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Κυριακή, 20 Σεπτεμβρίου 2009

What is an Apple Iphone...

The three generations of the iPhone in chronological order. From left to right: original, 3G, 3GS.
ManufacturerApple Inc.
TypeCandybar smartphone
Release dateOriginal: June 29, 2007[1]
3G: July 11, 2008[2]
3GS: June 19, 2009[3]
Units sold21.17 million (as of Q2 2009)[4]
Operating systemiPhone OS 3.1 (build 7C144), released 9 September 2009
PowerOriginal: 3.7 V 1400 mAh
3G: 3.7 V 1150 mAh
3GS: 3.7 V 1219 mAh[5]
Internal rechargeable non-removablelithium-ion polymer battery[6]
CPUOriginal & 3G: Samsung 32-bit RISCARM 1176JZ(F)-S v1.0[7]
620 MHz underclocked to 412 MHz[8]
PowerVR MBX Lite 3D GPU[9]
3GS: ARM Cortex-A8
833 MHz underclocked to 600 MHz
PowerVR SGX GPU[10][11]
Storage capacityFlash memory Original: 4, 8, & 16 GB
3G: 8 & 16 GB
3GS: 16 & 32 GB
MemoryOriginal & 3G: 128 MB DRAM[12]
3GS: 256 MB DRAM[10]
Display320 × 480 px, 3.5 in (89 mm), 2:3 aspect ratio, 262,144-color LCD at 163 pixels per inch (ppi)
InputMulti-touch touchscreen display, headset controls, proximity and ambient lightsensors, 3-axis accelerometer[13]
3GS also includes: digital compass[14]
CameraOriginal & 3G: 2.0 megapixels withgeotagging
3GS: 3.0 megapixels with video (VGA at 30 fps), geotagging, and automaticfocus, white balance, & exposure
ConnectivityWi-Fi (802.11b/g), Bluetooth 2.0+EDR(3GS: 2.1), USB 2.0/Dock connector
Quad band GSM 850 900 1800 1900 MHzGPRS/EDGE[15]
3G also includes: A-GPS; Tri bandUMTS/HSDPA 850, 1900, 2100 MHz[16]
3GS also supports: 7.2 Mbps HSDPA
Online servicesiTunes Store, App Store, MobileMe
4.5 in (115 mm) (h)
2.4 in (61 mm) (w)
0.46 in (11.6 mm) (d)
3G & 3GS:
4.5 in (115.5 mm) (h)
2.4 in (62.1 mm) (w)
0.48 in (12.3 mm) (d)
WeightOriginal & 3GS: 135 g (4.8 oz)
3G: 133 g (4.7 oz)
Related articlesiPod Touch (Comparison)

The iPhone is an Internet-connected, multimedia GSM smartphone designed and marketed by Apple Inc. Because its minimal hardware interface lacks a physical keyboard, the multi-touch screen renders a virtual keyboard when necessary. The iPhone functions as a camera phone (also including text messagingand visual voicemail), a portable media player (equivalent to a video iPod), and an Internet client (with email, web browsing, and Wi-Fi connectivity). The first-generation phone hardware was quad-band GSM with EDGE; the second generation added UMTS with 3.6 Mbps HSDPA;[17] the third generation adds support for 7.2 Mbps HSDPA downloading but remains limited to 384 Kbps uploading as Apple had not implemented the HSPA protocol.[18]

Apple announced the iPhone on January 9, 2007,[19] after months of rumors and speculation.[20] The original iPhone was introduced in the United States on June 29, 2007 before being marketed worldwide. Time magazine named it the Invention of the Year in 2007.[21] Released July 11, 2008, the iPhone 3G supports faster3G data speeds and assisted GPS.[17] On March 17, 2009, Apple announced version 3.0 of the iPhone OS operating system for the iPhone (and iPod Touch), released on June 17, 2009.[22] The iPhone 3GS was announced on June 8, 2009, and has improved performance, a camera with more megapixels and video capability, and voice control.[23] It was released in the U.S., Canada and 6 European countries on June 19, 2009,[3] in Australia and Japan on June 26,[24] and saw international release in July and August, 2009.



