The Revolutionary iPhone
The iconic 1st generation iPhone was released on 29 June 2007, and at the time of its launch visionary Steve Jobs declared that “the iPhone is a revolutionary and magical product that is literally five years ahead of any other mobile phone”. In the seven years that followed, Apple has sold over 500million iPhones with the rapid acceleration in sales growth, showing no sign of slowing down.
The month of June is significant in iPhone history, as in addition to the unveiling of many models and release of the 1st generation iPhone, iPhone 3GS was launched on 19 June 2009 and closely followed by the iPhone 4 on 24 June the following year. With the latest models iPhone 5c and 5s released in September 2013, we explore the history of the iPhone and the unprecedented global success that it has achieved.
In January 2007 the iPhone made its first public appearance following the unveiling by Steve Jobs at the Macworld Conference in San Francisco. For the first time, users had access to smartphones that unleashed the power and advanced functionality of a combined mobile phone, iPod and breakthrough internet device in a lightweight handheld pioneering instrument.
As well as quad-band GSM cellular connectivity, the iPhone’s sophisticated touch controls were a major interface development and allowed users to type directly on the 3.5inch screen and control the device with a single touch, offering unrivalled web browser functionality and an innovative rotating screen that switched from portrait to landscape. The iPhone software included Visual Voicemail and threaded text messages with other features such as three way calling. From music and video delivery to its ability to sync with various applications, iPhone gave users unrivalled technology and flexibility, and Apple sold 270,000 in the first two days of sales.
The iPhone 3G was announced on 9 June 2008 and the second generation iPhone included hardware changes with Assisted GPS enabling increased speeds to pinpoint your location, 3G Data and enhanced 3G tri-band UMTS/HSDPA and greater data transfer speeds. Push email and navigation tools were also added with 8GB and 16GB models available in black and white. Pre-loaded with iPhone OS 2.0, this allowed access to the newly launched App Store and Apple’s Mobile Me service, and following the launch of the OS 3.0 software update MMS was also made available. With the launch of the iPhone 3GS, Apple reduced the price of the 3G 8GB Black Model, selling it as a budget option at a cost of just $99. The iPhone 3G’s successor provided improved performance and voice control functionality, as well as a higher resolution, colour rich screen with improved camera and video functionality. With the ‘S’ standing for speed, the 3GS was twice as fast as the 3G model and became Apple’s flagship smartphone until the release of the iPhone 4.
Following a number of widely publicised leaks, Apple first presented the revamped iPhone 4 on the 7 June 2010, with availability of the thinnest smartphone ever from 24 June in the US and UK. Along with the Retina Display technology maximising the amount of detail that the human retina can perceive, Apple’s front-facing camera design was incorporated for the first time together with a 5 megapixel rear-facing camera with tap-to-use technology. Together with iOS 4’s improved multi-tasking functionality, Apple’s FaceTime Video chat application also became available for the first time. The design included an antenna as part of the phone’s stainless steel frame and pre-orders of over 600,000 were received for this latest release in a 24 hour period.
The announcement of the iPhone 4GS was made on the 4 October 2011, the day prior to the sad passing of Steve Jobs. With over 1 million pre-orders made in the first 24 hours, four million units were sold globally during the next four days as the product was rolled out in the US, UK, Canada, Japan and parts of Europe. The 4GS brought us iCloud and iMessage with further improvements made to both the iPhone’s camera and video recording capability. Social integration of Twitter was also incorporated and the iOS 5 operating system introduced SIRI, the intelligent personal assistant which answered questions, performed actions and made recommendations via the natural language user interface. Noted as “the most amazing iPhone yet”, the iPhone 4GS initially came with 8GB, 16GB, 32GB and 64GB storage options.
The iPhone 5 was both lighter and thinner, with a taller screen also part of the aluminium body design that now used the Lightning compact dock connector. Selling at twice the rate of its predecessor in its first 24 hours of pre-order, and twenty times faster thereafter, demand exceeded supply for the iPhone 5 which now included LTE network capability. In addition to further SIRI enhancements, spoken commands allow the user to launch apps and dictate updates for social media, texts are composed using the voice assistant with images and sounds also incorporated into messages. Apple Maps, including verbal turn-by-turn navigation, is included together with Apple’s Passbook app for the easy storage of tickets and coupons as well as boarding passes and store cards, with mobile payment also facilitated.
The iPhone 5c comes in a range of colours including blue, yellow, green, pink and white, and is offered as a mid-range model with a larger 4inch screen and the A6 chip that gives 10 hours browsing, talk time and video playback. With the iPhone 5c comes increased speed and wider coverage with a greater number of networks supported. Together with its new design and the display enhancements of iOS 7, the iPhone 5c also includes the iSight camera app and new FaceTime HD camera.
The striking iPhone 5s is a high-range phone that, together with the iPhone 5c, became available in September 2013. The 5s’ sleek design is offered in three colours – white with gold trim, silver trim and space grey – with a key feature being the fingerprint recognition technology in the form of Touch ID, that offers improved security and faster phone unlocking through the new identity sensor found on the home button. The ability to add the fingerprints of those you trust to access your phone is also available with the sophisticated technology capable of 360 degree readability. The enhanced performance of the iOS 7 update and its A7 dual core processor and M7 coprocessor means increased CPU and GPU speeds double that of the A6 chip, with the iPhone 5s recognised as the world’s first 64-bit smartphone. Apple’s sales records were broken once again as combined sales of the 5s and 5c accelerated to 9 million over a 48 hour period.
With glimpses of the iPhone 6 creating increased anticipation, there is growing speculation as to what Apple will bring us in their next release as revolutionary iPhone phenomena continues.
Thanks to Emma Griffin for the post !