Since its introduction in 2007, the iPhone has become a cultural icon and a symbol of innovation. Over the years, Apple has consistently pushed the boundaries of design, constantly refining and improving the aesthetics of their flagship device. From the first-generation iPhone to the latest iPhone 13, there have been significant design changes that have shaped not only how we perceive smartphones but also how they fit into our daily lives.

The First-Generation iPhone (2007)

The original iPhone revolutionized the smartphone industry with its sleek and minimalist design. It featured a rounded rectangular shape with a single home button on the front. The back was made of aluminum, giving it a premium feel. The iconic black bezel surrounding the display added contrast and elegance to the overall design.

In Steve Jobs’ words: “It’s an iPod, a phone, and an internet communicator…are you getting it? These are not three separate devices; this is one device.”

Key Features:

  • Aluminum back
  • Rounded rectangular shape
  • Black bezel

The iPhone 4 Series (2010)

In 2010, Apple introduced the iPhone 4 series, which marked a significant shift in design language. The glass back replaced aluminum, giving it a more premium look and feel. This change also allowed for wireless charging capabilities in later models.

“This changes everything again.” – Apple’s marketing slogan for iPhone 4.

Key Features:

  • Glass back
  • Flat, rectangular shape
  • Stainless steel frame

The iPhone 5 Series (2012)

The iPhone 5 series introduced a taller and slimmer form factor. It featured an aluminum back with glass inserts at the top and bottom, giving it a distinctive look. The introduction of the Lightning connector replaced the traditional 30-pin dock connector, allowing for faster data transfer and improved durability.

“The biggest thing to happen to iPhone since iPhone.” – Apple’s marketing slogan for iPhone 5.

Key Features:

  • Taller and slimmer design
  • Glass inserts on the back
  • Lightning connector

The iPhone 6 Series (2014)

In 2014, Apple launched the larger-screened iPhone 6 series. This marked a departure from the previous smaller form factors. The rounded edges and thinner profile gave it a more elegant and modern appearance. Additionally, the antenna bands were moved to the edges of the device, contributing to a cleaner overall design.

“Bigger than bigger.” – Apple’s marketing slogan for iPhone 6.

Key Features:

  • Larger screen size options
  • Rounded edges
  • Moved antenna bands to edges

The iPhone X Series (2017)

In a bold move, Apple introduced the notch display with the iPhone X in 2017. The notch housed various sensors required for Face ID facial recognition technology. This allowed for an edge-to-edge display with minimal bezels. The glass back was reintroduced, enabling wireless charging.

“Say hello to the future.” – Apple’s marketing slogan for iPhone X.

Key Features:

  • Notch display
  • Glass back
  • Face ID facial recognition

The iPhone 12 Series (2020)

The iPhone 12 series brought a flat-edged design reminiscent of the iPhone 4 series. This departure from the rounded edges of previous models gave it a more modern and sophisticated look. Additionally, Apple introduced Ceramic Shield technology, which significantly improved durability and drop resistance.

“Blast past fast.” – Apple’s marketing slogan for iPhone 12.

Key Features:

  • Flat-edged design
  • Ceramic Shield technology

Iphone 13 Series (2021)

The most recent iteration of the iPhone, the iPhone 13 series, retains many design elements from its predecessor but features some notable improvements. The camera module is now diagonal rather than vertical, giving it a fresh and distinctive appearance. The notch has been slightly reduced in size, allowing for more screen real estate. Additionally, new color options have been introduced to offer greater personalization choices.

In Tim Cook’s words: “The best iPhones we’ve ever created.”

Key Features:

  • Diagonal camera module
  • Slightly reduced notch size
  • New color options


Over the years, Apple has continuously evolved the design of their iPhones, pushing the boundaries of what a smartphone can be. From the original iPhone’s sleek aluminum back to the latest iPhone 13’s diagonal camera module, each iteration showcases Apple’s commitment to innovation and aesthetics.

The design evolution of iPhones demonstrates how technology and aesthetics can go hand in hand. As smartphones have become an integral part of our lives, Apple’s attention to detail and dedication to creating visually appealing devices have played a significant role in shaping our perception of what a smartphone should look like.

In conclusion, the design evolution of iPhones is a testament to Apple’s relentless pursuit of excellence. Each new model builds upon its predecessor, incorporating new materials, form factors, and features that enhance both functionality and visual appeal. Whether it’s the iconic black bezel of the first-generation iPhone or the sleek glass back of later models, each design change has left its mark on not only the iPhone but also on the broader smartphone industry as a whole.