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Just How Far Has the iPhone Come?

May 26, 2022 •

The iPhone was revolutionary when first released, and it continues to evolve each year as Apple releases innovations and updates. Here’s a look back at some of the early models and their more notable new features. The device remains true to the foundation that Steve Jobs laid, but it’s also come a long, long way.

iPhone Classic: Revolutionary Concept

The iPhone was a revolutionary concept when Steve Jobs first unveiled it back in January 2007. A handheld device that made calls, acted as a computer, and looked good which was unheard of at the time.

Pagers were still in recent memory, and the then-leading Blackberry was clunky, unsightly, and less capable than the new iPhone in some ways. Jobs showed off a device that was stylish, useful and had a great user experience. Today’s iPhones still use a similar form factor to the first iPhone Classic (iPhone 2G).

Specs on the first iPhone Classic might seem unfunctional by today’s standards, but this was the most advanced phone of its day. The phone could function both on Wi-Fi and 2G, simplified components (e.g. speaker, vibration motor), and took 2MP photographs.

Notably, the phone used a Samsung ARM processor since Apple hadn’t yet developed its own. The processor was slowed from 620MHz to 412MHz to improve battery life (alas, not everything is better with modern generations).

iPhone 3/3GS: More Capable

Apple released the iPhone 3G a year later as cell technology improved, but this version was otherwise entirely the same as the iPhone Classic. The next significant advancement came two years after that January 2007 debut, with the iPhone 3GS’s release in 2009.

The “S” in iPhone 3GS defined the new model by its speed, and all of its improvements were internal. The 3GS used a 600MHz Samsung processor (not slowed down), better graphics hardware, and a 3MP camera that increased resolution by 50 percent — the camera even shot video at 480p.

iPhone 4/4S: Modern Hardware

The iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4S were the first models to have certain features that Apple still makes today, and that’s “makes” in a literal sense.

The highlight of these models was an Apple-made processor, with the A4 chip in the iPhone 4 and the A5 chip in the iPhone 4S. Today’s new iPhone 13 uses an A15 chip that’s much faster but still uses many of the same concepts as the iPhone’s original A4 and A5.

Other innovations that current iPhone users will recognize include a glass screen, a much-improved 8MP/1080p rear camera, a 0.3MP front camera for FaceTime, and Retina Display.

The iPhone 4 was released in 2010, and the iPhone 4S in 2011. It’s been more than a decade and these model’s innovations are still relevant.

iPhone 5/5S: Larger Screen

The main change of the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5S was a larger screen, which is another trend that continues with each year’s new Pro and Pro Max models.

iPhone 6: More Advanced Hardware

The iPhone 6 was shown at the September 2014 Apple event, and continued Apple’s pattern of launching major hardware changes every two generations.

This model had more compact internal components, which allowed Apple to install a larger battery that was necessary to run the more demanding hardware (again, alas modern iPhone batteries). The processor was stepped up to an A8 chip with 64-bit architecture, and the cameras were significantly improved.

The rear camera on the iPhone 6 could shoot 1080p at 60 frames/second, or 720p at 240 frames/second. The latter made for some dramatic slow-motion shots. The front camera was also increased to 1.3MP, which made selfies look much better.

Get Cash for an Old iPhone

These models are mostly no longer used, but you could still be using an older iPhone that’s underpowered and under-featured compared to the latest iPhone 12 and iPhone 13. If you have an iPhone 8, iPhone X or iPhone 11, why not sell it and put the cash toward a newer one?

We at MLG Cash make it easy to sell older iPhones for cash, and we pay top dollar for the iPhone 8 and newer. Use our quick quote tool on the website, and you could have cash to spend on a new iPhone today.