Apple’s iPhone: 10 Years of Product Launches Leading Up to iPhone X

A decade ago, Steve Jobs held up the first iPhone on stage at the Macworld conference. Since then, the company has built a multibillion-dollar empire with an annual succession of shiny new smartphone models — hyped with superlatives — to keep iPhone devotees on a continuous cycle of coveting the latest and greatest upgrade.

Apple is expected to unveil the latest in the flagship line, the iPhone X, on Tuesday, Sept. 12. Here’s a look back at the evolution of the product that transformed Apple into the biggest tech company in the world.

January 2007: Apple described the very first iPhone as melding three products in one: a phone, an iPod, and an internet-communications device. Quaintly, it boasted of its “stunning 3.5-inch widescreen display.” “iPhone is a revolutionary and magical product that is literally five years ahead of any other mobile phone,” Jobs said at time. Price: $499 (4 GB model), $599 (8 GB model).

June 2008, iPhone 3G: Just a year after shipping the first one, Apple launched a second-gen model that was twice as fast and had double the storage — for half the price. Price: $199 (8 GB), $299 (16 GB) with two-year AT&T contract.

June 2009, iPhone 3GS: Billed as twice as fast as the iPhone 3G, with longer battery life, a 3-megapixel camera and more. Apple sold more than 1 million the first weekend it went on sale. The 3GS again doubled capacity for the same price as the prior-generation model. Price: $199 (16 GB), $299 (32 GB) with two-year AT&T contract.

A customer displays an Apple iPhone 3GS at an Apple store in Palo Alto, Calif. Apple on said it is buying the mobile advertising company Quattro Wireless. It's a bet on the future of cell phone ads and steps up competition with rival Silicon Valley powerhouse Google Apple Quattro Wireless, Palo Alto, USA

July 2009: App Store exceeds 1.5 billion downloads in first year; Apple touts 65,000+ apps from 100,000+ developers.

June 2010, iPhone 4: The model that introduced FaceTime, the fourth-generation iPhone was much thinner (at 9.3 millimeters) and included a 5-megapixel camera and HD video recording. After users complained of reception issues, Apple blamed the problem on an error in how it calculated signal strength and issued a software update. The white iPhone 4 was delayed until April 2011. Price: $199 (16 GB), $299 (32 GB) with two-year AT&T contract

February 2011: iPhone 4 becomes available on Verizon Wireless.

August 2011: Jobs steps down as CEO; Tim Cook, formerly Apple’s COO, is named new chief executive.

October 2011, iPhone 4S: Hyped as “the most amazing iPhone yet,” it’s the model that introduced the Siri voice assistant and iCloud. Price: $199 (16 GB), $299 (32 GB), $399 (64 GB) with two-year wireless contract.

September 2012, iPhone 5: The model featured a 4-inch display and skinnied down to a thickness of 7.6 millimeters. The 5 also introduced the Lightning connector instead of the 32-pin dongle, and had an 8-megapixel camera. Apple sold over 5 million iPhone 5 units the first weekend. Price: Same as iPhone 4S.

September 2013, iPhone 5s and 5c: The 5s introduced the Touch ID fingerprint scanner — which the iPhone X reportedly will not include — and came in gold, silver or space gray. The 5c cheaper multicolored line was available in five colors: blue, green, pink, yellow and white. Price: 5s — $199 (16 GB), $299 (32 GB), $399 (64 GB); 5c — $99 (16 GB), $199 (32 GB) with qualifying wireless contract.

Mila Thomas Sales associate Mila Thomas adjusts a display of phones during the opening day of sales of the new iPhone 5s and iPhone 5C in Richmond, Va iPhone Sales, Richmond, USA

September 2014, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus: The sixth generation featured bigger screens, at 4.7 inches with 1 million+ pixels for the baseline model, and a 5.5-inch, 2 million+ pixel displays for the 6 Plus. Apple sold more than 10 million of the devices (Cook: “the biggest advancements in iPhone history”) over the first weekend. The company also launched Apple Pay. Price: 6 — $199 (16 GB), $299 (64 GB), $399 (128 GB); 6 Plus — $299 (16 GB), $399 (64 GB), $499 (128 GB) with qualifying two-year wireless contract.

