The history of the iPhone has been a strange one. Rather than completely changing the platform, Apple has made subtle upgrades over time to both the insides and the outsides of the device. In our iPhone Dimensions round-up you can see exactly how the device has changed over time.
Upon its initial release, the iPhone was seen by many as the most advanced digital device of the day. It had a massive, high resolution screen, plenty of processing power, and was one of the first mobile devices to offer a nearly uncompromised solution to mobile web surfing. I say nearly because Apple, of course, is still at odds with Adobe Flash and many popular websites did become useless without Flash support. Despite that relatively small shortcoming, Apple had a hit on its hands, and the iPhone remains one of the most popular mobile platforms today.
That doesn't mean the device hasn't gone through some major changes, however, and one of the largest is the numerous facelifts the device has undergone in terms of aesthetics. The device was originally equipped with an all-aluminum backing, and then switched to a polycarbonate material, and now the backing is made entirely of glass. That isn't the only change of course, as the device's dimensions themselves have also gone under a few mild changes.
When the iPhone was originally released in 2007, the phone had the following measurements:
- Height: 115mm (4.5in)
- Width: 61 (2.4)
- Depth: 11.6 (.46)
- Weight: 135 grams
As you can see, the basic iPhone shape, screen and interface are already in place with the first iteration of the iPhone. Although the device only supported 2G or EDGE service, millions of devices were sold, and its popularity is surely to thank for the future versions of Apple's smartphone.
iPhone 3G / 3GS Dimensions
Roughly a year after its initial release, people were thirsting for a newer, faster iPhone. They got it in the form of the iPhone 3G. The 3G was not only faster in terms of web surfing and other smartphone features, but it was also a slight departure from the original iPhone design. Gone was the aluminum backing with the black bottom and in its place was a full polycarbonate panel from the top of the phone to the bottom. This meant a cleaner look for the phone, while leaving the front of the device virtually unchanged.
- Height: 115.5mm (4.5in)
- Width: 62.1 (2.4)
- Depth: 12.3 (.48)
- Weight: 133 grams
The yearly refresh came along again and brought with it the iPhone 3GS, which did nothing in terms of a facelift, with the iPhone dimensions remaining exactly the same, but instead bumped up the processing power for web surfing, apps and gaming. The iPhone 3GS is also the base line of device that can still use all the features of the newly released iOS4, with no compromises.
iPhone 4 Dimensions
The release of the iPhone 4 is by far the biggest aesthetic and functionality overhaul that the device has undergone so far. The look of the device, with the large screen and the sleek home and side buttons remains intact, but nearly everything else about the device has evolved in one way or another. Gone is the plastic backing and in its place is a full glass panel that covers the entire back of the device. The sides are steel, and work double duty as both a structural asset and function as the phone's antenna. The iPhone dimensions have changed too, the phone is significantly thinner, yet it weighs slightly more than any of the other versions of the iPhone.
- Height: 115.2mm (4.5in)
- Width: 58.6 (2.31)
- Depth: 9.3 (.37)
- Weight: 137 grams