The History of Every iPhone Model from 2007–2022 (2023)

Explore the long line of iPhone generations through the years.

What to Know

  • The first iPhone was released in 2007 and sold roughly 300,000 in the first weekend!
  • Since then, Apple has released 38 different iPhone models, including the latest iPhone 14 lineup. 

What was the first iPhone to come out? When did the first iPhone come out? We have the full history of the iPhone, from the first series to the latest iPhone 14. This article will cover the evolution of iPhones over the years, and discuss the notable changes made with each release.

Related: What Kind of iPhone Do I Have? Find Your Model Number & Generation

How do you tell which iPhone model you have? We'll walk you through all the iPhone generations in order! For more great Apple device identification tutorials, check out our free Tip of the Day

iPhone Models in Order:


The First iPhone Release Date: June 29, 2007

Can you believe 16 GB is all you could put on the first iPhone? Granted, there wasn't nearly as much data to put on the iPhone yet and certainly no App Store. But you had access to the internet on a screen you could actually see it on, unlike the flip and slider phones of the time. And it could only handle 128 MB of memory. The camera was 2.0 megapixels—so, terrible. But a phone with a camera! Holy moly!

As a fun aside, there actually isn't an iPhone 2. From the first iPhone, Apple leapfrogged right over this number to the iPhone 3G and 3GS. 

iPhone 3G

Release Date: July 11, 2008

As far as internal specs go, the iPhone 3G wasn't much different than the original iPhone. But now there was an App Store! This iPhone got its moniker for its 3G connectivity, which meant access to internet you could actually use without wanting to throw the iPhone across the room.

iPhone 3GS

Release Date: June 19, 2009

Apple introduced the 32 GB storage option with the iPhone 3GS, doubling it from the first iPhone. Clearly, introducing the App Store changed things quickly. Between photos, music, and apps, 16 GB just wasn't going to cut it. The camera got an upgrade to 3 MP and added video recording. Apple also added Voice Control, although we’d have to wait a couple more years before the introduction of Siri.

iPhone 4

Release Date: June 24, 2010

Now we’re getting somewhere. The iPhone 4 was the first iPhone to have a front-facing camera. Little did Apple know, selfies would take over the world. The iPhone 4 also got a Retina display. With 512 MB memory, it was equipped to handle a lot more than even the iPhone 3GS, which only had 256 MB of memory. You can see the technology was beginning to look a little more familiar, but 32 GB was still the maximum amount of storage the iPhone could hold.

iPhone 4S

Release Date: October 14, 2011

Talk about a huge difference between the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4S: the camera went from 5 MP to a whopping 8 MP. Now, that’s an upgrade. Apple also introduced the 64 GB storage option but kept the memory at 512 MB. Video could then be recorded in 1080p. Oh, I can’t forget—hello, Siri! Apple sold four million units of the iPhone 4S in its first week.

iPhone 5

Release Date: September 21, 2012

Apple sold 5 million units of the iPhone 5 in its first week. The camera stayed the same but memory was boosted all the way up to 1 GB. You thought 3G was cool? Psh, the iPhone 5 had LTE connectivity. Hello, internet everywhere! Apple also introduced the Lightning connector with the iPhone 5. And for the first time, the screen got bigger! All previous generations' displays were 3.5 inches, but the iPhone 5 was 4 inches.

iPhone 5s & iPhone 5c

Release Date: September 20, 2013

Between the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 5c, Apple sold nine million units in the first week of sales. The iPhone 5c was meant to be slightly more affordable and had a plastic shell. It was available in four different colors, but not too much else was different. The iPhone 5s, on the other hand, introduced Touch ID, dual flash, and slow-motion video. Plus, it included the M7 motion coprocessor, which opened a new realm of possibilities and also helped save battery life.

