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We've Had iPhones For A Decade And It's Time To Celebrate With A Timeline

We've Had iPhones For A Decade And It's Time To Celebrate With A Timeline
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Updated 7 months ago

It's been a decade since Apple released the iPhone, a smartphone that changed the way we use mobile phones forever.

And although the concept of a glass-screened tablet with a glowing screen hasn't seemingly changed that much over the years, the features on the phones have changed immensely.

And the best way to see that is to look at the iPhones that've come out through the years.

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Touting a huge (for the time) 3.5 inch touchscreen, this is the grandaddy, the one that started it all. Die hard phone fans blasted the iPhone as being overpriced; it was $600 for the 8GB model on contract with ATT, and $500 for 4GB model when they debuted (the price was later brought down to $200 on contract). It had a recessed 3.5mm headphone jack which meant you couldn't use just any headphones with it depending on your plug design. 

You couldn't send picture messages (only emails) and it lacked 3G - something that was unforgivable at the time, considering even some flip phones had 3G. It did rock a beautiful aluminum design, however. Oh and video recording? Yeah that was a no-no. And the app store was an afterthought at the time. It also had horrendous battery life.

The design took a hit - the back was made out of shiny black plastic instead of aluminum, but at least the phone was given 3G which made web browsing outside of WiFi networks a possibility. They fixed the recessed headphone jack and the battery was a little better. 

Still the same 2mp camera and still no ability to send picture messages, however. The 4GB model was discontinued, as well, and 8GB became the standard. It also debuted at the same $200 subsidized price.

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This came with a slew of software updates that officially allowed video recording and picture messaging. It also came packed with a 3.2mp camera that was capable of taking some pretty dope photos, along with some better internals. By this time the app store had become a phenomenon, with users downloading more and more apps than ever before. A white version of the phone came out as well, along with larger storage capacities for the phone.

The slim design resulted in one of the thinnest smartphones in the world, along with the antenna gate. Turns out holding the iPhone 4 like a normal phone resulted in dropped call quality. Apple "remedied" the problem by giving free phone bumpers to users who purchased the 4. By this time, most other smartphone manufacturers were producing phone screens that were a minimum of 4-inches while Apple still held fast to its 3.5 inch screen design, something Steve Jobs argued was what users really wanted. 

The 4 had the same internals at the 3GS, which set a precedent for getting updated internals every other model. The camera got beefed up as well and the "retina display" touted a screen with a pixel density that was the highest amount the human eye could perceive. It was unlike any other phone screen on the market, which was amazing, even if making actual calls on the phone was impossible if you held it the wrong way. 

The iPhone 4 was also the first iPhone with a selfie camera, something that their competitors had done before, but Apple's "FaceTime" campaign made video-calling a more accessible reality for smartphone users. 

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Improved internals, better camera performance (5mp to 8mp sensor), and a fix to the antenna design flaw, the 4s also upped the maximum storage capacity of the iPhone from 32GB to 64GB. It also became the first "4G LTE" iPhone. The 4s was the first phone to debut out of the box with Siri, everyone's favorite voice assistant.

Apple finally bit the bullet and upped the size of their screens after losing market share to competitors who started producing smartphones with displays well over 5-inches, making the previous iPhones look toy-like in comparison. The 5 had a 4-inch display and an even slimmer design. It also received true LTE support with support for more bandwidths all over the world, along with matte two-tone metal/plastic designs. iOS had a slew of updates as well, with a new aesthetic and notifications drawer.

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A fingerprint detector, even more global LTE band support, improved internal processor, and a new gold paint job option made the 5s the last, fast, compact iPhone to come out before the bend-tastic 6.

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Packing the same internals as the iPhone 5s, the 6 upped the screen size of the iPhone in response to consumer demands for bigger and bigger phones, to 4.7 and 5.5 inches with their standard and Plus models. Apple debuted their 128GB storage options with the 6, along with Apple Pay and a bigger battery. Due to the thinness of the aluminum in Apple's iPhone 6 production, the 6 Plus was super prone to getting bent out of shape.

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A 3D touch display, bigger battery, way better processor, and reinforced structural integrity made the 6s a worthy successor to the 6. It also started Apple's Rose Gold trend and bumped the megapixel count on its camera from 8 to 12.

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Apple removed the headphone jack from their phones, a move that irked a lot of users. In the tech giant's defense, they did add IP67 dust and water certification, making it the first waterproof iPhone on the market. It was also offered in red, jet black, and matte black. Apple got rid of the base 16GB iPhone, and only offered it in 32, 64, and 128GB variants.

Of course, there's still some love for the iPhone 5c and SE, which are basically budget versions of their flagship models, and not as known for their technological advancements. Which has been your favorite so far?

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