Home Tech Talks Insights The iPhone: A Visual History (2007-2011)

The iPhone: A Visual History (2007-2011)


We’ve come a long way since the first iPhone launch back in 2007. Back then, the handset laid the foundations for the smartphone industry. A lot of innovation that followed was a direct consequence of the iPhone. While other companies have diversified and gone their own ways, Apple too has continued to improve the iPhone with unique increments. One thing however, has remained constant – no other phone has managed to look as good. Now with an epic successor launching to celebrate the iPhone’s 10th anniversary this year, let’s recap every iPhone’s birth since 2007.


iPhone (2007)

Apple’s first iPhone debuted in 2007 with the trademark home button, a metal rear casing, and 3.5-inch display. The capacitive touchscreen laid a foundation for modern smartphones. Though it launched in 2007, but rumours started swirling from late 2004. The edges wrapped the 3.5-inch display in a stainless steel rim, the rear shell had a band of black plastic along the bottom and an aluminum rear shell similar to the MacBooks. The 3.5mm ‘standard’ audio jack, has recently become common throughout all smartphones. Dual speakers were situated on the bottom, on either side of the charging connector, a location that has remained till date. The ‘home’ button was, and is still the single navigation key the iPhone uses.


Also read: Looking to switch from Android to iPhone? Here’s a guide

iPhone 3G (2008)

Apple’s second iPhone was a quantum leap from the original. The iPhone 3G was cost effective due to a new plastic rear. Apple trotted out the iPhone 3G with a slashed $200 (on-contract) price tag. The silver frame around the touchscreen glass was back and the back of the smartphone featured glossy black plastic casing. The audio jack design was also tweaked to accept more devices. The 3.5 inch screen size remained, also the rear shell was a bit more curved. The phone also gained 3G connectivity, GPS, third-party apps and a white color option too!


iPhone 3GS (2009)

Apple’s third iPhone and second are practically identical, the iPhone 3GS has the same design, but Apple made the iPhone text stand out with a silver color. The internal tweaks include speed improvements, a 3-megapixel camera enabled to record a video. A voice control feature alongside a highly requested cut, copy, and paste feature was introduced in iOS 3. While the phone’s exterior remained mostly the same, the internal functions and features witnessed many changes.


iPhone 4 (2010)

This iPhone was Apple’s first major makeover of the iPhone design. 2010’s iPhone 4 marked the most drastic shift in the design of the iPhone to date. The rounded plastic back and silver frame were gone, and in their place were two full panes of glass, one on either side. A steel band, with buttons to match, wrapped the entire edge of the device was also a new addition.  There was also a front-facing camera for the first time, with FaceTime, it also brought along the advent of ‘selfies’. A 3.5-inch Retina display, and a 5-megapixel camera with LED flash also was a new addition from the previous iPhones.


iPhone 4S (2011)

Similar to the 3G to 3GS upgrade, the iPhone 4S looks identical to the iPhone 4. The major internal changes made to this upgrade were a newer, faster processor and an 8-megapixel camera with 1080p video recording. Apple’s virtual assistant, Siri, debuted with the new version of iOS.




A lot more iPhones have released since then – the 5, 5S, the budget 5C, and the more grand 6, 6S. We even had the stunning 7 release in 2016. All of those, covered in part 2 of this series here.


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