Introduction and Overview of iPhone History

iPhone History

The iPhone is a line of smartphones designed and marketed by Apple Inc. Since its launch in 2007, the iPhone has had a huge impact on the smartphone industry and revolutionized mobile computing. This article will provide an overview of the history of the iPhone, from its origins and inspiration, to the development and release of each new model over the years.

Early Inspiration and Development

The iPhone was not Apple’s first foray into mobile devices. In the early 1990s, Apple experimented with a line of handheld devices called Newton. Though commercially unsuccessful, the Newton provided inspiration for features like handwriting recognition that would later show up in the iPhone.

In the early 2000s, Apple began working on “Project Purple,” a secret initiative to develop a touchscreen device that would revolutionize mobile computing and communications. Scott Forstall and Tony Fadell assembled a team to work on software and hardware respectively. The device would combine the functionality of an iPod and a smartphone using a revolutionary touchscreen interface.

Steve Jobs recruited the help of AT&T to collaborate on what would become the iPhone. After many months of intensive design and development, the first iPhone was unveiled by Jobs in a keynote in January 2007.

The First iPhone – 2007

The first iPhone (also known as the iPhone 2G) was released on June 29, 2007, offering a 3.5-inch touchscreen with multi-touch gestures, cellular network connectivity, and internet capabilities. It offered many now-standard smartphone features like visual voicemail, web browsing, and integrated email.

The original iPhone hardware was limited to 4GB or 8GB storage options and lacked common features like 3G networking, GPS, and support for third-party apps. But the innovative touchscreen and user interface made the iPhone a revolutionary device.

iPhone 3G – 2008

The iPhone 3G was released in 2008, marking several important upgrades over the original iPhone. As the name suggests, it supported 3G wireless networks for faster data speeds. It also added GPS capabilities and opened up development of third-party apps with the iOS App Store. The iPhone 3G featured a similar design as the original but with a curved plastic back.

iPhone 3GS – 2009

In 2009, Apple released the iPhone 3GS, keeping the same overall body design but enhancing internal hardware like the processor, camera, and memory capacities. It introduced video recording capabilities and voice controls via Siri. The “S” in 3GS stood for speed, emphasizing the performance improvements.

iPhone 4 – 2010

The iPhone 4 brought the first major design change, replacing the curved plastic back with flat glass on the front and back held together by a stainless steel band. It also featured a high-resolution “Retina Display” and front-facing camera for video calls. Released in 2010, the iPhone 4 became the best-selling iPhone up to that point.

Subsequent iPhone Models

Apple has continued to release new iPhone models annually. Recent models include the iPhone 5 with a larger screen, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus with even larger screen options, the iPhone X with an edge-to-edge display, and the iPhone 12 mini and Pro Max pushing display size extremes. New features have included fingerprint sensors, facial recognition, augmented reality capabilities, and 5G network support across the lineup.

The iPhone Turns 15 in 2022

In 2022, the original iPhone turned 15 years old. In the decade and a half since its release, the iPhone has become one of the most successful and influential technology products ever. It ushered in the era of the smartphone and touched off a mobile computing revolution. Even as the iPhone lineup has evolved, each new model carries forward that original visionary design.


The iPhone has come a long way since its humble beginnings in 2007. It has shaped the evolution of mobile devices and become an iconic piece of technology. Even as it continues to set trends in areas like design, features, and performance, the history of the iPhone shows a steady progression in innovation that has made it one of the most impactful consumer electronics devices in history.

  • August 22, 2023