Apple Wiki
Apple Wiki

This article is about Apple's line of smartphones. For the first iPhone see: iPhone (1st generation).
IPhone 6 (gold)

The IPhone 6 is the most successful and best selling iPhone model with over 222 million units sold since 2014

The iPhone is a line of high end smartphones, designed and marketed by Apple Inc. The first iPhone was unveiled by Steve Jobs, then CEO of Apple, on January 9, 2007,[1] and released on June 29, 2007. The 17th generation models, the iPhone 15, 15 Plus, 15 Pro, and 15 Pro Max, were announced on September 12, 2023, and runs iOS 17, Apple's latest operating system for handheld devices. iPhones are one of the most popular and best selling smartphones in the market.

All iPhones can function as a video camera (since the iPhone 3GS), a camera phone, a portable media player, and an internet client with email and web browsing capabilities, can send texts and receive visual voicemail, and has both Wi-Fi through 4G connectivity (the original iPhone only supported EDGE/2G). The user interface is built around the device's multi-touch screen, including a virtual keyboard rather than a physical one. Third-party as well as Apple application software is available from the App Store, which launched in mid-2008 and now has over 900,000 "apps" approved by Apple.[2] These apps have diverse functions, including games, reference, GPS navigation, social networking, security and advertising for television shows, films, and celebrities.

Development history

Since 1982, Hartmut Esslinger and other designers at Apple Computer had been experimenting with various concepts incorporating telephone features before the advent of smartphones, though none of these ever reached the market.[3] There were some 3rd party products based on Apple's Newton platform, such as the Siemens NotePhone and Digital Ocean Seahorse, that were released in 1993 and 1996, respectively.[4][5][6][7]


The Struggle of Building the Original iPhone - The Untold Story

With the increasing popularity of Apple's new iPod line in 2002, CEO Steve Jobs expressed concern about other product categories that may cannibalize its potential, such as mobile phones.[3] Though publicly denying it, Apple began work on a touch-sensitive tablet.[8][9][10] Apple had been a longtime partner with Motorola for its processors and announced an agreement on July 26, 2004 to jointly develop an "iTunes phone" that would become the Motorola ROKR E1.[3][11] Steve Sakoman, VP of OS and server technology who formerly headed the Newton project, was concerned about development for Motorola's phone and advocated to Jobs that Apple create its own. Jobs personally had low expectations of Motorola, but was concerned about the influence of mobile carriers at the time. In the meantime, Jobs was gathering information to eventually pursue a deal with Cingular Wireless (now AT&T Mobility). Michael Bell, VP of CPU software, stated that he sent Jobs an email in November 2004 also advocating for an Apple-developed phone.[12][13] Scott Forstall, senior director at the time, said that Jobs was finally motivated after being annoyed by a Microsoft executive who claimed that their Windows tablet and stylus would "rule the world". Jobs then instructed Forstall to put the tablet on hold and redirect the effort towards the phone.[14][15]

At least two operating system candidates entered into development in 2004 and many user interfaces were prototyped, ranging from Multi-touch to variations of the Click Wheel interface. Jon Rubinstein led development on a lightweight Linux-based version (referred to as "Acorn") while Avie Tevanian and Scott Forstall worked to create a streamlined version of Mac OS X (codenamed "Purple") to run on the ARM chipset.[16][17] "Purple" was chosen in reference to other project codenames based on color.[18] Forstall stated that only engineers from within the company were permitted to be recruited for the project. Secrecy was so guarded that they were not told what they would be working on.[19] The team secured a building which was nicknamed the "Purple Dorm" with a Fight Club poster on the front door.[18] UI concepts were mocked up in Macromedia Director before being ported to run on prototype ARM hardware. Though Tony Fadell communicated that the Linux-based version may be a waste of time, CEO Steve Jobs insisted on prototyping all options for evaluation.[16] Two of the hardware prototypes that were assembled were identified as "P1" and "P2". P1 was based on the "Acorn OS" that used a software implementation of the Click Wheel on the touch screen; P2 used a simplified version of Mac OS X with touch-based buttons. Though the OS X version was limited and took longer to boot, it was selected for final development to become the first iPhone OS.[20][21]

After Steve Jobs announced the first iPhone on January 9, 2007, he complained to VP of operations Jeff Williams about the scratches that had already developed on the plastic screen of the prototype and said, "We need glass." Two days later, Corning CEO Wendell Weeks contacted Williams to tell him: "Hey, your boss called and said my glass sucks." Apple and Corning then scrambled to develop a manufacturing process for a new type of chemically strengthened glass that Corning had been researching. By late June, the iPhones began shipping with the glass screens which later became known as Gorilla Glass.[22]


Main article: List of iPhone models

There are seventeen generations of iPhone models, each accompanied by a major release of iOS (formerly known as iPhone OS) and a new Apple processor.


