The iPhone exists 15 years: the most striking models in a row

On June 29, 2007, Apple launched the iPhone 2G: the very first iPhone. Between 2008 and 2022, Apple released 33 other iPhones. In this article we list the most striking and radical models for you.

15 years of iPhone: where it all started

Every Apple enthusiast will remember the moment when Steve Jobs announced the iPhone in 2007. “An iPod, a phone, and an internet communicator” are words we will never forget – and many others with us. The iPhone 2G was therefore a huge hype. You couldn’t open a newspaper or visit a website without coming across the smartphone.

15 years later, the iPhone is still incredibly popular. There are currently more than a billion active iPhones in circulation. That means roughly one-eighth of the world’s population uses an Apple phone. How did the smartphone actually make it this far?

1. iPhone 2G: the first iPhone ever

Apple’s smartphone success started 15 years ago with the iPhone 2G. It was one of the first smartphones with a ‘large’ touch screen of 3.5 inches (yes, that was big at the time) and a software keyboard. Most smartphones of that time had physical keyboards – just think of the BlackBerry, which was also a success a few years after the first iPhone.

The iPhone’s LCD screen was Apple’s first multi-touch touchscreen. Prototypes of the device – like many other smartphones from that time – had a plastic screen, but Steve Jobs thought that was too scratch-sensitive. That’s why Apple released the iPhone 2G with a glass display. At the bottom of the screen we found the iconic home button, which still lives on on the iPhone SE 2022.

Below is a video showing some prototypes of the iPhone 2G:

Of course, the specifications of the iPhone 2G were nothing to write home about. The chip was extremely slow, the software was limited and the device did not yet have an App Store. Yet many aspects of the very first iPhone can still be found in the iPhone you are currently using.

2. iPhone 4: glass, steel and an angular design

fast forward to 2010: the year of the iPhone 4. This iPhone set a new standard for the smartphone in many ways. Gone was the glossy plastic of previous iPhones – the iPhone 4 had a glass design on both sides and a matte stainless steel bezel. This rim was finished with diamond cut details and beautiful buttons. A timeless design that will still be impressive even in 2022.

iPhone 4

The screen also received a huge update. The iPhone 4 was the first Apple device with a so-called Retina display. The resolution was four times that of the iPhone 3GS, 3G and 2G. As a result, you could hardly see any pixels with the naked eye. The iPhone 4 also got a selfie camera (although the ‘selfie’ data did not yet exist at the time) with which users could FaceTime.

The design of the iPhone 4 is similar in many ways to that of the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro, which share the same flat, angular sides. Bee iPhoned we’re big fans of industrial design and we owe it all to the iPhone 4. Of course we wrote a review about the iPhone 4 in 2010 already. Very funny to read in 2022, if we do say so ourselves.

3. iPhone 5S: Welcome, Touch ID

You may not be able to imagine it, but before the iPhone 5S existed, you entered a code every time you unlock your phone. Touch ID offered the solution for this: your own fingerprint. From then on, this served as a password; you could use it to unlock your iPhone, install apps and much more.

While Touch ID on the iPhone 5S was still relatively slow, it almost always worked—unless you had wet fingers. There was actually very little to criticize about the iPhone 5S. The device offered the most complete iPhone experience at the time and also became one of the longest-supported iPhones in history. The device received no less than 6 years of new iOS versions; from iOS 7 to iOS 12.

Touch ID

4. iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus: Big screens for a bigger audience

In Android land, smartphones have been a lot bigger than the iPhone for years. The need for large screens grew as social media, games and videos became a lot more popular. Apple couldn’t hold back any longer, announcing the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in 2014; the first really big iPhones. The iPhone 6 was still somewhat modest with its 4.7-inch screen, but the 6 Plus with its 5.5-inch screen was a huge device – even bigger than many Android competitors.

iPhone 6

Apple users seemed to crave the larger screens, as the iPhone 6 remains the best-selling iPhone ever to this day, with 222.4 million units. This makes it not only the best-selling iPhone, but also the best-selling smartphone in history. For a touch of nostalgia, read our iPhone 6 review from 2014.

5. iPhone X: A New Direction for Apple

The iPhone has looked the same in appearance for years. That changed drastically with the arrival of the iPhone X. The device made short work of the beloved home button, because the screen extended all the way to the edge. Apple only left a recess at the top of the screen for the selfie camera, speaker and a number of sensors. This so-called notch can also be found on the most recent iPhones.

Unfortunately, because the home button disappeared, we had to say goodbye to Touch ID. This is where Face ID came in. Fortunately, this worked just as well – and in some situations, even better. Bee iPhoned we secretly hope to see Touch ID again someday, perhaps in the form of a fingerprint scanner under the screen.

Also read: Review update: you shouldn’t want the iPhone X in 2022

iPhone X

The future of the iPhone

Apple’s iPhone undergoes a major metamorphosis every year. We expect that the iPhone 14 Pro no longer has a notch, but small holes in the screen. This gives the device a completely different look. According to several rumors, Apple is working on a foldable iPhone and all kinds of technical gadgets, which will once again lift the smartphone to an unprecedented height. We are curious to see how the iPhone will change in the next 15 years.

Also read: These are the four features that the iPhone 14 will get

Do you also want to stay informed of the latest iPhone news for the next 15 years? Please sign up for our daily/weekly newsletter, download the free iphoned app and keep an eye on the site.

  • The iPhone exists 15 years: the most striking models in a row

  • ‘Future AirPods will get lossless audio via bluetooth’ – and that’s nice

  • ‘iPad Pro and MacBook Air won’t get OLED screens until 2024’

  • Opinion: Apple’s WWDC 2022 announcements feel a bit thin

  • Apple announces MacBook Air 2022: here you can read everything about the laptop

Recent Articles

Related Stories

Stay on op - Ge the daily news in your inbox