iPhone, a multipurpose handheld computing device combining mobile telephone, digital camera, music player, and personal computing technologies.
Development of what was to become the iPhone began in 2004, when Apple started to gather a team of 1,000 employees led by hardware engineer Tony Fadell, software engineer Scott Forstall and design engineer Sir Jonathan Ive to work on the highly confidential “Project Purple.”
In November 2007—by which point more than 1.4 million iPhones had been sold—Time magazine named the sleek, 4.8-ounce device, originally available in a 4GB, $499 model and an 8GB, $599 model, its invention of the year.
After more than two years of development at Apple Inc., the device was first released in the United States in 2007. The iPhone was subsequently released in Europe in 2007 and Asia in 2008.
The first advertisement for iPhone, titled “Hello”, aired during the 79th Academy Awards on February 25, 2007, on American Broadcasting Company (ABC). On June 4, 2007, Apple released four advertisements announcing that iPhone would be released on June 26, 2007.
On July 1, 2007, it was reported that Apple paid at least US$1 million to Michael Kovatch for the iphone.com domain name, previously owned by Kovatch since 1995. The URL now redirects to Apple’s iPhone page.
A year after the original iPhone debuted, its successor hit the market in the form of the iPhone 3G. The second generation device included several new hardware features like 3G data and GPS, but perhaps most notably, introduced the world to the App Store. Apple’s supply stage allows users to browse and download third-party applications, which as of early 2018 has housed more than 2 million apps.
The first iPhone available on Verizon’s wireless network introduced many transcendent features to the public, all packed into what would be unveiled as iPhone 4.
Apple’s co-founder passed away the day after the announcement of iPhone 4s, though he did oversee the development of iPhone 5, which would eventually hit stores in September 2012.
iPhone 5 was the first Apple phone to launch in September, a trend that would continue through today. But 2 years after the 5 was released, Apple unveiled 2 additional models to the series.
The 6 Plus set the tone for display size as subsequent 7 Plus and 8 Plus models also sport a 5.5” screen, while the traditional 6, 7 and 8 versions have all been 4.7”.
iPhone X became the first Apple phone to usher in OLED screen technology, wireless charging and an edge-to-edge screen display.
Apple built off the previous years’ iPhone X, spawning three new creations: iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR.
The first-ever Apple event at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California introduced the world to 4K Apple TV, Apple Watch Series 3, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X.
The launch of the iPhone 12 series includes some new colors and 4 phones all with 5G support.
The iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Mini were unveiled at an Apple Event in Apple Park in Cupertino, California on September 14, 2021, alongside the higher priced iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max flagships.
In the US and some other countries, iPhones could be acquired only with a credit card, preventing completely anonymous purchases of iPhones.
The iPhone runs an operating system known as iOS (formerly iPhone OS). It is a variant of the Darwin operating system core found in macOS.
According to Steve Jobs, the “i” word in “iMac” (and therefore “iPod”, “iPhone” and “iPad”) stands for internet, individual, instruct, inform, and inspire.
The device’s most revolutionary element was its touch-sensitive multisensor interface. The touch screen allowed users to manipulate all programs and telephone functions with their fingertips rather than a stylus
or physical keys. This interface—perfected, if not invented, by Apple—recreated a tactile, physical experience – for example, the user could shrink photos with a pinching motion or flip through music albums using a flicking motion. The iPhone also featured Internet browsing, music and video playback, a digital camera, visual voice mail, and a tabbed contact list.
Millions of people use an iPhone as their only computer. And their only camera, GPS device, music player, communicator, trip planner and payment tool. It put the world in our pockets.
The iPhone helped turned Apple, which Jobs (1955-2011) co-founded with his friend Stephen Wozniak in California in 1976, into one of the planet’s most valuable corporations.
Apple has filed more than 200 patent applications related to the technology behind the iPhone.