iHistory: A Look Back At iPhone Releases And Reactions

A Walk Down Memory Lane

The latest installment of the iPhone continues to tank Apple stock after disgruntled fans found disappointment in the Sept. 10 announcement. Apple stock is already down 11 percent since the announcement. In the spirit of the release, CRN takes a look back at the previous iPhone releases and how sentiments stack up against the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C announcement.


Announcement Date: Jan. 9, 2007
Release Date: June 26, 2007

The iPhone revolutionized phones by allowing a user's finger to act as a mouse to operate a combination of phone, touch-enabled iPod and Internet communications access, something that is so common in today's market.

"Today Apple is reinventing the phone," Steve Jobs said in his keynote address revealing the first iPhone.

The first phone came with a 2-megapixel camera, SMS application, 3.5-inch display, HTML email client, Safari browser and Google Maps, among many other features. The announcement also brought about the first taste of now-common Apple-iPhone-mania, where people waited outside of Apple stores for days before the release, eager to be one of the first to get their hands on the new phone.

In the two days surrounding the announcement, Apple shares rose 13 percent.

iPhone 3G

Announcement Date: June 9, 2008
Release Date: July 11, 2008
Key Additions: Faster 3G networking, GPS, software upgrade, corporate email access, third-party applications

The iPhone 3G addressed many of the concerns over the original iPhone, including making it available to the faster 3G network, additional applications and Microsoft Exchange support -- all for a lower price. Many of the changes made the iPhone more accessible for enterprise use, including additional security features and the addition of corporate email access. Complaints over the new phone included activation time, entering password for app download, lack of a cut-and-paste option, exterior design causing it to wobble on a table, and lack of Flash support. Apple stock rose 2 percent on day of announcement, but then dropped 7 percent over the next three days.

iPhone 3GS

Announcement Date: June 8, 2009
Release Date: June 19, 2009
Key Additions: Faster, 3-megapixel camera with tap to focus, 30fps video, longer battery life, voice control, fingerprint-resistant coating, landscape keyboard, cut and paste, spotlight search, increased storage

The "s" in 3GS supposedly stood for "speed," which reflected how the 3GS was the fastest iPhone to date. The phone was released without many hardware upgrades and in coordination with the iPhone 3.0 firmware update. Due to continued software support and upgrades, the iPhone 3GS is still present on the market. In the week after the announcement of the phone, Apple stock dropped 5 percent and 3 percent in the two days after its release.

iPhone 4

Announcement Date: June 7, 2010
Release Date: June 24, 2010
Key Additions: Glass exterior, front-facing camera, Retina display, longer battery life, 5-megapixel camera, FaceTime, White or Black color, deeper enterprise support, thinner build

The iPhone 4 brought about many new changes to the iPhone line, something that was criticized to be missing from the iPhone 3GS release. However, it also was announced as more competitors, such as Samsung's Galaxy, were starting to gain market ground. The transformation of the phone was physical -- leaving behind the curved design for a sleek, thin iPhone. Criticisms of the phone included poor battery life, antenna connectivity, continued lack of multitasking ability and the screen being prone to damage. Apple finally saw a stock rebound on the iPhone 4 after the 3GS disappointment, seeing a 9 percent rise in the week after the announcement.

iPhone 4S

Announcement Date: Oct. 4, 2011
Release Date: Oct. 14, 2011
Key Additions: Dual-core A4 CPU, dual-core GPU, global, 1 GB RAM, two antennas, 8-megapixel camera

The iPhone 4S had a tough hurdle to overcome after the death of Steve Jobs and the negative reaction to the 3GS as a sequel to the iPhone 3. The phone was almost identical to its predecessor but offered improvements in speed, cell reception and storage. The most notable addition was the introduction of Siri, the phone's voice-activated digital assistant. Major criticisms of the phone included limited battery life, Siri limitations and the fact that it wasn't an iPhone 5.

iPhone 5

Announcement Date: Sept. 12, 2012
Release Date: Sept. 28, 2012
Key Additions: 7.6 mm thin, 20 percent lighter, extra row of apps, Apple A6 processor, longer battery life, 4-in. Retina display, 8 megapixel camera, Lightning charger connection

The iPhone 5 redesign presented a lighter, slightly larger phone that allowed for an extra row of apps without making it too large to fit in the palm of a user's hand. Expanded Siri capabilities and longer battery life on the iPhone 5 helped appease some earlier critics of the iPhone 4S. Major criticisms of the new phone included the switch to Apple Maps, lighter weight that made it feel cheaper and the new charger port that made it no longer compatible with Apple devices. Apple saw a positive stock response to the announcement on Sept. 12, with stock prices rising 4 percent in three days.

iPhone 5S, 5C

Announcement Date: Sept. 10, 2013
Release Date: Sept. 18, 2013
Key Additions: A7 chip, fingerprint scanner, better camera capabilities, exterior color choices

In an unprecedented move, Apple unveiled not one but two iPhones at its Sept. 10 event. The iPhone 5S comes in gold, space gray and white, with fingerprint identification capabilities, and it's supposedly the fastest iPhone yet.

The second device, the 5C, is designed as a budget phone that comes in a variety of bright colors. Apple also released its iWork software free with the phones, appealing to the growing BYOD trend. Since the latest version of the iPhone was released a week ago, shares of Apple have fallen more than 11 percent.