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Last updated on April 18, 2014 at 15:44 EDT

Apple iPhone

The Apple iPhone is a line of smartphones using Apple’s iOS mobile operating system. Up until mid-2010 it was known as the iPhone OS. It is able to take photos, play games, play music, browse the web, send and receive e-mails, is GPS capable, can send text messages and has a visual voicemail function. Video was not introduced until the iPhone 3GS. There are currently over a million apps available in the App Store, offered by Apple and third party developers. There are currently six generations of the iPhone.

The iPhone began its development in 2004 using a team of 1,000 employees on a confidential assignment called “Project Purple.” Over thirty months and $150 million, the iPhone was born, and introduced on January 9, 2007, with a 4 GB and an 8 GB model. These models were released for sale in the US on June 29, 2007, in the UK, France, and Germany in November, 2007, and Ireland and Austria in the spring 2008.

On July 11, 2008, the iPhone 3G was released in over 80 countries and territories. On June 8, 2009, the iPhone 3GS was made available, but criticism was raised over the cost of the new iPhone. However, over the next five quarters 6.1 million were sold. By the end of 2010, 73.5 million were sold and Apple had 50 percent of the total profit of all mobile phones worldwide.

Both the 3G and the 3GS have been discontinued and replaced with the iPhone 4, released on April 10, 2011.

Verizon and Apple reached an agreement on January 11, 2011, and on February 10, 2011 the Verizon CDMA2000 iPhone 4 was released to the market. On March 2, 2011, Apple announced it had sold over 100 million iPhones worldwide. In October 2011, the iPhone 4S was released and within 24 hours over one million were sold. On September 12, 2012 the iPhone 5 was released. It had a larger screen, better processor, was lighter and thinner than the previous iPhones.

The iPhone has five control buttons, the menu button is directly below the display, called the home button, which will close the opened app and will open the home screen. The sleep/wake button is located on top of the device that controls on and off, phone calls, and accessing voicemail. Two circular buttons on the side of the unit controls the volume, and a switch just above the volume controls is called the ring/silent switch. This switch mutes all sounds associated with rings, alerts, and other sounds, except for the sounds from the clock application.

The iPhone also has a sensor that will automatically turn off the touchscreen feature when the phone is held close to the face or ear to avoid unwanted inputs on the interface.

Apple provides a custom headphone for use with the iPhone which has a multipurpose button to play music, skip tracks, control volume, and to answer calls without touching the phone.

The battery is an internal lithium-ion, and is not user replaceable. It can be charged by a USB connection to a computer, or a wall outlet.

Included accessories with all iPhones are a dock connector to USB, a headset, and a USB wall charger. Software, updates, and downloads are managed from a computer connection using iTunes. Up to sixteen icons can be viewed on the home screen at one time, including pre-installed functions and apps such as messages, calendar, photos, camera, stocks, maps, clock, calculator, YouTube, and many more installed and downloadable apps. Text messaging uses a touchscreen keyboard, with automatic spell check and correction. It also offers text in twenty-one different languages, including Chinese character recognition.

The iPhone also has a feature that will fade music being played when a call comes in, and then return the music to its original volume when the call ends. The iPhone 4 supports video calling through Wi-Fi, called FaceTime.

The following iPhones have been discontinued and are no longer available for purchase: the original iPhone, the iPhone 3G, and the iPhone 3GS. Available iPhones are the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, and the iPhone 5.

The iPhone 4 was released on February 10, 2011 in black, and April 28, 2011 in white. It has a 3.5 inch LCD display, available with 8, 16, or 32 GB of storage, 1 GHz Apple A4 CPU, 512 MB of DRAM, 5.0 MP rear and a .03 MP front camera with video capabilities on both.

The iPhone 4S released on October 14, 2011; it has a 3.5 inch LCD display, available with 16, 32, 64 GB of storage, 1 GHz Apple A5 Dual-Core CPU, 512 MB of DRAM, 8.0 MP rear and a .03 MP front camera with video capabilities on both.

The iPhone 5 released on September 21, 2012; it has a 4 inch LCD display, available with 16, 32, 64 GB of storage, 1.3 GHz Apple A6 Dual-Core CPU, 1 GB of DRAM, 8.0 MP rear and a 1.2 MP front camera with video capabilities on both.

Image Credit: Apple

Apple iPhone