History and availability

Worldwide iPhone sales by quarter. Sales volume is in millions. Original iPhone iPhone 3G iPhone 3G and 3Gs
Worldwide iPhone availability: Original iPhone was available; now 3G iPhone 3G and 3GS Coming soon

Development of iPhone began with Apple CEO Steve Jobs' direction that Apple engineers investigate touchscreens.[25] Apple created the device during a secretive and unprecedented collaboration with AT&T Mobility—Cingular Wireless at the time—at an estimated development cost of US$150 million over thirty months. Apple rejected the "design by committee" approach that had yielded the Motorola ROKR E1, a largely unsuccessful collaboration with Motorola. Instead, Cingular gave Apple the liberty to develop the iPhone's hardware and software in-house.[26][27]

Jobs unveiled iPhone to the public on January 9, 2007 in a keynote address. Apple was required to file for operating permits with the FCC, but since such filings are made available to the public, the announcement came months before the iPhone had received approval. The iPhone went on sale in the United States on June 29, 2007, at 6:00 pm local time, while hundreds of customers lined up outside the stores nationwide.[1][28] The original iPhone was made available in the UK, France, andGermany in November 2007, and Ireland and Austria in the spring of 2008.

On July 11, 2008, Apple released the iPhone 3G in twenty-two countries, including the original six.[29] Apple has since released the iPhone 3G in upwards of eighty countries and territories.[30] Apple announced the iPhone 3GS on June 8, 2009, along with plans to release it later in June, July, and August, starting with the U.S., Canada and major European countries on June 19.[3] Many would-be users have objected to the iPhone's cost,[31] and 40% of users have annual incomes over 100,000USD.[32] In an attempt to gain a wider market, Apple has retained the 8 GB iPhone 3G at a lower price point. This is the latest of several price reductions over the years; it now sells for one-sixth of the price of the original 8 GB iPhone when it first became available. In the U.S., it now costs $99, down from $599, although it includes a two-year contract and a SIM lock.

Apple sold 6.1 million original iPhone units over five quarters.[33] The company sold 3.8 million iPhone 3G units in the second quarter of fiscal 2009, ending March 2009, totaling 21.4 million iPhones sold to date.[4] Sales in Q4 2008 surpassed temporarily those of RIM's BlackBerry sales of 5.2 million units, which made Apple briefly the third largest mobile phone manufacturer by revenue, after Nokia and Samsung.[34] Approximately 6.4 million iPhones are active in the U.S. alone.[32] While iPhone sales constitute a significant portion of Apple's revenue, some of this income is deferred.[4]

Regardless, the iPhone has garnered positive reviews from critics like David Pogue[35] and Walter Mossberg.[36][37] The iPhone attracts users of all ages.[32]


A highlighted view of the proximity and ambient light sensors on the first-generation iPhone.
Rear view of the original iPhone (left) made of aluminum and plastic, and the iPhone 3G, made completely from a hard plastic material.[38]
The proximity and ambient light sensors on the iPhone 3G (shown) are identical to the one on the iPhone 3GS.
The reverse of the iPhone 3G (left) is almost identical to that of the 3GS, differentiated only by the latter's reflective silver text which now matches the silver Apple logo, replacing the 3G's grey text.

Screen and input

The touchscreen is a 9 cm (3.5 in) liquid crystal display (320×480 px at 6.3 px/mm, 160 ppi, HVGA) with scratch-resistant glass,[39] and can render 262,144 colors. The capacitive touchscreen is designed for a bare finger, or multiple fingers for multi-touch sensing. Most gloves and styluses prevent the necessary electrical conductivity.[40][41][42][43] The iPhone 3GS also features a new Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating. [44]

The display responds to three sensors. A proximity sensor deactivates the display and touchscreen when the device is brought near the face during a call. This is done to save battery power and to prevent inadvertent inputs from the user's face and ears. An ambient light sensor adjusts the display brightness which in turn saves battery power. A 3-axis accelerometer senses the orientation of the phone and changes the screen accordingly, allowing the user to easily switch between portrait and landscape mode.[45] Photo browsing, web browsing, and music playing support both upright and left or right widescreen orientations.[46] The 3.0 update added landscape support for still other applications, such as email, and introduced shaking the unit as a form of input.[47][48] The accelerometer can also be used to control third party apps, notably games.