iPhone 6 & 6 Plus

Release Date: September 19, 2014

Apple tends to make larger leaps between the original model and the S edition than it does from the S edition to a new model. The iPhone 6's internal specs were very similar to those of the iPhone 5s. The biggest difference was having a significantly larger screen and offering an even larger size called 6 Plus. The Retina display became HD, and the option to get an iPhone with 128 GB of storage became available. But the amount of memory was the same, and the camera didn't see a megapixel upgrade. But it didn't matter—Apple sold 10 million units in the first week.

iPhone 6s & 6s Plus

Release Date: September 19, 2015

The 6s changed everything. Well, not everything, it basically looked the same. But inside, Apple upgraded the iPhone 6s quite a lot. The camera made a huge leap forward going from 8 MP to 12 MP. The memory was also doubled from 1 GB to 2 GB. After the iPhone 6 had some bending issues (#bendgate), Apple gave the iPhone 6s 7000 series aluminum to make sure that never happened again. Last but not least, 3D Touch was introduced.

iPhone SE

Release Date: March 31, 2016

Don’t think I’ve forgotten the iPhone SE. It had all the awesome internal specs of the iPhone 6s in a small package and without 3D Touch. But overall, the iPhone SE was introduced as a more affordable option that people really loved.

iPhone 7 & 7 Plus

Release Date: September 16, 2016

Apple finally dropped the 16 GB base model option, with iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus base models starting at 32 GB of storage and going up to 256 GB. Apple also introduced a new shiny Jet Black color. The iPhone 7 Plus proved to be more popular than previous Plus models due to its new dual camera, which made a significantly improved zoom feature possible, and Portrait mode, a software update that let iPhone 7 Plus users take impressive photos using Depth of Field. Perhaps the most controversial feature of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus was the one Apple removed: the headphone jack. The new iPhones shipped with EarPods that plugged into the Lightning port and an adaptor for traditional headphones. Apple introduced its wireless AirPods at the same event it announced it was eliminating the headphone jack. Apple will stop supporting updates for iPhone 7 and 7 Plus once iOS 16 launches in September 2022. 

iPhone 8 & 8 Plus

Release Date: September 22, 2017

The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus introduced us to wireless charging with the glass cover on the back on the iPhone. The camera was awesome, with upgraded tools for editing and filtering our images. The true-tone display improved the viewing experience by automatically reducing blue-light exposure. Users eventually (mostly) got used to not having a headphone jack and began adapting to the wireless lifestyle. 

iPhone X

Release Date: November 3, 2017

Skipping right over the iPhone 9, the iPhone X was released 10 years after the original iPhone. The iPhone X included an extra front-facing camera that let us take amazing selfies in Portrait mode. Sure, other iPhones let us take cool-looking photos, but the iPhone X included Portrait mode for the front-facing camera, and we fell in love at first aperture.

iPhone XS & XS Max

Release Date: September 21, 2018

Apple announced the XS and XS Max at its September 2018 event in the Steve Jobs Theater. These models were well named, as they were definite upgrades along the lines of the iPhone X. Both models had the front-facing camera for Portrait-mode selfies. The displays were edge to edge, and it all looked great with the Super Retina HD display. The biggest upgrade might be the smallest; the A12 bionic chip increased the processing power while decreasing battery drain.

iPhone XR

Release Date: October 26, 2018

The iPhone XR was also announced at the September 2018 event, but wasn't available right away. Because it was the cheaper of the new models, quite a few people decided to wait for the XR to be available. These iPhones were smaller than the XS and XS Max (but still bigger than the 7 and 8 Plus). The display was not as crisp as the XS and XS Max, but with the Liquid Retina HD display, the difference wasn't too noticeable. This model also had a front-facing camera and came in way more colors than the XS or XS Max. 

iPhone 11

Release Date: September 20, 2019

newest iphone

The iPhone 11 was the least expensive of Apple's annual line at the time, but still had enough new features to be in the running for 2019's most popular iPhone. The device features a 6.1-inch Liquid Retina display, and comes in six crisp colors. The most exciting addition may have been the second camera on the back of the 11, both 12 MP, and offering wide and ultra-wide lenses. 

