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 XR and XS (see iPhone X series
). Also available from Apple are the 8, 8 Plus, 7 and 7 Plus (see iPhone 8
and iPhone 7
). 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 (see walled garden
). However, in 2008, iPhone app development was opened to third parties, and Apple's App Store took off like a rocket. In a few years, more than a million apps became available, and Apple pays billions of dollars in royalties to third-party developers each year.
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, 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 256GB. 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
, smartphone features
, carrier data plans
, iPod touch
One of the First iPhones
Pressing the only physical button at the bottom of this iPhone 4 displays the home screen. Tapping an icon launches the application. More apps are revealed when scrolling right. (Image courtesy of Apple Inc.)
Using high-resolution, graphics-based screens, iPhones set precedents for attractive applications that all smartphones followed. Today's apps are full of pizzazz.
The Apple App Store
In 2008, the App Store revolutionized the mobile world with thousands of iPhone apps being created for the new platform virtually overnight. See Apple App Store