The iPhone to the iPhone 6: Design Through the Years

The iPhone 6 boasts a 4.7-inch screen with a 1334 by 750 pixel resolution Retina HD display, an 8-megapixel camera and the capability to shoot 1080p video at up to 240 frames per second. Over the years, the iPhone has come with some of the most advanced technology of its time and has been packed with innovative design and aesthetics. Let’s take a look at how the iPhone has evolved over the last eight years.


When Steve Jobs announced the first iPhone in 2007, it completely redefined the smartphone market. It was even named “Gadget of The Year” by Time Magazine. It was the first phone to completely function with a touchscreen, rather than using buttons for typing. It also embraced the combination of design and human experience. And, at 4.5 inches tall by 2.4 inches wide, it combined artful aesthetics with industry-leading technology.

iPhone 3G

The iPhone 3G launched with a redesigned plastic polycarbonate case, replacing the aluminum of the first generation. However, the plastic buttons of the first generation were replaced with metal ones to provide better functionality. It also was the first iPhone to come in multiple colors. Out of all the iPhones, the 3G had the poorest reception, as criticisms were made of its battery life and reception difficulties.

iPhone 3GS

The 3GS was the first iPhone that could capture video. It also came with the ability to make voice commands (a precursor to Siri), a digital compass and an improved LCD screen. The 3GS was met with fairly positive reviews, the only criticism being that it wasn’t significantly different from the 3G. However, critics such as CNET praised its increase in speed and battery life.

iPhone 4

When the iPhone 4 was announced in June 2010, it was the thinnest smartphone on the market at 0.37 inches. It featured Apple’s new retina display, boasting 326 pixels per inch, and retained the same size as previous models. It received mostly positive reviews across the board, including praise for its innovative design and powerful processing power. It also contained the first iPhone with a front facing camera and Apple’s FaceTime video chat service.

iPhone 4S

Announced the day before Steve Jobs passed away in 2011, the 4S was the first smartphone to feature an intelligent personal assistant, or Siri. The 4S retained the same external design of the 4 and updated the hardware, including a faster A5 chipset and an 8-megapizel camera with 1080p video recording capabilities. The 4S had a favorable reception, finding praise for considerable advancements made over the iPhone 4.

iPhone 5

The iPhone 5 came with a new aluminum-based body that replaced the stainless steel body of the 4 and 4S. It took up 12 percent less volume and had a taller screen, nearly reaching a 16:9 aspect ratio. The iPhone 5 was lauded as having one of the best phone screens on the market, and most people agreed that it lived up to Apple’s promise of being two times faster, having twice the graphics performance and having a better battery life.

iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S

These two phones were launched at the same time for different markets — the 5C was a mid-range model while the 5S became the new flagship. The 5S featured a new home button composed of a laser-cut sapphire cover surrounded by a metallic ring and was the first phone to feature Touch ID. The 5S was considered to be one of the best smartphones available, and roughly 9 million phones were sold during its first weekend, which almost doubled the 5 million sales of the iPhone 5.

iPhone 6 and Beyond

Finally, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus were released in September 2014. The iPhone 6 set a new record for sales during the first weekend with 10 million devices sold. Even though the 6 has only been out for a few months, people are already beginning to speculate about the next generation iPhone. Will it be the 6S or the 7? We’ll have to wait until Apple makes an official announcement to know for sure.

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Travel lover. Internet guru. Friendly troublemaker. Certified pop culture buff.