iPhone 11 Pro

Release Date: September 20, 2019

iphone 11 pro

For Apple customers looking for a smaller phone with a top-of-the-line display, the iPhone 11 Pro was perfect. The 5.8-inch Super Retina XDR display was Apple's most crisp and clear to date. This phone featured not two, but three, 12 MP HDR camera lenses, offering wide, ultra-wide, and telephoto lenses. The color options were more muted than the iPhone 11, but there was always the option to add a flashy case!

iPhone 11 Pro Max

Release Date: September 20, 2019

iphone 11 pro max

Apple's largest and most expensive phone of 2019 was the iPhone 11 Pro Max. The display was Apple's Super Retina XDR, as with the 11 Pro, but sized at 6.5-inches. The Pro Max featured the same, three-lens camera setup as the 11 Pro, as well as the same color choices, making size nearly the only difference between the devices. 

iPhone SE (second-generation)

Release Date: April 24, 2020

iphone se second generation 

The 2020 iPhone SE is the second of its kind, and was loved by those who prefer smaller iPhones. Apple took a few cues from the past with this throwback iPhone. The 4.7-inch Retina HD display and Home button with Touch ID harken back to the original iPhone SE, and with a similarly low price. The second-generation SE offered many of the features of Apple's most expensive iPhones, including an A13 Bionic chip, advanced camera system with Portrait mode and Depth Control, high-definition video, wireless charging capability, and long battery life.

iPhone 12 mini

Release Date: November 13, 2020

iPhone 12 mini

The iPhone 12 mini was a surprisingly small but still very powerful addition to the iPhone family. This thin and incredibly light smartphone measured just 5.4 inches and included the new, powerful A14 Bionic chip for a considerable boost in performance over previous models. It also featured Apple's latest Super Retina XDR OLED display and a host of camera upgrades, but still came with a dual-lens arrangement. The only notable differences between the iPhone 12 mini and the iPhone 12 were that the mini was smaller and had an estimated battery life that's two hours shorter than that of the larger iPhone 12.

iPhone 12

Release Date: October 23, 2020

iPhone 12

The 6.1-inch iPhone 12 had exactly the same features, camera specs, and processing capabilities as the 12 mini, except that it was estimated to have a 17-hour video playback compared to the iPhone 12 mini's 15 hours. This mid-range model also included the dual-lens camera, which was good enough for everyday users. However, Apple did include some impressive upgrades to their higher-end iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max phones for those who chose their iPhones for their camera capabilities,

iPhone 12 Pro

Release Date: October 23, 2020

iPhone 12 Pro

The iPhone 12 Pro boasted some very fancy camera and color upgrades as compared to the 12 and the 12 mini, but came in the same 6.1-inch screen size as the iPhone 12 and included all of the baseline features present in the budget models. New camera features introduced in 2020 include a triple-lens arrangement like we saw with the iPhone 11 Pro models, but with LiDAR scanning, improved Night Mode, and enhanced zoom range and lens functions. Both iPhone 12 Pro models included the fastest aperture ever used in an iPhone. Apple added RAW photos for superior pro editing capability and included Dolby Vision up to 60 frames per second in the Pro models.

iPhone 12 Pro Max

Release Date: November 13, 2020

iPhone 12 Pro Max

The iPhone 12 Pro Max, featured all of the benefits of the 12 Pro, but with some upgrades and a considerable size difference. The 6.7-inch Pro Max claimed an 87 percent improvement on the way it functions in low light over the iPhone 11 models and features 5x zoom, which was a big deal for those who use their iPhones for professional or near-professional photography projects. The most distinguishing characteristic of this iPhone was its screen size.

iPhone 13

Release Date: September 24, 2021

iPhone 13

The iPhone 13 line's base model maintains many of the design features (re-)introduced in the iPhone 12 series, but it also comes with a 20 percent smaller notch, accommodated by a new camera layout. It runs on the A15 chip, which is an upgrade over the previous generation of iPhones, and the camera features some significant improvements, including Cinematic mode and Photographic Styles. Battery life is also improved for this model, and it comes in the following colors: pink, blue, midnight, starlight, and PRODUCT(RED). A big selling point for the iPhone 13 is the price point: it starts at the same price as the iPhone 12 did when released, but its base model offers double the storage space. The screen size remains the same at 6.1 inches.