A software update in January 2008[49] allowed the first generation iPhone to use cell tower and Wi-Fi network locations trilateration,[50] despite lacking GPS hardware. The iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS employ A-GPS, and the iPhone 3GS also has a digital compass.[14]

The iPhone has three physical switches on the sides: wake/sleep, volume up/down, and ringer on/off. These are made of plastic on the original iPhone and metal on all later models. A single "Home" hardware button below the display brings up the main menu. The touch screen furnishes the remainder of the user interface.

The back of the original iPhone was made of aluminum with a black plastic accent. The iPhone 3G and 3GS feature a full plastic back to increase the strength of the GSM signal.[51] The iPhone 3G is available in black with 8 GB of space, and the discontinued 16 GB model was sold in either black or white. The iPhone 3GS is available in both colors, regardless of storage capacity.

Audio and output

One of two speakers (left) and the microphone (right) surround thedock connector on the base of the iPhone. If a headset is plugged in, sound is played through it instead.

One loudspeaker is located above the screen as an earpiece, and another is located on the left side of the bottom of the unit, opposite a microphoneon the bottom-right. Volume controls are located on the left side of the unit and as a slider in the iPod application. Both speakers are used forhandsfree operations and media playback.

The 3.5 mm TRRS connector for the headphones is located on the top left corner of the device.[52] The headphone socket on the original iPhone is recessed into the casing, making it incompatible with most headsets without the use of an adapter.[53][54] The iPhone 3G eliminates the issue with a flush mounted headphone socket.

While the iPhone is compatible with normal headphones, Apple provides a headset with additional functionality. A multipurpose button near the microphone can be used to play or pause music, skip tracks, and answer or end phone calls without touching the iPhone itself. A small number of third-party headsets specifically designed for the iPhone also include the microphone and control button.[55] Apple sells headsets with volume controls, but they are only compatible with the iPhone 3GS.[56]

The built-in Bluetooth 2.x+EDR supports wireless earpieces and headphones, which requires the HSP profile. Stereo audio was added in the 3.0 update for hardware that supportsA2DP.[47][48] While non-sanctioned third-party solutions exist, the iPhone does not officially support the OBEX file transfer protocol.[57] The lack of these profiles prevents iPhone users from exchanging multimedia files, such as pictures, music and videos, with other bluetooth-enabled cell phones.

Composite or component video at up to 576i and stereo audio can be output from the dock connector using an adapter sold by Apple.[58] Unlike many similar phones, the iPhone did not support voice recording until the 3.0 software update.[47][48]


The top and side of the iPhone 3GS, identical to the iPhone 3G. The switches were black plastic on the original model. From left to right, sides: On/off switch, SIM card slot, headphone jack, silence switch, volume controls. Top: speaker, screen.

The iPhone features an internal rechargeable battery. Like an iPod but unlike most other cell phones, the battery is not user-replaceable.[53][59] The iPhone can be charged when connected to a computer for syncing across the included USB to dock connector cable, similar to charging an iPod. Alternatively, a USB to AC adapter (or "wall charger," also included) can be connected to the cable to charge directly from an AC outlet. A number of third party accessories (stereos, car chargers, even solar chargers) are also available.[60]

Apple runs tests on preproduction units to determine battery life. Apple's website says that the battery life "is designed to retain up to 80% of its original capacity after 400 full charge and discharge cycles",[61] which is comparable to iPod batteries. The original iPhone's battery was stated to be capable of providing up to seven hours of video, six hours of web browsing, eight hours of talk time, 24 hours of music or up to 250 hours on standby.[39] The iPhone 3G's battery is stated to be capable of providing up to seven hours of video, six hours of web browsing on Wi-Fi or five on 3G, ten hours of 2G talk time, or five on 3G, 24 hours of music, or 300 hours of standby.[16] Apple claims that the 3GS can last for up to ten hours of video, nine hours of web browsing on Wi-Fi or five on 3G, twelve hours of 2G talk time, or five on 3G, 30 hours of music, or 300 hours of standby.[62]

