The Timeline of Apple iPhone Launches

  • The First Generation iPhone

    The First Generation iPhone
    It's difficult to overstate the impact the iPhone has had on the smartphone market: by eschewing the keypad for a touchscreen and adding advanced computer-like capabilities that hadn't been seen before, it set the standard for this modern device. "Apple is going to reinvent the phone," said Steve Jobs at the time, and he was right - but the original iPhone had no third-party apps, no GPS and no video recording.
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  • iPhone 3G

    iPhone 3G
    Also missing from the original iPhone was 3G support, the top data speed of the time, though this was added to the second generation the following year (along with GPS). The first iPhone had been warmly received but by the 3G model people were really starting to see its long-term potential - and the concurrent launch of the App Store was a huge part of that, a true watershed moment in smartphone history.
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  • iPhone 3GS

    iPhone 3GS
    And so began the Apple tradition of adding an 'S' to the end of the name for a minor iPhone upgrade. The 2009 model of the iPhone did bring with it video recording capabilities for the first time, and the camera itself got an upgrade too. The "S" ostensibly stood for speed and reflected the improvements in the internal components, and Voice Control (not yet called Siri) was added to the iPhone too.
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  • iPhone 4

    iPhone 4
    If the iPhone 3GS was a smaller step forward, the iPhone 4 was a big one - it had a new, sleeker, more modern look, and massively increased the pixel count while keeping the same 3.5-inch display size (this was the first Retina display). It was the first iPhone with a front-facing camera, the first iPhone with some level of multitasking, and one of the most significant iPhones Apple has ever made. Link text
  • iPhone 4s

    iPhone 4s
    Apple swung back to the minor "S" upgrade for 2011's iPhone 4S, so there's not too much to write home about in terms of new specs and new features. The camera did get an upgrade up to 8 megapixels and perhaps the biggest improvement on the software side (we're up to iOS 5.0 now) was the arrival of Siri, the digital assistant that now plays such a major role on the iPhone.
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  • iPhone 5

    iPhone 5
    True to the earlier pattern set down by previous generations, the iPhone 5 was a major upgrade. It added an extra row of icons with an extra-tall screen (remember that?), introduced the Lightning connector and had a lighter, aluminium casing. It really did usher in the modern iPhone era. On the iOS side, we got our first look at a rather buggy Apple Maps, taking over from Google Maps as the default option.
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  • iPhone 5c

    iPhone 5c
    In 2013 Apple decided to start releasing not one but two iPhones every September. The iPhone 5C was very much a rebadged iPhone 5 with a few cosmetic changes, giving iPhone buyers an option that was cheaper but still brand new for the first time. iOS 7 was launched at the same time, bringing true multitasking for apps and introducing the Control Centre for more convenient access to the iPhone's settings.
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  • iPhone 5s

    iPhone 5s
    The iPhone 5S was the flagship model for 2013, with a revamped design and a little feature called Touch ID introduced to the iPhone line-up for the first time. Another first was the 64-bit A7 processor inside the phone, an architecture change that other manufacturers have since followed. iOS 7 had a visual overhaul as well, introducing the bright icons and translucent menus that are still in place today.
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  • iPhone 6 & iPhone 6 Plus

    iPhone 6 & iPhone 6 Plus
    We're back up to date with the iPhone 6 Apple launched last year and the one still currently on sale as the flagship. As well as another design revamp, the iPhone 6 extended the display size to 4.7 inches and added in more pixels to boot. Also worth noting is the introduction of NFC for Apple Pay and other services, plus a significant upgrade for the camera, giving better photo and video results than ever before.
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  • iPhone 6s

    iPhone 6s
    The iPhone 6S is almost identical to 2014's iPhone 6, to the point that we could barely tell the difference between the two in the hand, with a little extra thickness and weight to give you the clue that you're holding a next-gem phone in your hand. But while the outside is identical, the stuff that Cook's Crew crammed inside is a change - hence Apple's decision to give this phone the tagline: 'The Only Thing That's Changed Is Everything'.
  • iPhone SE

    iPhone SE
    This one was a bit of a surprise. We'd expected a smaller iPhone with a lower price tag, but we didn't expect it to look like the iPhone 5 but with completely whizz-bang up-to-date innards. In our iPhone SE review we said "you won't buy this phone - but you will tell someone else to". Compared with its bigger screened bretheren it represented genuine value for money - although not compared to the huge number of Android alternatives of course.
  • iPhone 7 & iPhone 7 Plus

    iPhone 7 & iPhone 7 Plus
    The iPhone 7 was what we expected - one of the best phones of the year and a strong match for the rival Galaxy S7 almost punch for punch. It was priced at a premium level - though Apple still sold bucketloads of course. Make sure you check out T3's full iPhone 7 review to see what we thought at the time.
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  • iPhone 8 & iPhone 8 Plus

    iPhone 8 & iPhone 8 Plus
    Apple skipped an “S” version of the iPhone 7 and moved right along to the iPhone 8 in September 2017, as upgrades of the iPhone 7 versions, there were several significant changes including:
    A glass back on the phone replaced the aluminum shell of the older models which allowed for wireless charging.
    True Tone screen technology that rendered more accurate colors by automatically adjusting to a room’s lighting.
    The A11 bionic processor – a six-core chip that was 25 percent faster than the A10.
  • iPhone X

    iPhone X
    Was the iPhone X the best phone of 2017? Yes. But only by a whisker. The Galaxy Note 8 was so close, while Apple’s own iPhone 8 Plus gave you so much of the iPhone X benefit without such super expense. In the end though, it was the marriage of software and hardware that’s so effective here and that’s especially the case when it comes to Face ID.
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  • iPhone XR

    iPhone XR
    iPhone XR (stylized as iPhone Xr, Roman numeral "X" pronounced "ten") is a smartphone designed and manufactured by Apple, Inc. It is the twelfth generation of the iPhone. It was announced by Phil Schiller on September 12, 2018, at Steve Jobs Theater in the Apple Park campus, alongside the higher-priced iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. Pre-orders began on October 19, 2018, with an official release on October 26, 2018.
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  • iPhone XS

    iPhone XS
    iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max (stylized as iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max, Roman numeral "X" pronounced "ten") are smartphones designed, developed and marketed by Apple Inc. They are the twelfth-generation flagships of the iPhone, succeeding the iPhone X.
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