iPhone 13 mini

Release Date: September 24, 2021

iPhone 13 mini

Like its bigger siblings, the iPhone 13 mini runs on Apple's A15 Bionic chip, making it a powerhouse in a small package. Its battery life has improved up to an hour and a half a day over the iPhone 12 mini. As with other iPhone 13 models, the mini features big camera improvements, and the most storage available of any mini model at a maximum storage capacity of 512 GB. Its design and physical size also largely mirror the iPhone 12 mini, clocking in with a screen size of 5.4 inches. It features the same color options as the iPhone 13 and a starting price of $699 for 128 GB.

iPhone 13 Pro

Release Date: September 24, 2021

iPhone 13 Pro

The iPhone 13 Pro features a 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR display with ProMotion, but its big draw is the inclusion of a Telephoto camera, in addition to the Wide and Ultra Wide cameras that come with the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini. It comes with a LiDAR scanner for Night Mode photography and offers a 1 TB model for more storage than any iPhone has ever offered before. It needs it, considering all the new camera features make for pretty bulky file sizes. It is also powered by the A15 chip and comes in silver, graphite, gold, and sierra blue.

iPhone 13 Pro Max

Release Date: September 24, 2021

iPhone 13 Pro Max

The iPhone 13 Pro Max offers everything the Pro does, but bigger. Its screen is the same size as the iPhone 12 Pro Max: 6.7 inches diagonally. It, like the rest of the iPhone 13 line, is a bit heavier and thicker than its predecessor, despite sharing the same dimensions otherwise. In addition to getting a chip upgrade to the A15, the iPhone 13 Pro Max also gets an additional GPU, for a total of five. It, too, offers a 1 TB storage capacity option, and Apple says the battery is able to support up to 28 hours of non-stop video playback. With the heftiest price tag of any iPhone, the iPhone Pro Max is the ultimate top-of-the-line model available.

iPhone SE (third-generation)

Release Date: March 8, 2022

iphone se 3 2022

The 2022 iPhone SE 3 is the third of its kind, and maintains the 4.7-inch Retina HD display and Home button with Touch ID harken back to the original iPhone SE, and with a similarly low price. The third-generation SE offers many of the features of Apple's most expensive iPhones, including 5G, an A15 Bionic chip, advanced camera system with Portrait mode, Depth Control, high-definition video, Deep Fusion, wireless charging capability, and long battery life.

iPhone 14 & 14 Plus

Release Date: 14 - September 16, 14 Plus - October 7 2022

iPhone 14 & iPhone 14 Plus 2022

Instead of the iPhone mini, Apple brought the Plus back for iPhone 14, with the slightly larger display that had been restricted to the exclusive Pro and Pro Max models in recent years. The iPhone 14 models came with some impressive safety-focused features, including Crash Detection (which automatically detects a car wreck and contacts emergency services in the event of a crash) and Emergency SOS via satellite, a feature with the capability to connect to emergency services via satellite if you find yourself in distress while out of range of Wi-Fi or cellular. The Emergency SOS via satellite is a first in the smartphone arena, since connecting to a satellite was previously only possible through bulky expensive devices built specifically for this purpose. The iPhone 14 & 14 Plus also offers a new dual-camera system, designed to take low-light photography to the next level (goodbye, grainy nighttime photos!). 

iPhone 14 Pro

Release Date: September 16, 2022

iPhone 14 Pro 2022

Similar to the iPhone 14 base model, the 6.1" iPhone 14 Pro debuted with the same Crash Detection and Emergency SOS via Satellite safety features. In addition to the new A16 Bionic chip, it also got a surprising upgrade, with a new "Dynamic Island" feature where the notch used to be. While the notch isn't gone, it now adapts to whatever you are doing to more seamlessly display notifications and background activities. It also featured an Always-On display, made possible by low-energy components, so that the time and widgets on your lock screen are always viewable. In perhaps the most impressive update, the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max offer a 48 MP camera (a sharp jump from the 12 MP camera offered by the previous model). This translates to a more flexible camera, with more options for framing and cropping, as well as better low-light shots so you can worry less about the lighting and more about capturing the moment.