Battery life has been a subject of criticism from several technology journalists.[63][64][65][66] This is also reflected by a J. D. Power and Associates customer satisfaction survey, which gave the "battery aspects" of the iPhone 3G its lowest rating of 2 out of 5 stars.[67][68] This is the same score given to HTC, Motorola, and Palm smartphones, but a lower rating than Samsung and Blackberry smartphones.

If the battery malfunctions or dies prematurely, the phone can be returned to Apple and replaced for free while still under warranty.[69] The warranty lasts one year from purchase and is extended to two years withAppleCare. The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, a consumer advocate group, has sent a complaint to Apple and AT&T over the fee that consumers have to pay to have the battery replaced.[70] Though the battery replacement service and its pricing was not made known to buyers until the day the product was launched,[70][71] it is similar to how Apple (and third parties) replace batteries for iPods.

Since July 2007 third party battery replacement kits have been available[72] at a much lower price than Apple's own battery replacement program. These kits often include a small screwdriver and an instruction leaflet, but as with many newer iPod models the battery in the original iPhone has been soldered in. Therefore a soldering iron is required to install the new battery. The iPhone 3G uses a different battery fitted with a connector that is easier to replace, although replacing the battery oneself still voids the warranty.[73]

Storage and SIM

The iPhone was initially released with two options for internal storage size: 4 GB or 8 GB. On September 5, 2007, Apple discontinued the 4 GB models.[74] On February 5, 2008, Apple added a 16 GB model.[75] The iPhone 3G was available in 16 GB and is still available with 8 GB. The iPhone 3GS comes in 16 GB and 32 GB variants. All data is stored on the internal flash drive; the iPhone does not support expanded storage through a memory card slot, or the SIM card.

The items included with the iPhone 3G. From left to right: Top of box; iPhone 3G; package with cloth, documentation, and SIM eject tool; headphones, USB cable, and wall charger.

The SIM card sits in a tray, which is inserted into a slot at the top of the device. The SIM tray can be ejected with a paperclip or the SIM eject tool included with the iPhone 3G and 3GS.[76][77] In most countries, the iPhone is usually sold with a SIM lock, which prevents the iPhone from being used on a different mobile network.[78]

Included items

All iPhone models include written documentation, and a dock connector to USB cable. The original and 3G iPhones also came with a cleaning cloth. The original iPhone included stereo headset (earbuds and a microphone) and a plastic dock to hold the unit upright while charging and syncing. The iPhone 3G includes a similar headset plus a SIM eject tool (the original model requires a paperclip). The iPhone 3GS includes the SIM eject tool and a revised headset, which adds volume buttons.[56] The iPhone 3G and 3GS are compatible with the same dock, sold separately, but not the original model's dock.[79] All versions include a USB power adapter, or "wall charger," which allows the iPhone to charge from an AC outlet. The iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS sold in North America, Japan, Colombia, Ecuador, or Peru[80][81] include an ultracompact USB power adapter.


The default Home screen of the iPhone shows most of the applications provided by Apple. Users can download additional applications from the App store, create Web Clips, and rearrange the icons. The numeric battery meter is a feature exclusive to the iPhone 3GS, but can also be achieved via the jailbreaking process.

The iPhone (and iPod Touch) run an operating system known as iPhone OS. It is based on a variant of the same Darwin operating system core that is found in Mac OS X. Also included is the "Core Animation" software component from Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard. Together with the PowerVR hardware (and on the iPhone 3GS, OpenGL ES 2.0),[3] it is responsible for the interface's motion graphics. The operating system takes up less than half a GB of the device's total storage (4 to 32 GB).[82] It is capable of supporting bundled and future applications from Apple, as well as from third-party developers. Software applications cannot be copied directly from Mac OS X but must be written and compiled specifically for iPhone OS.