September 2015, iPhone 6s and 6s Plus: Same screen sizes as the prior year’s models, while adding a new “3D Touch” feature to let users “peek” at items like an email message using fingertip pressure, and a 12-megapixel camera capable of capturing 4K Ultra HD video. Pricing: Same as iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. 

March 2016, iPhone SE: Model with a 4-inch screen that has the same 64-bit A9 processor as in the iPhone 6s. Pricing: $399 (16 GB), $499 (64 GB)

July 2016: Apple announces that it has sold 1 billion iPhones to date.

September 2016, iPhone 7 and 7 Plus: Touted as the first water- and dust-resistant iPhone, last year’s models eliminated the standard headphone jack to use Lightning-based headphones or Apple’s new AirPods (wireless earbuds sold separately for $159) which encountered shipping delaysPricing: 7 — $649 (32 GB), $749 (128 GB), $849 (256 GB); 7 Plus: $769 (32 GB), $869 (128 GB), $969 (256 GB)

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission. Mandatory Credit: Photo by Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP/REX/Shutterstock (5893821t) Philip W Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing, talks about the features on the new iPhone 7 during an event to announce new products, in San Francisco Apple unveils new iPhone 7, the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, San Francisco , USA - 07 Sep 2016

June 2017: App Store users have downloaded more than 180 billion apps to date, and Apple says it’s paid more than $70 billion to app developers since 2008.

More Digital

  • FaceApp is displayed on an iPhone,

    SAG-AFTRA Warns Members About FaceApp Terms of Use

    SAG-AFTRA is warning its 160,000 members about the “overreaching and invasive” terms of use for the FaceApp mobile application. FaceApp, developed by Russian company Wireless Lab, uses neural network technology to automatically generate transformations of faces in photographs. The app can be used to make users appear older, younger, or change gender. The terms include [...]

  • J. Cole

    Apple Music Launches 'Rap Life' Playlist

    Apple Music announced the launch of “Rap Life,” a new global playlist focusing on contemporary rap artists and culture. It replaces the former “The A-List: Hip-Hop” playlist. Said Ebro Darden, Apple Music’s Global Editorial Head of Hip-Hop and R&B: “We flipped it to dig deeper into into the lifestyle [and to] keep pushing the culture [...]

  • Billie Eilish

    ARRI, Mobile TV Group Back New Venture Revitalizing Streamed Concerts

    A new venture looking to bring a fresh approach to live-streaming concerts has gotten the backing of hardware heavyweights ARRI and Mobile TV Group. Wide+Close is launching with the mandate of shooting music performances with film cameras and cinematographers in order to give the content a more cinematic feel. “We want to take concert filming [...]

  • Fortnite Battle Royale

    How 'Fortnite' Fans Can Earn Loot by Watching YouTube Videos

    Epic Games and YouTube have teamed up with a special offer for “Fortnite” players — giving players of the popular battle-royale game rewards when they watch “Fortnite”-premiered content on the video platform. The catch: You have to watch at least 20 minutes of “Fortnite” special content or live esports broadcasts to receive the loot. Under [...]

  • Roku headquarters

    Roku Plans to Expand to Brazil, Other Countries (EXCLUSIVE)

    Roku plans to expand to multiple new territories in the coming months, Variety has learned. One of the first new markets for the company will likely be Brazil. An international expansion could help Roku grow its customer base, which in turn should lead to growing advertising revenues. Roku executives have been hinting at plans to [...]

  • Google Stadia Pro to Include 1

    Google’s Stadia Game Streaming Service to Include Free Monthly Game

    Google has been busy sharing additional details about its upcoming game streaming service Stadia, clearing up some confusion in the process. Stadia’s pro subscription tier, which will cost $10 per month, won’t be a Netflix-type subscription service. However, subscribers will get free games at the rate of about a title per month. That’s according to [...]

  • Crypt-TV-Facebook

    Facebook Signs Deal With Crypt TV for Slate of Five Horror Series

    Crypt TV, the digital studio founded by Eli Roth and Jack Davis and backed by Jason Blum, expanded its deal with Facebook, inking a content partnership to create a slate of five horror and monster-themed series exclusively for Facebook Watch. For Facebook Watch, it’s one of the first deals for a full slate of content [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content