Dezeen Magazine

Apple's iPhone celebrates its 10th anniversary

It's been a decade since Apple launched the iPhone. To mark the occasion, we've looked back at how the iconic smartphone has changed over the past 10 years, starting with its pioneering 2007 model.

iPhone timeline

iPhone, 2007

On 9 January 2007, Apple founder Steve Jobs outlined his intent to "reinvent the phone" with the company's first iPhone model.

The phone, which was described by Apple as a "breakthrough internet communications device", combined mobile telephony, a widescreen iPod and mobile browsing. A new touch-screen user interface was developed especially for the device, which was priced at $499 (approximately £410).


iPhone 3G, 2008

A year later, the tech giant released its follow-up to the original iPhone, which it claimed to be twice as fast as its predecessor thanks to its 3G networking capabilities.

It was the first iPhone to include the App Store, and its design replaced the aluminium back of the first generation device with plastic polycarbonate. Buttons were changed from plastic to metal, and the edges of the phone were tapered.

iPhone timeline

iPhone 3GS, 2009

The 3GS, announced in June 2009, promised to be faster and more powerful than the 3G. While its design remained much the same, its new features included an autofocus camera, video recording capabilities and voice control.

The new phone also made use of cut, copy and paste functions and multimedia messaging services (MMS), and introduced Spotlight Search and a responsive landscape keyboard.


iPhone 4, 2010

The iPhone 4 was sold on its super-thin design, and was the first model to introduce FaceTime video calling, a retina display and high-definition video recording.

Unveiled in 2010, the phone featured a redesigned structure by industrial designer Jonathan Ive, intended to match other Apple products including the iPad and iMac. The curving back panel of the 3G was also replaced with flattened surfaces.

iPhone timeline

iPhone 4S, 2011

The 4S was launched in late 2011. Although just an update on the previous model, it came with over 200 new features, such as the Notification Centre, iCloud and Siri – the voice-activated assistant.

Much of the phone's media coverage was accompanied by news of the death of former Apple CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs on the following day.

iPhone 5

iPhone 5, 2012

Apple announced the iPhone 5 in September 2012. It was the first iPhone to be completely developed under the guidance of Tim Cook and the last iPhone to be overseen by Steve Jobs.

It featured several major design changes, including an aluminium-based body that was thinner and lighter than previous models, a taller screen and a new compact dock connector that replaced the 30-pin design used by previous iPhone models.

Dezeen featured in Apple's launch of the iPhone 5 – making an appearance in the movie demonstrating the new product.


iPhone 5C and 5S, 2013

The iPhone 5C and 5S were both announced in 2013, with the colourful 5C intended as a cheaper alternative to the 5S.

While the 5C was a variant of the iPhone 5, it featured a strikingly different design, with a hard-coated polycarbonate shell instead of aluminium.

Apple iPhone 6

iPhone 6, 2014

The iPhone 6 arrived in 2014, described by Apple CEO Tim Cook as "the biggest advancement in the history of the iPhone".

It was the first time that an iPhone had come in two sizes: the iPhone 6 had a 4.7-inch screen and was 6.9 millimetres thick, while the iPhone 6 Plus had a 5.5-inch screen and measured 7.1 millimetres thick.


iPhone 6S, 2015

Apple launched two new versions of its iPhone 6 – the iPhone 6Ss and 6S Plus – in 2015. Both featured a new sensor technology called 3D Touch, which interprets pressure applied to the screen.

However, the new versions had the same metal cases as their predecessors, the same round, raised camera lenses at the front, and the same screen sizes.

iPhone timeline

iPhone SE, 2016

Apple unveiled a smaller version of its iPhone 6 in early 2016, which was almost identical in shape and size to its older 5S model but with the same capabilities as the newer iPhone 6S.

It also featured the same 12‑megapixel iSight camera, and came in the same four colour options: gold, silver, space grey and rose gold.

iPhone timeline

iPhone 7, 2016

The iPhone 7 was unveiled towards the back end of 2016. It features a redesigned water-and dust-resistant case along with a variety of new features.

A controversial change was the removal of the headphone jack port, which was ditched to save space. Instead, Apple's earpods will come with a Lightning connector – the same as the company's current phone chargers.