(1) (InternetPhone) See IP phone and softphone.|
(2) A smartphone from Apple that integrates cellphone, iPod, camera, text messaging, e-mail and Web browsing. Data and applications can be sent to the phone wireless or via Apple's iTunes software, which is used to organize music, videos, photos and applications (see iTunes).
iPhone and iPhone 3G
Introduced in the U.S. in mid-2007, and available in the U.S. exclusively from AT&T until 2011, the iPhone was superseded by the iPhone 3G in July 2008. The 3G added higher data speed (the 3G), GPS and an application platform that turned the iPhone into a general-purpose mobile computer. With the 3G, the iPhone was finally introduced in Canada by Rogers Communications and its Fido subsidiary. It was also made available in many other parts of the world (see SIM lock).
iPhone 3G S and iPhone 4
In June 2009, the 3G S was introduced with a faster processor, video camera, voice phone dialer and improved battery life. The iPhone 4, which debuted in June 2010, added multitasking, much higher resolution and video calling (see iPhone 4). Version 4 of the OS also added multitasking to the 3G S, but not previous models.
Quite a Frenzy
The iPhone's touch screen interface was greatly anticipated, and no phone in the history of the cellular industry ever created so much buzz. People actually camped out overnight to be first in line. AT&T stores closed early Friday, June 29, 2007 to set up the displays, reopening at 6pm and staying late to accommodate customers. Considering more than 20 million iPhones were purchased in the following two years, the enthusiasm was justified.
Specifications and Network Speeds
The iPhone is a quad-band GSM phone with music and video playback, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and still and video cameras. Powered by an ARM processor, it uses a custom version of the Mac OS X operating system. The maximum flash storage started out at 8GB, increasing to 16GB and 32GB in subsequent models.
Often called the "2G," the first iPhone used only the EDGE cellular network, while the iPhone 3G, 3G S and 4 support both EDGE and the higher-speed HSDPA 3G network. For example, HSDPA downloads are 200-1000 Kbps compared to 70-150 Kbps for EDGE (see EDGE and HSPA). Although EDGE/HSDPA service is generally always available and Wi-Fi hotspots are not, Wi-Fi still provides the fastest data transfer (see Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi hotspot).
One inconvenience is that, like the iPod, the iPhone has a sealed battery and must be sent to Apple or to a third-party company for replacement if not under warranty. There is also no memory card slot for expansion. See iPod, iPod touch, iPad, iBricking and iClone.
Pressing the only physical button on the front of the unit displays the home screen, which is the main menu to all operations. (Image courtesy of Apple Inc.)
The iPhone set a precedent for attractive screen presentations and clever functions. The weather panels of selected cities are scrolled horizontally with the finger.
In 2008, Apple launched the App Store with the 3G, turning it into a general-purpose mobile computer. The 3G was also aimed at corporate users with its Exchange mail support. Later that year, this encyclopedia became available on the iPhone.