iPhone 14 Pro Max

Release Date: September 16, 2022

iPhone 14 Pro 2022

Its screen is the same size as the previous Pro Max generation: 6.7 inches diagonally. As expected, the iPhone 14 Pro Max has the same upgrades the other iPhone 14 models had, including the Always-On display, Dynamic Island, A16 chip, Emergency SOS via Satellite, Crash Detection, and the impressive 48 MP camera. It also offered a staggering 29 hour video playback battery life and the brightest and clearest display of any iPhone ever. With the new 48 MP camera, you won't want to stop taking photos, as this camera helps you to capture more colors, textures, and detail than ever before!

iPhone Generations to Come

Apple has released a total of 38 iPhones over the years (including the latest iPhone 14 models). We've given you a complete look at each iPhone evolution, starting when Steve Jobs unveiled the original iPhone in 2007. As you can see, the iPhone has gone through a lot of changes, from a 16 GB web browser to a 1 TB all-in-one camera, workspace, and entertainment center.

In the early days, Apple released one iPhone per year. That gradually changed as the releases of new models got closer and closer together from 2010 to 2013. With the September rollout, though, Apple released both the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 5c, ushering in an era of two iPhone releases per year. 2017, 2018, and 2019 each saw the release of three more iPhone models, and then in 2020 the tech giant shocked the world. Not only did it release the iPhone SE (second-generation) in April, the company also rolled out the four iPhones in the 12-series lineup in its delayed fall announcement. At its September 2021 event, Apple revealed the four new phones that comprise the iPhone 13 lineup, then in March 2022 released the the iPhone SE (third-generation). However, in the September 2022 event, the iPhone 14 lineup had reverted to only three new phones, marking the end of the less popular iPhone mini.

Why Did Apple Skip Some iPhone Numbers?

Did you know that there isn't an iPhone 2? After Apple created the first generation iPhone, the one that came after that was all about 3G internet connectivity, so the iPhone 2 was skipped. Why did Apple skip iPhone 9? Well, there wasn't an iPhone 9 because Apple went straight to the iPhone X, a decision made based on it being released in the tenth year after the very first iPhone release. Apple is known for doing things its own way, so frankly we're not surprised.

We loved learning about the history of the iPhone over the years, and we hope you did too! Be sure to check back in and stay up-to-date with all the newest models as the iPhone continues to evolve and grow. If you think it might be time for you to upgrade your iPhone to a newer model, check out our article on how to know when to upgrade your phone.

The Evolution of the iPhone Camera

Did the first iPhone have a camera? It sure did, though not an especially powerful or clear one. Still, it was better than a disposable camera! The first iPhone also gave users access to just 16 GB of storage at most, and 4 GB on the low end. Can you imagine? 

The cameras built into iPhones have always been a major draw for the devices, and Apple has shown a company initiative to continue improving upon iPhone cameras with each release. These days, you can enjoy incredible detail and professional-level finishing just with the stock camera and photo editing options included with your iPhone!

We hope this article answers any questions you have about the evolution of phones in Apple's lineup. This iPhone evolution chart will continue to grow over the years, and we'll be here to keep it updated: from the upcoming iPhone 14 to a hypothetical iPhone 15 and beyond. Maybe in 2027 we'll even get an iPhone XX! What do you think is coming in the Apple cell phone timeline? Let us know your thoughts and guesses below.

Image Credits: Apple and Youtube / Greg Wyatt 

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Author Details

Conner Carey's picture

Author Details

Conner Carey

Conner Carey's writing can be found at She is currently writing a book, creating lots of content, and writing poetry via @conpoet on Instagram. She lives in an RV full-time with her mom, Jan and dog, Jodi as they slow-travel around the country.