IPhone facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
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iPhone
IPhone Logo 2016.svg
IPhone XS Max Silver.svg
The front face of iPhone XS
Developer Apple Inc.
Manufacturer Foxconn, Pegatron
(contract manufacturers)
Type Smartphone
Operating system iOS
Storage 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256 or 512 GB flash memory
Sound
  • Bluetooth
  • stereo speaker (iPhone 7 and up)
  • microphone
  • 3.5 mm stereo audio jack (not available on iPhone 7 and up)
  • Lightning port (requires iOS 10 or later)
Related articles
Website apple.com/iphone/

iPhone is a line of smartphones designed and marketed by Apple Inc. All generations of the iPhone use Apple's iOS mobile operating system software. The first-generation iPhone was released on June 29, 2007, and multiple updated hardware and new versions with new iOS releases have been released since.

The user interface is built around the device's multi-touch screen, including a virtual keyboard. The iPhone has Wi-Fi and can connect to cellular networks. An iPhone can shoot video (though this was not a standard feature until the iPhone 3GS), take photos, play music, send and receive email, browse the web, send and receive text messages, follow GPS navigation, record notes, perform mathematical calculations, and receive visual voicemail.

Other functionality, such as video games, reference works, and social networking, can be enabled by downloading mobile apps. As of 2017 Apple's App Store contained more than 2.2 million applications available for the iPhone.

The original iPhone was described as "revolutionary" and a "game-changer" for the mobile phone industry. Future versions of the iPhone have also garnered praise. The iPhone is one of the most widely used smartphones in the world, and its success has been credited with helping Apple become one of the world's most valuable publicly traded companies. The iPhone attracts users of all ages, and besides consumer use, the iPhone has also been adopted for business purposes.

Iphone 6 gekocht
Iphone 6

History

Apple has released eleven generations of iPhone models, each accompanied by one of the eleven major releases of the iOS operating system. The original first-generation iPhone was a GSM phone.

Aerial view of Apple Park dllu
Aerial view of Apple Park, the corporate headquarters of Apple Inc., located in Cupertino, California

The iPhone 3G added 3G network support, and was followed by the 3GS with improved hardware, the 4 with a metal chassis, higher display resolution and front-facing camera, and the 4S with improved hardware and the voice assistant Siri.

The iPhone 5 featured a taller, 4-inch display and Apple's newly introduced Lightning connector. In 2013, Apple released the 5S with improved hardware and a fingerprint reader, and the lower-cost 5C, a version of the 5 with colored plastic casings instead of metal. They were followed by the larger iPhone 6, with models featuring 4.7-and-5.5-inch (120 and 140 mm) displays. The iPhone 6S was introduced the following year, which featured hardware upgrades and support for pressure-sensitive touch inputs, as well as the SE—which featured hardware from the 6S but the smaller form factor of the 5S.

In 2016, Apple unveiled the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, which added water resistance, improved system and graphics performance, a new rear dual-camera setup on the Plus model, and new color options, while removing the 3.5 mm headphone jack found on previous models. The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus were released in 2017, adding a glass back and an improved screen and camera. The iPhone X was released alongside the 8 and 8 Plus, an improved camera and a new facial recognition system, named Face ID, but having no home button, and therefore, no Touch ID.

IPhone XS 1 2018-11-02
IPhone XS

On September 12, 2018, Apple officially unveiled the iPhone XS, XS Max and XR at the Steve Jobs theater at Apple Park. The XS and XS Max feature an improved Super Retina Display with Dolby Vision and HDR10 support with the XS Max featuring a larger 6.5" display, improved cameras with Smart HDR, and the A12 Bionic chip.

The iPhone XS and XS Max are IP68 water, liquid, and dust resistant which allow the devices to be submerged in up to 2 meters for a duration of 30 minutes. The iPhone XS/XS Max's IP68 certifications were tested using various liquids such as chlorinated-water, salt water, tea, wine, beer, and juices. Apple also announced the fourth generation of Apple Watch, the Apple Watch Series 4.

