Timeline: The history of the iPhone
Apple’s smartphone has a long heritage
A fingerprint reader is just one of the security measures that Apple is rumoured to have included in its latest iPhone.
1993 – Apple releases its first series of personal digital assistant devices, the Apple Newton Message Pad.
April 2005 – Apple buys FingerWorks, which develops gesture recognition. This will later help the company develop multitouch for its mobile software platform iOS.
September 5th, 2005 – The Motorola Rokr E1 is launched. It’s the first phone to have support for iTunes, and holds about 100 songs. A year later, Apple stops supporting it.
January 29th, 2007 – Apple chief executive Steve Jobs unveils the new iPhone at Macworld. Its camera is 2 megapixels, it’s only available in 4GB and 8GB capacities, and supports only wifi and Edge, meaning no 3G – for now. It only runs certain software too; the App Store has not yet been opened.
June 29th, 2007 – The first iPhone hits the market, only in the US. Apple executives aim to sell the millionth handset by the end of its first full quarter of sales.
July 9th, 2007 – The first jailbreak for iPhone is released, allowing buyers to install unofficial software on the device.
March 6th, 2008 – Apple releases the software development kit for the iPhone. It says 100,000 copies of it were downloaded in the first four days.
March 14th, 2008 – The iPhone goes on sale throughout Ireland.
June 9th, 2008 – TheiPhone 3G unveiled at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). It comes with GPS technology and, more importantly, supports 3G networks. The capacity is bumped up to 16GB.
July 11th 2008 – iPhone 3G goes on sale, starting in 22 countries, including Ireland, but only on certain networks. One million are sold in the first weekend. The App Store notches up 10 million downloads in its first weekend.
July 2009 - Apple buys mapping firm PlaceBase.
June 8th, 2009 – Steve Jobs unveils the iPhone 3G at WWDC. The camera is bumped up to 3 megapixels, and Apple promises the device is “twice as powerful” as its predecessor. It includes version 3 of iOS, which brings features such as copy and paste and multimedia messaging to the iPhone. A 32GB model is introduced. By the end of the month, more than one million devices will have been sold.
April 2010 – Apple buys voice control software firm Siri.
June 7th, 2010 – The redesigned iPhone 4 is shown off to crowds at WWDC. A five megapixel camera, video calling through Facetime and the Retina display make an appearance. It initially goes on sale in the US, UK, France, Germany and Japan on June 24th.
July 26th, 2010 – The iPhone 4 is launched in Ireland and 16 other countries.
September 2010 – Apple buys Polar Rose and IMSense; technology from both firms will later be incorporated into the iPhone’s camera.
August 24th, 2011- Steve Jobs resigns as chief executive of Apple, saying he could no longer meet his duties and expectations as CEO, and recommends the board appoint to Tim Cook in his place. He says he will stay on as chairman of the board.
October 4th, 2011 – The iPhone 4S, with a dual core chip, is unveiled at a more muted launch. Digital assistant Siri makes its first appearance on the iPhone, as does iCloud. More than 1 million preorders are placed in 24 hours.
October 5th, 2011 - Steve Jobs loses his battle with pancreatic cancer.
July 2012 - Apple buys Authentek. Rumours circulate that the company is planning to introduce fingerprint authentication into its phones.
September 12th, 2012 – The iPhone 5 is announced, with a slightly larger screen and an improved processor, but no fingerprint authentication. It goes on sale on September 21st in selected countries before making it to Ireland a week later ; sales in its first weekend top five million, with more than two million preorders in its first 24 hours.