Look Up Another Term

Definition: iPhone


The Apple device that revolutionized mobile computing and caused an explosion of smartphones worldwide. With more than a billion sold in less than a decade, the iPhone has been one of the greatest product success stories in history, catapulting Apple to the world's most valuable company. For non-technical people in the U.S., iPhone is often just another word for smartphone, no matter the make.

The latest models are the 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max (see iPhone 11). Also available from Apple are the Xr and 8 Plus (see iPhone X series and iPhone 8). See iPhone versions and iPhone vs. Android.

Quite a Frenzy
No cellphone ever created so much buzz. Enthusiasts camped out overnight to be first in line when it debuted in 2007 even though it had little more than a dozen built-in apps and no expansion. App development was soon opened to third parties, and a year later, Apple's App Store took off like a rocket. In a few years, more than a million apps became available.

Apple started the craze, and Android followed, eventually outselling iPhones worldwide by a large margin. In the U.S., iPhones and Androids are more or less tied. See smartphone, how to select a mobile device, mobile compatibility and mobile device vendor control.

Specifications and Data Service
Powered by an ARM processor (like every other smartphone), the iPhone is a GSM, CDMA or LTE cellphone that uses iOS, a custom version of the Mac operating system with flash storage up to 512GB. iPhones were first to use sealed batteries, which are sent to Apple or taken to a third-party for replacement. Although this was never popular, non-removable batteries have since became the norm in most smartphones. See iOS, ARM, smartphone features, carrier data plans, iPod, iPod touch, iPad, iBricking and iClone.




One of the First iPhones
This interface mesmerized millions of people when it launched in 2007, because it was such a departure from the common cellphone. (Image courtesy of Apple Inc.)