Criticism of the program includes the potential endless cycle of payments, with The Huffington Posts Damon Beres writing, "Complete the full 24-month payment cycle, and you're stuck with an outdated phone. Upgrade every 12 months, and you'll never stop owing Apple money for iPhones". Additionally, the program is limited to just the iPhone hardware; cell phone service from a network operator is not included.
The first iPhone was released in 1998 by InfoGear Technology Corporation. In 1997, prior to the release of iPhone, Infogear entered into a partnership with Cidco of Morgan Hill, California. The iPhone was an innovative internet appliance that featured a sliding keyboard and an LCD touchscreen that accessed an embedded web browser and an email client. It was one of the first wave of internet appliances, preceding the I-Opener, 3Com Audrey and a slew of similar devices from various manufacturers including Alcatel and Nortel. Reviewers praised it for offering a simple and "relatively inexpensive" way to access the Internet, but many criticized its size, lack of features, and US $5 per month in addition to the Internet access charge and the purchase price (US $299). Infogear was acquired by Cisco Systems in 2000, A new model was introduced in 2001, but the product was soon discontinued.
Linksys was acquired by Cisco in June 2003, long after the production of Infogear iPhone had ceased. Unlike its name-sake predecessor, the new iPhone devices use an existing network and proprietary protocols, such as Skype. Rebranding did not involve any feature changes or introduction of new proprietary technology.
The iPhone Upgrade Program is a 24-month program designed for consumers to be able to get the latest iPhone every year, without paying the whole price up-front. The program consists of "low monthly payments", where consumers will gradually pay for the iPhone they have over a 24-month period, with an opportunity to switch (upgrade) to the new iPhone after 12 months of payment have passed. Once 12 months have passed, consumers can trade their current iPhone with a new one, and the payments are transferred from the old device to the new device, and the program "restarts" with a new 24-month period.
On August 21, 2015, Apple instituted a repair program for iPhone 6 Plus models released between September 2014 and January 2015, citing that faulty rear cameras on affected models may produce blurry pictures.
It was reported that the optical image stabilization systems on some iPhone 6 Plus models were faulty, failing to properly stabilize when the phone is being held perfectly still, leading to blurry photos and "wavy"-looking videos. The optical image stabilization system was also found to have been affected by accessories that use magnets, such as third-party lens attachments; Apple issued advisories to users and its licensed accessory makers, warning that magnetic or metallic accessories can cause the OIS to malfunction.
Apple and Cisco settled their dispute on February 20, 2007. Both companies will be allowed to use the "iPhone" name in exchange for "exploring interoperability" between Apple's products and Cisco's services and other unspecified terms.
Some iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models have an issue in which the front-facing camera is somehow "shifted", or out of place. Apple stated that they would replace most affected iPhone 6 models with this issue, free of charge. Despite numerous complaints regarding this issue, it does not seem to affect the camera itself. It is said that the camera is not what has shifted, but a piece of protective foam around the camera module itself that has gone out of place.
On January 9, 2007, Steve Jobs announced that Apple Inc. would begin selling its mobile smartphone called iPhone in June of that year. Cisco announced shortly after the announcement that Apple had been in negotiations to use the trademark that Cisco acquired with the purchase of Infogear. However, a day later they announced that they were filing a lawsuit against Apple.
During Apple's official unveiling of iPhone 4S on October 4, 2011, it was announced that Sprint would begin carrying the reconfigured CDMA iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S in the US on October 14. Cricket Wireless announced on May 31, 2012 that it would become the first prepaid carrier in the US to offer iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S, beginning June 22, 2012. A week later, Virgin Mobile USA became the second American prepaid carrier to offer iPhone 4 and 4S, announcing plans to release the phones on June 29, 2012. T-Mobile USA's inability to provide iPhone to customers raised its subscription churn rate, decreased the percentage of lucrative postpaid customers, and contributed to parent Deutsche Telekom's decision to sell it to AT&T in March 2011, although AT&T canceled the deal in December 2011 because of antitrust concerns. T-Mobile began offering iPhone on April 12, 2013.
