS offered major changes that were very popular, but the iPhone 4 was simply revolutionary. Apple sold 1.7 million devices in the first three days, and set the standard for smartphone design with its’ classic boxy black minimalist look, and aluminum bevel. The screen introduced the concept of the Retina Display, a display with so many pixels per square inch that the individual pixels are invisible to the human eye. The phone also had double the RAM of the previous model, and a 720P HD, 5 megapixel camera with flash. This marked the first time that a phone ever seriously competed with a camera. Also introduced was the frontside camera which brought video-chatting to smartphones. A built-in Gyroscope brought more interactive gaming as well.
iPhone 4 to iPhone 4S
After the first four iPhones, everyone eagerly awaited the iPhone 5 with its’ 4G connectivity. Unfortunately, those people would have to wait another 11 months. For those unwilling to wait, Apple released the iPhone 4S, considered an incremental upgrade. The 4S features HSPA+ which is faster than 3G, but not as fast as 4G LTE, and an improved, 8 Megapixel, 1080P HD camera. Available storage models were increased from 16 and 32 GB, to 32 and 64 GB, and the 4S was the first iPhone to have a dual core processor, although the battery suffered for a variety of reasons on this model. Apple also introduced Siri, a digital assistant that was available exclusively on the iPhone 4S at that time.
iPhone 4S to iPhone 5
Now we enter the present day, and the year of 2012. Apple released the stunning iPhone 5, bringing the iPhone to its’ present form. The camera is a holdover from the 4S, but everything else is new. The phone features 1GB of RAM, a 30% faster processor, and a 4 inch screen, finally extending the iPhone beyond its’ 3.5 inch confines. The phone has 4G LTE connectivity, bringing it up to par with its’ current competitors, and is 25% lighter. Not only that, they also sold 2 Million phones within 24 hours. In comparison, Apple only sold 6 million original iPhones. That averages 23 phones sold per second.
iPhone 1st Generation to iPhone 5
The iPhone has come a long way since the start. Internet speeds have gone from unusable for most tasks, to faster than much of the world’s WiFi. The camera has gone from a small toy for taking mobile pictures, to a high resolution, full HD photo and video camera which is capable of rivaling and even beating point and shoot cameras, and is driving many camera manufacturers out of business. The app store has gone from a small project of thousands to a huge industry with nearly three quarters of a million apps, and over twenty billion downloads.
Beyond even the stats of the phone itself, the iPhone has created an industry for smartphones, filled with suppliers, manufacturers, and distributors striking it rich, solo-engineers achieving their dreams by developing accessories for it. Apple has also paid billions of dollars out to app developers, and paved the way for Android which has done the same, and the software and game industry has grown hugely.
The iPhone is a revolutionary device, and an evolutionary device. It changes only small amounts each year, but it continuously changes the world. How has the iPhone changed your life? Leave a comment.