Here's How Much (or Little) Apple's iPhone Has Changed Through the Years

First Look at the New iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus

Apple Inc.'s new iPhone 7 isn't a major upgrade on the previous version, despite its various updates and features—and the well-flagged news that the smartphone has no headphone jack. 

That said, the iPhone has been a game-changer. It helped Apple become the world's most valuable company and has swept aside many a rival device over its lifespan, contributing to the decline of household names from BlackBerry to Nokia. Here's a look at its evolution over the years. 

Introducing the iPhone

The first model debuts in 2007, ushering in the era of smartphones. While other devices had featured touchscreens, Apple's was the first to package the technology so that it worked seamlessly. 

Apple's then-CEO Steve Jobs introduces the iPhone at Macworld on Jan. 9, 2007.
Apple's then-CEO Steve Jobs introduces the iPhone at Macworld on Jan. 9, 2007.
Photographer: David Paul Morris/Getty Images

iPhone 3G

The iPhone gets its first upgrade, with 3G offering faster wireless connections. The newly-launched App Store is a key element in enhancing the capabilities of the device.

The iPhone 3G.
The iPhone 3G.
Photographer: Sergio Dionisio/Getty Images

 

iPhone 3GS

The iPhone 3GS in 2009 isn't a major upgrade, offering only marginal improvements in speed.

The iPhone 3GS.
The iPhone 3GS.
Photographer: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

iPhone 4

The iPhone 4, which debuts in 2010, is Apple's first radical redesign of the device. The launch also results in Antennagate: the design of the case leads to some dropped calls and forces the company to offer free antenna bands to mitigate the problem.

The gap on the iPhone 4 that caused antenna issues for some users.
The gap on the iPhone 4 that caused antenna issues for some users.
Photographer: George Frey/Bloomberg

 

iPhone 4S

The iPhone 4S is another minor upgrade, helping to solve the antenna issue and boosting performance.

The Siri function on the iPhone 4S.
The Siri function on the iPhone 4S.
Photographer: Matthew Lloyd/Bloomberg

iPhone 5

The iPhone 5 in 2012 marks Apple's move toward bigger screens and proves a smash with consumers, delivering rapid revenue growth for Apple.

Apple CEO Tim Cook presents the iPhone 5 in San Francisco on Sept. 12, 2012.
Apple CEO Tim Cook presents the iPhone 5 in San Francisco on Sept. 12, 2012.
Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

iPhone 5C and 5S

The iPhone 5S upgrade isn't a surprise. It's the introduction of the more affordable iPhone 5C that raises eyebrows; designed to appeal to emerging markets, it doesn't prove to be a big hit.

The iPhone 5C in a variety of colors.
The iPhone 5C in a variety of colors.
Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

The debut of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in 2014 is the right move at the right time. The bigger smartphones wow customers in Asia and put Apple into the top spot in China.

The iPhone 6 Plus, left, and iPhone 6.
The iPhone 6 Plus, left, and iPhone 6.
Photographer: Yuriko Nakao/Bloomberg

iPhone 6S

The iPhone 6S upgrade doesn't change much—a bit faster, a bit better.

Apple Inc. iPhone 6s smartphones were released in 2015. 
Apple Inc. iPhone 6s smartphones were released in 2015. 
Photographer: Xaume Olleros/Bloomberg

iPhone SE

Earlier this year, Apple surprises by reviving the iPhone 5's size and shape in the form of the iPhone SE. A cheaper, mid-range phone, it sells better than expected in places such as Latin America, but isn't enough to reverse a revenue decline.

The iPhone SE, top, compared with the iPhone 6 Plus.
The iPhone SE, top, compared with the iPhone 6 Plus.
Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

iPhone 7 and 7 Plus

The iPhone 7 is a break from Apple's two-year upgrade cycle, with the size and shape almost unchanged from its predecessor. It sports a better camera, faster performance and, in a new twist, gets rid of the headphone jack.

First Look at the New iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus
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