Travel & Leisure

The iDecade: 10 Years of iPhones

When the iPhone X was introduced last fall, iPhones had been a fact of life for just over 10 years—and how they’ve changed

By Katrina Caruso


The first iPhone—the iPhone SDK—was sold on June 29, 2007. The release changed the nature of cellphones and the ways that we use these devices forever.

Over the last decade, we’ve seen a massive shift in the design, capabilities, and power of these little computers. The popularity of Apple’s iPhone has only grown: sales were initially slow in 2007, but at the end of their fourth quarter in 2017, the company reported revenues of $52.6 billion, a 12% jump from the same time in 2016.

At the time of the iPhone’s release, Apple had already been making the iPod for several years, but the phone was new territory for the company. The cellphone market had previously been cornered by BlackBerry and Microsoft. Now, the iPhone is in competition with Android phones. A lot has changed.

The first iPhone didn’t even offer a camera that could make videos, and the design was fairly clunky. So what has the decade looked like?

2007: The first iPhone is unveiled in January, and on the market by June.

2008: In July, the second iPhone generation (3G) is released and introduced in 21 countries. The App Store is launched.

2009: By June, the 3GS is on the market. Apple sees revenues of over $25 million.

2010: The iPhone 4 is introduced, marking the beginning of cutting-edge redesigns.

2011: The 4S model is released and includes more than 200 new features, many of which we now consider integral to Apple phones, including iCloud and Siri.

2012: With the launch of the iPhone 5, the biggest Apple phone screen (4 inches) is seen.

2013: The iPhone 5S is released, offering Touch ID, the fingerprint scanner, for the first time. The same year, the 5C phones are released, with coloured backs.

2014: September sees the unveiling of the 6 and 6 Plus. For the first time, two different phone sizes (both bigger than the 5S and 5C) are available.

2015: The 6S and 6S Plus are launched, offering a more sensitive screen than before.

2016: September sees the announcement of the 7 and 7 Plus, with a very powerful camera.

2017: The iPhone 8, the iPhone 8 Plus, and the iPhone X are launched, marking 10 years of Apple phones.

Photo: iStock/ozgurdonmaz.