A Dark Past

Smartphones before the iPhone

Tablets, Before and After the iPad

A Smartphone Revolution

Hardware Timeline

iPhone iPhone 3G iPhone 3GS iPad iPhone 4 iPad 2
Release 6/07 7/08 6/09 4/10 6/10 3/11
Storage 4GB 8GB 8GB 16GB 16GB 16GB
Speed .6 Ghz .6 Ghz .8 Ghz 1 Ghz 1 Ghz 1 Ghz x 2
Memory 128MB 128MB 256MB 256MB 512MB 512MB
Max OS Version iOS 3 iOS 4 Current Current Current Current

Note: The iPod touch roughly matches the release spec timeline of the iPhone.

What can we learn from their hardware release cycle?


iOS 1

The original iPhone operating system had many of the built-in apps that come with the iPhone today. Highlights included:

Critics slammed it as too expensive and too simple—not even being able to copy and paste, but they didn't quit.

iOS 2

The second iteration touted the addition of the App Store for installing applications.

iOS 3

The third added copy and paste, video recording, and a bunch of minor enhancements.

iOS 4

The fourth iOS added multitasking, folders, printing, find device remotely, and wireless video streaming.

iOS 5

The fifth generation added wireless syncing to iTunes, iCloud, non-invasive notifications, built-in photo editing, and built-in reminders.

Next: Built-in Apps

Content © Philip Swanson