Evolution of the iPhone 2007-2010 – Model Comparison and History

Ok! Class in session!

Today in Gadgety History for the Fanboy/Fangirl we are going to witness evolution. How, in a small matter of three years, something that was a mere oddity became one of the most talked about devices for a long time.

I am, of course, referring to the Apple iPhone.

A mobile phone made by a computer manufacturer – and not a real mainstream one at that!

Yup, Apple decided that they’d take on the established names such as Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Motorola, et al and rethink the wheel.

First there was the 2007 iPhone. It hit the shelves in June priced at $499 for 4GB and $599 for 8GB. Three months later Steve Jobs annoyed the fans by ditching the 4GB model and then went on to drop the price of the 8GB model by almost half ($200). As you can imagine, or indeed remember, those that bought the 8GB model on release day felt every cent extra they paid.

That first iPhone was a brave step and sported iTunes, Safari, a cool multi-touch screen, could join Wi-Fi networks and had the beginnings of a user interface so lovely that the gadgety world would want its babies!!

All it needed was an app store full of third party apps – a lot of them costing nothing to own……..

Just over a year later, in July 2008, software v2.0 and the app store was born and skipping along with them was a youthful new iPhone.

The iPhone 3G, which I pounced on as soon as possible, had a new look as well as GPS. That 3G which gave this model its name was a huge boost as it enabled faster internet browsing when you couldn’t hook-up to Wi-Fi. When v3.0 came along Bluetooth joined the connectivity party. iPhone 3G did take some stick for its 2MP camera but that didn’t stop it from rating as the most used phone camera to upload to Flickr!

The device cost $199 (8GB) and $299 (16GB) when it appeared. Its rear had been redesigned with a smooth plastic black which was available in black and white but it was the app store that really cemented the iPhone’s future.

Another year and another iPhone. June 2009 saw the launch of the 3GS.

For me this was a little disappointing if I’m honest. It looked identical to the last one and most people that bought the 3G were already locked in to an 18 month contract which made getting a 3GS cost around £500! That’s a tad steep for what was more of an update than a next gen handset.

The S was for speed and it was announced that this was Apple’s “fastest, most powerful iPhone yet”. It was faster than the 3G thanks to the new processor and a RAM upgrade. It also got a compass and a better battery life along with a 3MP camera and a memory bump! The cost, if you weren’t already shackled to a contract because you bought the 3G, was $199 for the 16GB version and $299 for the 32GB version.

And now, it’s June 2010. The usual Apple secrecy was blown completely out of the water after Gizmodo managed to buy themselves an actual iPhone 4 that was “left in a bar”.

Before I had to rely on leaks, hearsay, and bad photoshopping but this year everyone knew what iPhone 4 was going to look like, what processor it had, what it smelt like and what it had for breakfast.

It still hasn’t lessened my gadgety lust for this new, edgy, slick, glass and steel bodied chunk of tech. Gone are the memories of the damp squib of 3GS and hello baby! to iPhone 4.

The 3MP camera was ditched for a 5 megapixel unit with LED flash. The addition of a VGA front-facing camera for vid-calls and a gyroscope married to the accelerometer are all welcome arrivals. But, most people have been waiting for multitasking and their wish has been granted. Now you can listen to tunes on Pandora whilst pinging off emails or reading Gadgety News.

Of course this iPhone will be a huge seller but I don’t think it’s just because it’ll be one of the phones to be seen with. This mobile has the same processor as the iPad, a screen with an impressive pixel count which will make watching those 720p HD video’s that you’ve recorded and edited using iMovie look splendid.

iPhone 4 is available to pre-order from June 15th and is released on June 24th. The good news is that the UK is getting this one at the same time as the US and a few others!

After then the leaks shall start about iPad 2 and iPhone 5 no doubt…………

Here’s how the 4 models compare:



CPUGraphicsWeightDimensions (HxWxD)
iPhone3.5″, 320 x 480 LCD4, 8 & 16GB128MBSamsung 32-bit RISC ARM 1176JZ running at 620 MHzPowerVR MBX Lite 3D GPU135g115 x 61 x 11.6mm
iPhone 3G3.5″, 320 x 480 LCD8 & 16GB128MBSamsung 32-bit RISC ARM 1176JZ running at 620 MHzPowerVR MBX Lite 3D GPU133g115.5 x 62.1 x 12.3mm
iPhone 3GS3.5″, 320 x 480 LCD16 & 32GB256MBSamsung S5PC100 ARM Cortex-A8 running at 620 MHzPowerVR SGX GPU135g115.5 x 62.1 x 12.3mm
iPhone 43.5″ 960 x 640 LCD16 & 32GB256MBApple A4 running at 1GHzApple A4140g114 x 58.7 x 9.4mm