Development

Steve Jobs Headshot 2010-CROP
Steve Jobs shows off the iPhone 4 at the 2010 Worldwide Developers Conference

Development of what was to become the iPhone began in 2004, when Apple started to gather a team of 1,000 employees (including Jonathan Ive, the designer behind the iMac and iPod) to work on the highly confidential "Project Purple." Apple CEO Steve Jobs steered the original focus away from a tablet (which Apple eventually revisited in the form of the iPad) towards a phone. Apple created the device during a secretive collaboration with Cingular Wireless (which became AT&T Mobility) at the time—at an estimated development cost of US$150 million over thirty months.

According to Steve Jobs, the "i" word in "iMac" (and therefore "iPod", "iPhone" and "iPad") stands for internet, individual, instruct, inform, and inspire.

Jobs unveiled the iPhone to the public on January 9, 2007, at the Macworld 2007 convention at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. The two initial models, a 4 GB model priced at US$499 and an 8 GB model at US$599 (both requiring a two-year contract), went on sale in the United States on June 29, 2007, at 6:00 pm local time, while hundreds of customers lined up outside the stores nationwide. From 2007 to 2011, Apple spent $647 million on advertising for the iPhone in the US.

Steve Jobs presents iPhone
Steve Jobs presents iPhone - MacWorld Conference & Expo 2007 - San Francisco

Apple sent invitations for a press event to be held October 4, 2011, at 10:00 am at the Cupertino headquarters to announce details of the next generation iPhone, which turned out to be iPhone 4S. Over 1 million 4S models were sold in the first 24 hours after its release in October 2011. Due to large volumes of the iPhone being manufactured and its high selling price, Apple became the largest mobile handset vendor in the world by revenue, in 2011, surpassing long-time leader Nokia.

In February 2012, ComScore reported that 12.4% of US mobile subscribers used an iPhone. Approximately 6.4 million iPhones are active in the US alone.

Sales

IPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus (close-up)
Apple iPhone 7 in jet black and an Apple iPhone 7 Plus in gold

On September 20, 2013, the sales date of the iPhone 5S and 5C models, the longest ever queue was observed at the New York City flagship Apple store, in addition to prominent queues in San Francisco, US and Canada; however, locations throughout the world were identified for the anticipation of corresponding consumers. Apple also increased production of the gold-colored iPhone 5S due to the particularly strong demand that emerged. Apple had decided to introduce a gold model after finding that gold was seen as a popular sign of a luxury product among Chinese customers.

Apple released its opening weekend sales results for the 5C and 5S models, showing an all-time high for the product's sales figures, with nine million handsets sold—the previous record was set in 2012, when five million handsets were sold during the opening weekend of the 5 model. This was the first time that Apple has simultaneously launched two models and the inclusion of China in the list of markets contributed to the record sales result. Apple also announced that, as of September 23,  2013 (2013 -09-23), 200 million devices were running the iOS 7 update, making it the "fastest software upgrade in history."

IPhone 7 - A1778 Rose Gold - Back
IPhone 7 - Rose Gold

In January 2012, Apple reported its best quarterly earnings ever, with 53% of its revenue coming from the sale of 37 million iPhones, at an average selling price of nearly $660. The average selling price has remained fairly constant for most of the phone's lifespan, hovering between $622 and $660. Labor costs are estimated at between $12.50 and $30 per unit, with workers on the iPhone assembly line making $1.78 an hour.

An Apple Store located at the Christiana Mall in Newark, Delaware, US claimed the highest iPhones sales figures in November 2013. The store's high sales results are due to the absence of a sales tax in the state of Delaware.

The finalization of a deal between Apple and China Mobile, the world's largest mobile network, was announced in late December 2013. The multi-year agreement provides iPhone access to over 760 million China Mobile subscribers.

In the first quarter of 2014, Apple reported that it had sold 51 million iPhones, an all-time quarterly record, compared to 47.8 million in the year-ago quarter.

Production

IPhone SE rose gold rear
iPhone SE rose gold

Up to the iPhone 4, all iPhone models, as well as other iOS devices were manufactured exclusively by Foxconn, based in Taiwan. In 2011, after Tim Cook became CEO of the company, Apple changed its outsourcing strategy, for the first time increasing its supply partners. The iPhone 4s in 2012 was the first model which was manufactured simultaneously by two stand-alone companies: Foxconn as well as Pegatron, also based in Taiwan. Although Foxconn is still responsible for the larger share of production, Pegatron's orders have been slowly increased.

iPhone Upgrade Program

IPhone 8 silver and iPhone 8 Plus gold
IPhone 8 silver and iPhone 8 Plus gold

Apple announced on September 1, 2013, that its iPhone trade-in program would be implemented at all of its 250 specialty stores in the US. For the program to become available, customers must have a valid contract and must purchase a new phone, rather than simply receive credit to be used at a later date. A significant part of the program's goal is to increase the number of customers who purchase iPhones at Apple stores rather than carrier stores.

The iPhone Upgrade Program is a 24-month program designed for consumers to be able to get the latest iPhone every year, without paying the whole price up-front. The program consists of "low monthly payments", where consumers will gradually pay for the iPhone they have over a 24-month period, with an opportunity to switch (upgrade) to the new iPhone after 12 months of payment have passed. Once 12 months have passed, consumers can trade their current iPhone with a new one, and the payments are transferred from the old device to the new device, and the program "restarts" with a new 24-month period.

Additional features of the program include unlocked handsets, which means consumers are free to pick the network carrier they want, and two-year AppleCare+ protection, which includes "hardware repairs, software support, and coverage for up to two incidents of accidental damage".

Controversy

IPhone battery (2)
IPhone battery

On December 28, 2017, amidst many complaints about older iPhone models slowing down when new ones are released, Apple released a communication to its customers on its website, acknowledging the effect that old batteries have on the iPhone's performance. The company offered $29 battery replacements as a solution.

Hardware

Screen and input

The touchscreen on the first five generations is a 9 cm (3.5 in) liquid crystal display with scratch-resistant glass, while the one on the iPhone 5 is four inches. The capacitive touchscreen is designed for a bare finger, or multiple fingers for multi-touch sensing. The iPhone X is the first iPhone to use an OLED display. It has a near bezel-less screen. The touch and gesture features of the iPhone are based on technology originally developed by FingerWorks.

IPhone 4S Compared to iPhone 3GS
iPhone 4S Compared to iPhone 3GS

The iPhone has a minimal hardware user interface, with most models featuring five buttons. The only physical menu button is situated directly below the display, and is called the "Home button" because its primary function is to close the active app and navigates to the home screen of the interface. The iPhone X doesn't have a Home button but instead Face ID, a facial recognition authentication method.

A multi-function sleep/wake button is located on the top of the device. It serves as the unit's power button, and also controls phone calls. When a call is received, pressing the sleep/wake button once silences the ringtone, and when pressed twice transfers the call to voicemail. Situated on the left spine are the volume adjustment controls. The iPhone 4 has two separate circular buttons to increase and decrease the volume.

IPhone 3GS and iPhone 4
iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4

Directly above the volume controls is a ring/silent switch that when engaged mutes telephone ringing, alert sounds from new & sent emails, text messages, and other push notifications, camera shutter sounds, Voice Memo sound effects, phone lock/unlock sounds, keyboard clicks, and spoken auto-corrections. This switch does not mute alarm sounds from the Clock application, and in some countries or regions it will not mute the camera shutter or Voice Memo sound effects. All buttons except Home were made of plastic on the original first generation iPhone and metal on all later models.

Sensors

NFC-payment
Apple Pay is an example of a contactless payment, which uses NFC technology

iPhones feature a number of sensors, which are used to adjust the screen based on operating conditions, enable motion-controlled games, location-based services, unlock the phone, and authenticate purchases with Apple Pay, among many other things.

A proximity sensor deactivates the display and touchscreen when the device is brought near the face during a call. This is done to save battery power and to prevent inadvertent inputs from the user's face and ears.

An ambient light sensor adjusts the display brightness which saves battery power and prevents the screen from being too bright or too dark.

A 3-axis accelerometer senses the orientation of the phone and changes the screen accordingly, allowing the user to easily switch between portrait and landscape mode. Photo browsing, web browsing, and music playing support both upright and left or right widescreen orientations. It is also used for fitness tracking purposes.

IPhone 6s - Touch ID front view-93104
iPhone models starting from iPhone 5S (excluding the iPhone 5C and iPhone X) feature Apple's fingerprint recognition sensor. It is used for unlocking the device and authenticating Apple Pay purchases (since the iPhone 6) using Touch ID. It is located in the home button

Beginning with the iPhone 4, Apple's smartphones also include a gyroscopic sensor, enhancing its perception of how it is moved.

All iPhone models starting from iPhone 5S (excluding the iPhone 5C and iPhone X) feature Apple's fingerprint recognition sensor. It is used for unlocking the device and authenticating Apple Pay purchases (since the iPhone 6) using Touch ID. It is located in the home button.

The iPhone X features a facial recognition sensor, named the TrueDepth camera system. It is used for unlocking the device and for authenticating purchases using Face ID. It can also be used for Animojis and AR.

Audio and output

On the bottom of the iPhone, there is a speaker to the left of the dock connector and a microphone to the right. There is an additional loudspeaker above the screen that serves as an earpiece during phone calls. The iPhone 4 includes an additional microphone at the top of the unit for noise cancellation, and switches the placement of the microphone and speaker on the base on the unit—the speaker is on the right. Volume controls are located on the left side of all iPhone models and as a slider in the iPod application.

Bottom of iPhone
From left to right is the headphone jack, microphone, lightning connector, and built-in speaker on the base of the iPhone 5S

Cars equipped with an auxiliary jack allow hands free use of the iPhone while driving as a substitute for Bluetooth. The iPhone 7 and later have no 3.5mm headphone jack, and instead headsets must connect to the iPhone by Bluetooth.

Apple's own headset has a multipurpose button near the microphone that can play or pause music, skip tracks, and answer or end phone calls without touching the iPhone.

The built-in Bluetooth 2.x+EDR supports wireless earpieces and headphones, which requires the HSP profile. While non-sanctioned third-party solutions exist, the iPhone does not officially support the OBEX file transfer protocol. The lack of these profiles prevents iPhone users from exchanging multimedia files, such as pictures, music and videos, with other Bluetooth-enabled cell phones.

The iPhone did not support voice recording until the 3.0 software update.

Battery

IPhone Internals
Replacing the battery requires disassembling the iPhone unit and exposing the internal hardware

The iPhone features an internal rechargeable lithium-ion battery. Like an iPod, but unlike most other mobile phones at the time of its launch, the battery is not user-replaceable. The iPhone can be charged when connected to a computer for syncing across the included USB to dock connector cable, similar to charging an iPod. Alternatively, a USB to AC adapter (or "wall charger", also included) can be connected to the cable to charge directly from an AC outlet. Some models of the iPhone support wireless charging.

Apple runs tests on pre-production units to determine battery life. Apple's website says that the battery life "is designed to retain up to 80% of its original capacity after 400 full charge and discharge cycles", which is comparable to iPod batteries.

If the battery malfunctions or dies prematurely, the phone can be returned to Apple and replaced for free while still under warranty. The warranty lasts one year from purchase and can be extended to two years with AppleCare. Apple reduced the price of an out-of-warranty iPhone battery replacement to $29.

Camera

IPhone 5S main camera
IPhone 5S main camera

The first-generation iPhone and iPhone 3G have a fixed-focus 2.0-megapixel camera on the back for digital photos. It has no optical zoom, flash or autofocus, and does not support video recording. Video recording is possible on the first-generation iPhone and iPhone 3G via a third-party app available on the App Store or through jailbreaking. iPhone OS 2.0 introduced geotagging for photos.

The iPhone 3GS has a 3.2-megapixel camera with auto focus, auto white balance, and auto macro (up to 10 cm). Manufactured by OmniVision, the camera can also capture 640×480 (VGA resolution) video at 30 frames per second. The video can be cropped on the iPhone and directly uploaded to YouTube or other services.