With the July 11, 2008 release of the iPhone 3G, Apple and AT&T changed the US pricing model from the previous generation. Following the de facto model for mobile phone service in the United States, AT&T would subsidize a sizable portion of the upfront cost for the iPhone 3G, followed by charging moderately higher monthly fees over a minimum two-year contract.
On January 11, 2011, Verizon announced during a media event that it had reached an agreement with Apple and would begin selling a CDMA iPhone 4. The Verizon iPhone went on sale on February 10, 2011.
iPhone technology previously sold by Linksys was previously, but no longer, available from Netgear as the Netgear SPH200D. Handsets for the two are interchangeable. Linksys never sold additional handsets, leaving Linksys CIT400 users with only one handset although the base station for the CIT400/SPH200D supports up to four. The Netgear SPH150D supplemental handset fills that gap.
On September 12, 2018, Apple introduced the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR. The iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max features Super Retina displays, a faster and improved dual camera system that offers breakthrough photo and video features, the first 7-nanometer chip in a smartphone — the A12 Bionic chip with next-generation Neural Engine — faster Face ID, wider stereo sound and introduces Dual SIM to iPhone. The iPhone XR comes in an all-screen glass and aluminium design with the most advanced LCD in a smartphone featuring a 6.1-inch Liquid Retina display, A12 Bionic chip with next-generation Neural Engine, the TrueDepth camera system, Face ID and an advanced camera system that creates dramatic portraits using a single camera lens.
The iPhone 4 was released on June 24, 2010. According to Apple, over 1.7 million iPhone 4 units were sold in the first few days, which is the most out of any phone ever sold. These sales propelled AT&T to strong Q2 results.
ShapeWriter was made available for the iPhone approximately in 2008 and was revised several times (including ShapeWriter Lite and ShapeWriter Pro or Plus) before being pulled due to its sale to Nuance Communications (see following entry).
On September 9, 2014, Apple introduced the iPhone 6, alongside the iPhone 6 Plus that both have screen sizes over 4-inches. One year later, Apple introduced the iPhone 6S, and iPhone 6S Plus, which introduced a new technology called 3D Touch, including an increase of the rear camera to 12 MP, and the FaceTime camera to 5 MP. On March 21, 2016, Apple introduced the iPhone SE that has a 4-inch screen size last used with the 5S and has nearly the same internal hardware as the 6S.
A patent filed in July 2013 revealed the development of a new iPhone battery system that uses location data in combination with data on the user's habits to moderate the handsets power settings accordingly. Apple is working towards a power management system that will provide features such as the ability of the iPhone to estimate the length of time a user will be away from a power source to modify energy usage and a detection function that adjusts the charging rate to best suit the type of power source that is being used.
Apple launched the iPhone 3G with AT&T on July 11, 2008. Although specific AT&T sales numbers are unavailable, Apple announced that over 1 million iPhone 3G devices were sold during the first three days — in contrast, according to Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO, "It took 74 days to sell the first one million original iPhones." In August 2008, Best Buy announced that it would begin selling the iPhone 3G for use on the AT&T network. In September 2008, AT&T announced that it would also sell the iPhone 3G in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
In Brazil, the final battle over the brand name concluded in 2008. On December 18, 2012, IGB launched its own line of Android smartphones under the tradename to which it has exclusive rights in the local market. In February 2013, the Brazilian Patent and Trademark Office (known as "Instituto Nacional da Propriedade Industrial") issued a ruling that Gradiente Eletrônica, not Apple, owned the "iPhone" mark in Brazil. The "iPhone" term was registered by Gradiente in 2000, 7 years before Apple's release of its first iPhone. This decision came three months after Gradiente Eletrônica launched a lower-cost smartphone using the iPhone brand.