14 years of the iPhone: A look at how Apple's smartphones evolved

It has been 14 years since former Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced the launch of the iPhone. Here is how the journey has been so far.

14 years of the iPhone: A look at how Apple's smartphones evolved

Sunday January 10, 2021,

4 min Read

On January 9, 2007, at MacWorld, Apple's Steve Jobs announced something that would change mobile communications forever — the iPhone. And it has been 14 years since then. 

Launched in June that year, the device sold over 1.4 million units by November. Time Magazine named it the invention of the year. And there has been no looking back since.

The project that eventually led to the development of the iPhone began when Steve Jobs asked a team of engineers to investigate the use of touchscreen devices. He believed that PCs and traditional PDAs weren’t the best options for Apple to enter high-demand markets. 

His envisioned cell phones to be key to access information and believed that mobile phones needed a great synchronisation software.

Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak; two entrepreneurs who started from a garage.

Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak; two entrepreneurs who started from a garage.

Here is a quick timeline of the iPhone 

  • January 9, 2007 - Steve Jobs announces the launch of the iPhone 
  • June 29, 2007- The iPhone launches in the US market 
  • July 11, 2008 - Launch of the iPhone 3G, loaded with the App Store 
  • June 19, 2009- Launch of iPhone 3GS with a voice controller Siri 
  • June 24, 2010- Launch of iPhone 4, the first one to have a front-facing camera
  • October 14, 2011 - Launch of iPhone 4S, which sold four million units in the first week 
  • September 21, 2012 - iPhone 5 launches, with a 4-inch display and LTE connectivity 
  • September 20, 2013 - Launch of iPhone 5S and 5C. While the 5C was Apple's first attempt at an affordable version of the premium device, 5S featured a touch ID 
  • September 19, 2014 - Launch of iPhone 6 and 6Plus with larger screens; sold over 10 million units 
  • September 19, 2015 - Launch of iPhone 6s and 6s Plus with a complete internal upgrade, cameras of 12 Mp, memory of 2GB, 3D Touch was introduced
  • March 31, 2016 - The iPhone SE launches as a more compact and affordable option 
  • September 16, 2016 - iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus launch. The lowest available version has a storage of 32 GB storage (moving away from 16 GB phones). Both devices feature new dual cameras, and Apple removes the headphone jack
  • September 22, 2017 - iPhone 8 and 8 Plus launch, introduced wireless charging, and upgraded camera with editing tools 
  • November 3, 2017 - iPhone X with a completely new look. This device was all about the front-facing camera and the portrait mode
  • September 21, 2018 - iPhone XS and XS max launch with the A12 Bionic chip, which increased the processing power and decreased the battery drain of the device
  • October 26, 2018 - The iPhone XR- launches, with many more colour options than the XS or XS Max
  • September 20, 2019 - The iPhone 11 and the 11 Pro launch. The iPhone 11 is the affordable device this time. The device features a 6.1-inch Liquid Retina display
  • April 24, 2020 - iPhone SE (Second generation) launches. The device may have taken a few cues from the past, but it has an advance camera system, wireless charging capability, the A13 bionic chip, and a long battery life.
  • November 13, 2020 - iPhone 12 mini launches. A small but powerful device, this phone has a Super Retina XDR OLED display and a host of camera upgrades
  • October 23, 2020 - Apple announces the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro. The iPhone 12 has a 17-hour video playback compared to the iPhone 12 mini's 15 hours. iPhone 12 Pro had camera and colour upgrade 
  • November 13, 2020 - iPhone Pro max - 87 percent improvement on the way it functions in low light over the iPhone 11 models and features 5x zoom.

Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta