Apple's iPhone: Then and now

We take a look at how the iPhone's design has changed over time, from the original model released in 2007 to the iPhone 4.

  • The iPhone 4 is supported by a stainless steel frame which doubles as the phone's antenna. Apple also developed a special type of glass for the front and back of the phone called aluminosilicate glass — it is allegedly 20 times stiffer and 30 times harder than plastic. Like the iPhone 3G and 3GS, the iPhone 4 is sold in black and white models; however the white models have been delayed until the end of the year due to production issues. Become a fan of [[xref:|GoodGearGuide on Facebook]] Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: [[xref:|@GoodGearGuide|Twitter: GoodGearGuide]] Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to [[xref:| GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters| Register for GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters]]

  • The plastic buttons on the original iPhone were replaced with metal ones on the iPhone 3G and the back of the phone was a curvier. These changes were minimal, but contributed to the iPhone 3G's overwhelming popularity.

  • The [[artnid:187779|original iPhone|Review: Apple iPhone]], released in 2007, was a revolutionary device that combined a slick design with groundbreaking hardware. It had a large multitouch, capacitive touchscreen, an aluminium back and just five buttons that have remained on each model since then.

  • Apple released the [[artnid:252856|iPhone 3G|Review: Apple iPhone 3G]] in 2008 to much fanfare. With the second iPhone, customers could choose from either a black or white plastic back. Some users reported hairline cracks appearing in this plastic backing, unlike the aluminium back of its predecessor. However, the difference between the original iPhone's design to the iPhone 3G's was not too drastic.

  • A year later the [[artnid:309245|iPhone 3GS|Review: Apple iPhone 3GS]] was released. It looked almost identical to its predecessor, but received significant upgrades under the hood, including a faster processor and more memory. Black and white models were still offered and the reflective text on the back of the phone was changed to the same silver reflective material as the Apple logo.

  • The [[artnid:355503|iPhone 4|Review: Apple iPhone 4]] saw the most radical design overhaul in iPhone history, instigated by Apple design guru Jonathan Ive. The curved backing of the iPhone is gone and a flatter design is used, with sharper edges and cleaner lines. According to Apple, the iPhone 4 is 24 per cent thinner than the iPhone 3GS at just 9.3mm, making it the thinnest smartphone in the world.

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