Apple iPhone Journey: From iPhone to iPhone 5
The iPhone journey from the release of its first phone in 2007 to the release of the sixth generation iOS6 based iPhone 5 in September 2012 has indeed been a remarkable one.
Unveiled by Steve Jobs with a team of 1000 dedicated Apple employees, as a result of some grueling labor and sleepless nights over the top secret “Project Purple” in 2007, it is said to have taken nearly 4 years before the final product was for the whole world to see. A whopping $150 million was spent on creating the first device over a period of thirty months.
Five years and six releases later, the Apple still remains high on the wish list of every techie!
The six generations of iPhones has each brought with it a new operating system. The first iPhone was a GSM model with no video recording and created waves all over the world when it was first introduced with its revolutionary features like screen size and button placement, though Apple Inc and its manufacturing contractor, Foxconn, have been the butt of critics’ ire since the last few years over the poor working conditions that prevail at the assembly plant located in China.
The iPhones have also had a minimal hardware user interface ever since their birth. Featuring only five buttons (a rounded square Home button, sleep/wake cum power button, volume control buttons and the ring/ silent button) which were initially made up of plastic but were replaced with metal buttons later, the phones have always been easy to use and extremely user friendly.
The journey so far
When the iPhone was first announced to the world in January 2007, it was something the world had never seen before. A cell phone with a full touchscreen had never been thought of as possible. Not only did the first iPhone have that, it was super sleek (in those days) with a thickness of 11.6mm and a weight of 135 grams. The body was made up of aluminum and had a black plastic touch to it. Besides, there were features like a 3.5 inch screen with a 480 x 320 multi touch display, storage options of 4GB/ 8GB, automatic wi-fi connectivity, bluetooth, accelerometer and visual voicemail due to which Apple Inc. soon had the whole world eating out of its hands. The media was ecstatic with such a phenomenal response and hailed it as the ‘Jesus phone’.
The iPhone 3G
This model was announced barely a year after its predecessor and was a much improved version of what had been offered merely a few months back. Offered for sale in July 2008 in 38 countries (!!) this time (as compared to only 6 in the first phone), this device had upgraded to 3G, was even sleeker, weighed 2 grams lesser, came with a better battery backup, had a better jack for headphones, and had an internal storage option of 8GB/ 16GB. The back was made up of full plastic to get better GSM signals. It also had new features like voice control, voice recording and a magnetometer (digital compass).
The 3G model was the first iPhone that was also available in a white color, in addition the usual black though the white model was later discontinued.
Apple says it sold 6.1 million handsets of this version on 15 months which was a record of sorts, something that was bettered by Apple itself with every next model.
The iPhone 3GS
This version was introduced in June 2009 while Steve Jobs was away. This third generation device was faster due to a much improved processor, had a better graphic quality, came with a 3 axis gyroscope, micro SIM, dual-microphone noise suppression and a rear camera LED flash. According to figures released by the manufacturers themselves, this particular version sold 6.4 million devices. Video recording, MMS messaging and the cut-copy-paste options were also available in this upgrade along with a keyboard which was more user friendly and better navigation facility.
The iPhone 4
This fourth gen model came with iOS4 after another year.
The first model with a body of aluminum silicate glass in the front and a stainless steel edging which gave it that stylish and classy look, this one had killer looks. The iPhone 4 again came only in black color initially though the white also became available after ten months.
Besides the looks, it had features which made it stand head and shoulders above everything else which the other manufacturers had to offer. The iOS4 came with a A4 processor (like the iPad), 0.3 MP front camera for video calling along with a 5 MP (2592 x 1936pixel) rear camera, LED flash that could give a 720 p video, a still better Wi-Fi connectivity and a better battery life. It was the first iPhone with 2 cameras. As regards software, the iPhone 4 had spell check, iBooks for avid readers, and gave the users the optio to organize the apps into folders.
No wonder then that within 3 days, this model had sold more than 1.7 million devices.
But the stainless steel edge around the frame which gave this phone those stunning looks soon became its Achilles’ heel when it was found that it hindered with the antenna design. Users complained of calls getting dropped when the set was held in particular manner. Infamously called the “Antennagate”, it became a source of major embarrassment for the company and Apple soon announced free cases for all those who had already purchased this handset at a hastily summoned press conference within 2 weeks.
The promised white iPhone also was not available till April 2011, which was much longer than what had earlier been promised. That was not, however, enough to deter buyers and the manufacturers continued to make record sales.
When the diehard Apple fans were looking forward to iPhone 5 in 2011, Tim Cook came up with a wet blanket and gave them the iPhone 4S.
This was not much of an improvement over the iPhone 4 which continued to sell like proverbial hotcakes even after the newer device with iOS5 had become available.
Though the iOS 5 offered a 5MP camera with a 1080p video recording and better optics, the handset looked exactly like its previous version though it came with a dual core A5 chip, free iCloud services, and came with Siri (the ‘intelligent assistant’ introduced by Apple) and GSM roaming facilities.
The critics dubbed it a failure within moments of seeing it. Inspite of that the iPhone 4S sold 1 million pieces within a day, which was unprecedented.
Infact, it was with this particular model on sale that Apple recorded its best ever sales figure of 37 million devices for the quarter ending January 2012. With an average selling price of $660 a piece, that’s not too bad, is it?
The iPhone 5
The iPhone 5 was the first model to be launched after the demise of the Steve Jobs due to which the public-critics and fans alike were eager to see what their favorite brand would have to offer after the genius had departed.
Launched on September 12 at San Francisco with the hype that is characteristic of all Apple launches, the new handset had a 4 inch screen as compared to a 3,5 inch for all its previous models and an A6 dual core processor. The nano-chip is 22% smaller than the ones used by the iPhones 4 and 4S and almost twice as fast. The device, at 7.6 x 58.6mm, and 112 grams is 18% thinner and 20% lighter than its previous model. Made up entirely of glass and aluminum, it was adorable as far as the looks were concerned though it had little new to offer by way of technological advancement except LTE support and a better front facing camera. Additionally, the new handset has three microphones as compared to two for the previous sets.
The Lightning connector of the device is almost 80% smaller than the previous versions and the iOS6 came with Apple Maps. Besides that, it failed to live up to the expectations and the critics said it had little to offer to users apart from a fifth row of icons. All the flak notwithstanding, the device shattered all previous sales records as Apple confirmed booking 2 million handsets within the first 24 hours of its release and a sales figure of 1 million devices within the first day. By doing so, it bettered its own previous record of selling 600,000 devices within the first day with iPhone4.
Now that’s what I call PHENOMENAL!
As I have said on previous occasions as well, you might choose to love an Apple or hate it. You simply can’t ignore it!
Apple continues to be one of the leading handset manufacturers in the world at present, with or without Steve Jobs.
Our forefathers had observed, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”. Well, we can’t be sure about that though we do assure you that an Apple iPhone every year helps you stay in sync with the times!
We, at TechClap, wish Apple all the very best for its future sojourns as well!!!
Apple iPhone Journey: From iPhone to iPhone 5,