The iPhone 4 introduced a 5.0-megapixel camera (2592×1936 pixels) that can record video at 720p resolution, considered high-definition. It also has a backside-illuminated sensor that can capture pictures in low light and an LED flash that can stay lit while recording video. It is the first iPhone that can do high dynamic range photography. The iPhone 4 also has a second camera on the front that can take VGA photos and record SD video. Saved recordings may be synced to the host computer, attached to email, or (where supported) sent by MMS.

The iPhone 4S' camera can shoot 8-MP stills and 1080p video, can be accessed directly from the lock screen, and can be triggered using the volume-up button as a shutter trigger. The built-in gyroscope can stabilize the image while recording video.

IPhone 5S front camera
IPhone 5S front camera

The iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S, running iOS 6 or later, can take panoramas using the built-in camera app, and the iPhone 5 can also take still photos while recording video.

On all five model generations, the phone can be configured to bring up the camera app by quickly pressing the home key twice. On all iPhones running iOS 5, it can also be accessed from the lock screen directly.

The iPhone 8 camera remains largely the same as its predecessor, but it features a larger sensor, and a newer color filter. The camera can also now record 4K at 60 and 24 frames per second, and slow-mo at 1080p in 240 frames per second. The new camera system also enables Portrait Lighting, which defines the light in a scene. It also features a quad-LED True Tone flash with 2× better light uniformity and Slow Sync.

The iPhone X camera is almost the same as the iPhone 8's camera, but the telephoto lens has an aperture of f/2.4 and optical image stabilization. The front camera also has Portrait Mode and Portrait Lighting, due to the new TrueDepth camera system.

Storage

IPhone SIM Slot
IPhone SIM Slot

The iPhone was initially released with two options for internal storage size: 4 or 8 GB. On September 5, 2007, Apple discontinued the 4 GB models. On February 5, 2008, Apple added a 16 GB model. The iPhone 4S was available in three sizes: 16, 32, and 64 GB. When the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus were released, Apple changed the base model storage capacity from 16 to 32 GB.

Both the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus have configurations of 32, 128, and 256 GB storage. Apple doubled the storage on the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus in two configurations (32 and 128 GB), as well as the iPhone SE six months later. The iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X have 64 or 256 GB of storage.

Sim-card-needle
Comparison of the SIM card needles of the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5c

In most countries, the iPhone is usually sold with a SIM lock, which prevents the iPhone from being used on a different mobile network. The GSM iPhone 4 features a MicroSIM card that is located in a slot on the right side of the device. The CDMA model of the iPhone 4, just the same as any other CDMA-only cell phone, does not use a SIM card or have a SIM card slot. The iPhone 5 and later iPhones use nano-SIM in order to save space internally.

Included items

All iPhone models include written documentation, and a dock connector to USB cable. All versions include a USB power adapter, or "wall charger", which allows the iPhone to charge from an AC outlet.

Payments

Apple Pay logo
Apple Pay logo

In September 2014, with the launch of the iPhone 6, Apple announced Apple Pay, a mobile payment system. The feature, aimed to "revolutionize" the way users pay, uses an NFC chip, Touch ID fingerprint scanner (Face ID on iPhone X), Apple's Wallet app, and a dedicated "Secure Element" chip for encrypted payment information to make purchases at participating stores, both physical and online.

Software

IOS 12 Homescreen iPhone X
Default layout and configuration of the iOS 12 homescreen as released by Apple on an iPhone X

The iPhone runs an operating system known as iOS (formerly iPhone OS). It is a variant of the Darwin operating system core found in macOS. Also included is the "Core Animation" software component from Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard. Together with the PowerVR hardware, it is responsible for the interface's motion graphics. The iPhone comes with a set of bundled applications developed by Apple, and supports downloading third-party applications through the App Store.

Apple provides free updates to the operating system for the iPhone either wirelessly or through iTunes. Major new updates have historically accompanied new models.

The size of the operating system depends on version. While iOS 8 required over 4.5 GB, its successor required only 1.3 GB.

Models

21 different iPhone models have been produced:

Images for kids


IPhone Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.