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New Year! New iPhone?

iPhone 15, and the Eras of the iPhone.

Portrait of a Successful Business woman Using iPhone pro with coffee cup.
Shutterstock/Alim Yakubov

The iPhone 15 model was released on September 22nd, 2023. At the start of 2024, this is the newest iPhone available for purchase. The new design offers new features like the new contoured edge, Dynamic Island, a 48MP Main camera, and finally, USB‑C! Have you thought about upgrading? Running from $799, this might not be an easy decision.

History of the iPhone

It seems like every year, Apple has a new iPhone for consumers. Starting with the iPhone in 2007, we have finally arrived at the iPhone 15 in 2023. There have been more than 15 different models, however. In fact, there have been more than 40 different models released since 2007. It is easy to identify that there have been improvements to the phone over the years, but what has changed?

Apple iPhone 15 Pro - High Tech Smartphone With Big Screen And Modern Design.
iPhone 15 Pro New Sleek Design. Shutterstock/Gabo_Arts

iPhone / 3G / 4 / and 5

As aforementioned, the original iPhone launched in 2007. Apple has released a new model of their phone about every year since then. The first iPhone laid the foundation for the idea of what a “smartphone” is. It included a touch screen, a digital keyboard, a home button, apps, a web browser, a camera, and a 30-pin charging port. The 3G model launched with the addition of the App Store (app), 3G data, email, and GPS.

The 4 was released as a slight redesign. It had a squarer look, relinquishing the previous models’ prior curvature and rounded edges, and was announced as the thinnest smartphone in the world. It was the first Apple device released with a “retina display,” and it was the first iPhone with a front-facing camera for FaceTime calls.

Additionally, with IOS 4, the iPhone could now multitask apps. iPhone 5 came as a second minor redesign that included a 4-inch screen instead of the old 3.5-inch display. It was also built with aluminum to lighten the device. Finally, this edition introduced the reversible lightning connector to charge the device, which would remain through to the iPhone 14.

Starting with the 3G, each of the iPhones up until the 6 had an S version released the following year from the base model. These models stood for “speed” (S) and offered iterative upgrades rather than new features. These improvements would include faster processors, better cameras, and even Siri (with the iPhone 4S). Additionally, starting with the 5, iPhones would come in budget versions: 5C, SE, XR, and Mini models.

6 / 7 / and 8

iPhones 3, 4, 5, and 6s.
iPhones 3, 4, 5, and 6s. Shutterstock/mama_mia

Next, the iPhone 6 was released. This phone featured a new, bigger and flatter design. It introduced NFC for mobile payments, and it featured a new camera. The 6S models introduced a less bendable frame and the 3D Touch feature. The iPhone 7 added better cameras and water resistance. The 7 also replaced the mechanical home button with a fully digital one. Controversially, the headphone jack was also removed. The 8 continued the form factor of the 6 and 7 phones and added improved cameras and processors. Additionally, it came with a glass backing to the frame. This, along with new coils, allowed for wireless charging.

Each of the phones came as a base and “Plus” model. The base phone was 4.7 inches and the Plus model was 5.5 inches. This allowed for bigger screens as the smartphone market turned toward a bigger form factor.

X — 14 / and 15

 Apple iPhone 15 Pro - High Tech Smartphone With Big Screen And Modern Design.
Apple iPhone 15 Pro New Big Screen. Shutterstock/Gabo_Arts

Then the iPhone X was released, representing 10 years of iPhone. This model came with a thoroughly new design. The phone carried an edge-to-edge OLED display and ditched the old home button. Apple implemented Face ID to replace it. From this point on, the design remains fairly the same with exceptions. All the phones since the X have had a base and “Max” version as well as “Pro” versions. iPhones 11 through 13 improved upon the cameras and the battery as well as added 5G compatibility. The 14 added a lot of quality-of-life features including an upgraded TrueDepth camera sensor, main shooter, car crash detection, and emergency satellite communication. The “Pro” models of the 14 introduced the Dynamic Island, an “edgeless” iPhone.

This brings us to the iPhone 15. This iteration keeps the same form factor and adopts the Dynamic Island for all models. The biggest change on this phone is the new use of USB-C for charging, keeping up with what the rest of modern Apple devices have done. The iPhone 15 also boasts a 48MP camera with up to 4x resolution and 2x Telephoto zoom.

Are You Upgrading?

The New Apple iPhone 15 Pro.
The New Apple iPhone 15 Pro. Shutterstock/Cesare Andrea Ferrari

Looking at the last 15 years of Apple phones, there were undoubtedly many areas of improvement, however, the recent years of the device beg some questions. Has all the effort put into the iPhone really brought about the “future in the palms of your hands”? Have modern Apple devices added enough reason to upgrade? Will the future of the iPhone keep the consumer engaged in the product? What do you think?

Written By

Seth Kronick is a poet from Southern California. His poetry has appeared in journals such as Trash Panda, Frogpond, Poetry Pea, and Papers Publishing among other publications. He is currently pursuing a B.A. degree in Creative Writing from CSULB.

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