The 1st-generation iPhone


Released on June 29, 2007 with much fanfare, the first iPhone was a GSM model that established design precedents like screen size and button placement that have persisted through many models until the iPhone 5.

iPhone 3G


Views of the iPhone 3G

Announced on June 9, 2008, the iPhone 3G added 3G cellular network capabilities and A-GPS (Assisted GPS) location.

iPhone 3GS

The iPhone 3GS was announced on June 8, 2009 and used the same case designs, but added a faster processor, compass, and higher resolution camera, including video recording at 480p.

IPhone 4 Mock No Shadow PSD

The iPhone 4

iPhone 4

The iPhone 4 featured a higher-resolution 960x640 Retina display, improved rear facing camera (720p video) and introduced a front facing camera (at a lower VGA resolution) for FaceTime video calling and for use in other apps like Skype. The iPhone 4 was released on June 24, 2010. In the U.S., AT&T was the only authorized carrier until February 10, 2011, when a CDMA version of the iPhone 4 launched for Verizon.

iPhone 4s

Iphone siri header

Siri on iPhone 4s

On October 4, 2011, Apple announced the iPhone 4s. The iPhone 4s added a higher resolution camera (8 megapixel) with 1080p video recording, Main articles: detection, video stabilization, a faster, dual core A5 processor, multi-standard wireless support (allowing a single handset to operate on networks based on both GSM/UMTS and CDMA technologies), GLONASS support, Bluetooth 4.0 and a natural language voice control system called Siri. It was available in 16 GB, 32 GB, and 64 GB capacity options. In the United States, it was announced that two carriers, C Spire and Sprint, would begin carrying the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4s on October and November 2011, respectively.[23]

IPhone 5 (slate)

iPhone 5 in Slate Black

iPhone 5

The iPhone 5 was introduced on September 12, 2012, and released on September 21. The iPhone 5 features a dual-core A6 processor with 1GB of RAM, a new 4-inch Retina Display, a new digital connector known as a Lightning connector. It is slightly larger than the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4s.

iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c


iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c

Main articles: iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S

On September 10, 2013, Apple announced the iPhone 5C and 5S. The iPhone 5C sported five colors, white, pink, yellow, blue, and green, and featured iOS 7, which introduced a new flatter design. This iPhone was the first to be made with a plastic exterior since the iPhone 3GS.

The iPhone 5S introduced Touch ID, a fingerprint scanner to secure your iPhone. The camera has been improved by replacing the LED flash with True Tone Flash, a dual-tone flash that chooses between white and amber, to give you the perfect photo. These two iPhones were the first to include new color options. The iPhone 5S also came with a gold color option.

IPhone 6

The iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus

Main articles: iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus

On September 9, 2014, Apple announced the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. They came with iOS 8. These models had increased the screen size to 4.7 and 5.5 inches, respectively. The iPhone 6 Plus is the first plus sized iPhone and it has an HD 1080p display with a resolution of 1920x1080. On the other hand, the iPhone 6 display resolution is 1334x750. Other improvements included a higher resolution main camera, NFC, and 802.11ac Wi-Fi. The iPhone 6 is the best selling iPhone model with over 220 million units sold in total.

iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus

Main articles: iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus
IPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus

The IPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus

On September 9, 2015, Apple announced the iPhone 6S and the larger iPhone 6S Plus. These models introduced 3D Touch, which displays different options depending on how much pressure is placed upon the screen. Other improvements included Live Photos, a 4K video camera and 12MP digital camera, "Retina Flash" which flashes the screen during a self portrait, and a new "Rose Gold" color option. The iPhone 6s also has an improved second generation Touch ID. The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus came with iOS 9, a new version of the mobile OS which features improved performance and the capabilities to handle 3D touch. This is the longest supported iPhone model as it can be updated all the way to iOS 15.

iPhone SE (1st generation)

Main articles: iPhone SE (1st generation)


The iPhone SE

Apple first revealed the first generation iPhone SE on March 21, 2016 in the "let us loop you in" keynote at Cupertino, California. They released it ten days later on March 31, 2016. This model is based on the design of the small iPhone 5S, but with newer components, such as the Apple A9 processor and a 12MP camera, which also functions as a 4K video camera. It featured the most advanced iOS of the time, which is was iOS 9. The LTE with the Wi-Fi is much faster. The available colors were Rose gold, Gold, Space Gray, and Silver. Faster than the previous iPhones and less expensive too. This is a very unique model, also it works better. It also features Retina Flash.

iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus

IPhone 7

The iPhone 7

Main articles: iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus

The iPhone 7 was announced by Apple on September 7, 2016. The new features are a Wide Color gamut but same resolution display like the last model, addition of the Matte Black and the Jet Black color, a 2 high performance cores with 2 ultra efficient cores, higher aperture cameras and iPhone 7 Plus with 2 cameras, and the same 3D touch as the predecessor model. This model eliminated the 3.5mm headphone jack on the iPhone and the models that came after it. This was controversial as millions of iPhone users use the headphone jack and now require to get an adapter, or buy the expensive AirPods. It also featured a home button with the taptic sensor that is found on the newest MacBook and MacBook Pro replacing the mechanical home button. However, this home button has a software pairing lock that refuses 3rd party replacement which rendered it useless after a replacement. This was criticised as an anti-repair practise since only Apple themselves can fix this issue.

IPhone 8 front

The iPhone 8

iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus

Main articles: iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus

Announced alongside the iPhone X on September 12, 2017 and scheduled to be released on September 22, the iPhone 8 included a new Apple A11 processor, a glass body that is water and dust-resistant and enables wireless charging, louder speakers, a new Retina HD display with True Tone technology, a 12MP camera with a more advanced sensor and new color filter and optical image stabilization. The iPhone 8 Plus has an exclusive "Portrait Mode" lighting system. It comes installed with iOS 11.[24][25] The iPhone 8 has the same capacitive home button like the iPhone 7, it also has the same software pairing lock.

IPhone X front

The iPhone X

iPhone X

The iPhone X was announced alongside the iPhone 8 on September 12, 2017, with a scheduled release date of November 3, 2017. It has a 5.8-inch edge-to-edge Super Retina OLED display, Apple A11 Bionic processor, facial recognition technology dubbed "Face ID", animated emoji (Animoji), and no home button. It also includes the wireless charging, glass body, and Portrait Mode from the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, and comes installed with iOS 11.[26][27]

iPhone XR, iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max

Main articles: iPhone XR, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max

The iPhone XR, XS, and XS Max were all based around the Apple A12 Bionic processor. The XR utilized a slightly larger Liquid Retina display, which used a more conventional panel than OLED, but shaped to resemble the edge-to-edge display of the iPhone X, and single-lens camera to reduce its cost to customers.[28] The iPhone XS used the same OLED panel as the iPhone X, but included a larger camera and upgraded the 2x2 MIMO antenna to 4x4, improving 4G bandwidth. The XS Max included these improvements with an even larger OLED display.[29]

iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max

Main articles: iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max

The iPhone 11 introduced the Apple A13 Bionic processor a larger square-like "camera bump" to accommodate larger rear-facing camera systems. The base model 11 carried over the cheaper Liquid Retina display of the iPhone XR, but sported dual cameras. The iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max were the first to feature a triple camera system, while carrying while carrying over the OLED panels of the iPhone XS and XS Max.[30]

iPhone SE (2nd generation)

The 2nd-generation iPhone SE featured the design of the iPhone 8 with the same rear-facing camera, but with the A13 processor of the iPhone 11.

iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max

Main articles: iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max

The iPhone 12 series was the first offer a mini model with OLED displays throughout the entire lineup. It also introduced the Apple A14 Bionic processor, and Ceramic Shield to improve the durability of the phones. The casing featured flattened sides in aluminum for the standard models and stainless steel for the Pro models.

iPhone 13, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max

Main articles: iPhone 13, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max

The iPhone 13 series incorporated the faster Apple A15 Bionic processor and upgraded camera systems, with larger lens, cinematic mode, photographic styles, and a smaller front-facing notch. The Pro models introduced ProMotion displays with refresh rates of up to 120Hz, support for ProRes video, and an option of up to 1 TB of storage.

iPhone SE (3rd generation)

The 3rd-generation iPhone SE features the A15 processor and 5G support in the same external form factor as the iPhone 8 / 2nd-generation SE, but with stronger glass also used on the back of the iPhone 13 series. It uses the same 12 megapixel rear camera as the previous model, but the A15 processor improves image computation support. It is also the last iPhone model to still use Touch ID.[31]

iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max

Main articles: iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max

The iPhone 14 and 14 Pro lineup introduces Crash Detection and Emergency SOS via Satellite. The iPhone 14 and 14 Plus introduces a new, larger 6.7-inch size option, which replaces the mini size, in which it also adds the higher speed A15 Bionic chip. The iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max introduces the Dynamic Island and an Always-On Display, as well as a brand new 48-megapixel wide camera sensor.

iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max

Main articles: iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max



  1. Honan, Mathew (January 9, 2007). Apple unveils iPhone. Macworld. Retrieved on April 6, 2008.
  2. Apple Inc.. iPhone – Learn about apps available on the App Store. Apple. Retrieved on November 11, 2010.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Apple's Phone: From 1980s' Sketches to iPhone. Part 1 by Eldar Murtazin, Mobile-Review. 2010-06-16.
  4. Mark Johnson (2012-04-19). Siemens NotePhone. My Apple Newton.
  5. CTIA Presents the First Annual APPY Awards for Best Wireless Applications, Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association. 1996-10-08. Archived 2007-12-30.
  6. Obscureware, Computerworld. 1996-08-09.
  7. Review: Digital Ocean Seahorse, InfoWorld. 1997-03-24.
  8. Apple's Phone: From 1980s' Sketches to iPhone. Part 3 by Eldar Murtazin, Mobile-Review. 2010-06-20.
  9. "Project Purple" and the pre-history of the iPhone by Rene Ritchie, iMore. 2012-08-04.
  10. Revealed: iPad prototype from 2002 that Steve Jobs denied existed by Charles Arthur, The Guardian. 2012-07-19.
  11. Apple's Phone: From 1980s' Sketches to iPhone. Part 2 by Eldar Murtazin, Mobile-Review. 2010-06-17.
  12. The secret origin story of the iPhone by Brian Merchant, The Verge. 2017-06-13.
  13. Apple book season: tidbits from Dogfight as unofficial Jony Ive biography goes on sale by Mark Gurman, 9to5Mac. 2012-11-14.
  14. Steve Jobs was driven to create iPhone by obnoxious Microsoft guy with stylus by Liam Tung, ZDNet. 2017-06-22.
  15. Apple began "Project Purple" because Steve Jobs hated Microsoft exec, says Scott Forstall by Mikey Campbell, AppleInsider. 2017-06-21.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Tony Fadell tells us the story of the iPod-based iPhone prototype by Nilay Patel, The Verge. 2017-01-11.
  17. 4 Real Secrets We've Learned So Far About Apple by Dan Rowinski, ReadWriteWeb. 2012-08. Archived 2012-08-08.
  18. 18.0 18.1 Scott Forstall testifies: live from the Apple v. Samsung courtroom by Bryan Bishop, The Verge.2012-08-03.
  19. Project Purple: Scott Forstall Tells All About the iPhone's Creation by Eric Limer, Gizmodo. 2012-08-03.
  20. Watch Apple's early, ugly iOS prototype in action by Rich McCormick, The Verge. 2017-01-11.
  21. The Creation of the Original iPhone — Untold story by Harrison Harman, Futurology2, Medium. 2020-09-12.
  22. What happened to the original iPhone’s plastic screen? by Thomas Ricker, The Verge. 2019-07-09.
  23. David Goldman (October 19, 2011). Tiny regional carrier C Spire lands iPhone 4S. CNN. Retrieved on 18 October 2011.
  28. iPhone XR Features a ‘Liquid Retina Display’ – But What Is It Anyway? by Weston Wing-Girot, iDropNews. 2018-10-11.
  29. LTE speed tests show the iPhone XS dominates the iPhone X by Chris Mills, Boy Genius Review. 2018-10-02.
  30. 5 Things Apple Just Introduced, Including the iPhone 11 Pro (That Camera Bump Is Worth It) by Jason Aten, Inc. 2019-09-10.
  31. Apple announces the new iPhone SE: a powerful smartphone in an iconic design, Apple Inc. 2022-03-08.

External links


iPhone (models)
iPhone 1 | 3G | 3GS | 4 | 4S | 5 | 5C · 5S | 6 · 6 Plus | 6S · 6S Plus | SE (1st)
7 · 7 Plus | 8 · 8 Plus | X | XR · XS · XS Max | 11 · 11 Pro · 11 Pro Max | SE (2nd)
12 · 12 mini · 12 Pro · 12 Pro Max | 13 · 13 mini · 13 Pro · 13 Pro Max | SE (3rd)
14 · 14 Plus · 14 Pro · 14 Pro Max | 15