Like the iPod, the iPhone is managed with iTunes. The earliest versions of iPhone OS required version 7.3 or later, which is compatible with Mac OS X version 10.4.10 Tiger or later, and 32-bit or 64-bit Windows XP or Vista.[83] The release of iTunes 7.6 expanded this support to include 64-bit versions of XP and Vista,[84] and a workaround has been discovered for previous 64-bit Windows operating systems.[85] Apple provides free updates to iPhone OS through iTunes,[82] and major updates have historically accompanied new models.[86]Such updates often require a newer version of iTunes — for example, the 3.0 update requires iTunes 8.2[3] — but the iTunes system requirements have stayed the same. Updates include both security patches and new features.[87] For example, iPhone 3G users initially experienced dropped calls until an update was issued.[88][89]


The interface is based around the home screen, a graphical list of available applications. iPhone applications normally run one at a time, although most functionality is still available when making a call or listening to music. The home screen can be accessed at any time by a hardware button below the screen, closing the open application in the process.[90] By default, the Home screen contains the following icons: Messages (SMS and MMS messaging), Calendar, Photos, Camera, YouTube, Stocks, Maps (Google Maps), Weather, Voice Memos, Notes, Clock, Calculator, Settings, iTunes (store), App Store, and (on the iPhone 3GS only) Compass. Docked at the base of the screen, four icons for Phone, Mail,Safari (Internet), and iPod (multimedia) delineate the iPhone's main purposes.[91] On January 15, 2008, Apple released software update 1.1.3, allowing users to create "Web Clips", home screen icons that resemble apps that open a user-defined page in Safari. After the update, iPhone users can rearrange and place icons on up to nine other adjacent home screens, accessed by a horizontal swipe.[49] Users can also add and delete icons from the dock, which is the same on every home screen. Each home screen holds up to sixteen icons, and the dock holds up to four icons. Users can delete Web Clips and third-party applications at any time, and may select only certain applications for transfer from iTunes. Apple's default programs, however, may not be removed. The 3.0 update adds a system-wide search, known as Spotlight, to the left of the first home screen.[47][48]

Almost all input is given through the touch screen, which understands complex gestures using multi-touch. The iPhone's interaction techniques enable the user to move the content up or down by a touch-drag motion of the finger. For example, zooming in and out of web pages and photos is done by placing two fingers on the screen and spreading them farther apart or bringing them closer together, a gesture known as "pinching". Scrolling through a long list or menu is achieved by sliding a finger over the display from bottom to top, or vice versa to go back. In either case, the list moves as if it is pasted on the outer surface of a wheel, slowly decelerating as if affected by friction. In this way, the interface simulates the physics of a real object. Other user-centered interactive effects include horizontally sliding sub-selection, the vertically sliding keyboard and bookmarks menu, and widgets that turn around to allow settings to be configured on the other side. Menu bars are found at the top and bottom of the screen when necessary. Their options vary by program, but always follow a consistent style motif. In menu hierarchies, a "back" button in the top-left corner of the screen displays the name of the parent folder.


When making a call, the iPhone presents a number of options. The screen is automatically disabled when held close to the face.

The iPhone allows audio conferencing, call holding, call merging, caller ID, and integration with other cellular network features and iPhone functions. For example, if a song is playing while a call is received, it gradually fades out, and fades back when the call has ended. The proximity sensor shuts off the screen and touch-sensitive circuitry when the iPhone is brought close to the face, both to save battery and prevent unintentional touches. This iPhone does not support video calling, and the first two models only supportedvoice dialing through third party applications.[92] Voice control, available only on the iPhone 3GS, allows users to say a contact's name or number and the iPhone will dial. [93]

The iPhone includes a visual voicemail (in some countries)[94] feature allowing users to view a list of current voicemail messages on-screen without having to call into their voicemail. Unlike most other systems, messages can be listened to and deleted in a non-chronological order by choosing any message from an on-screen list.

A music ringtone feature was introduced in the United States on September 5, 2007. Users can create custom ringtones from songs purchased from the iTunes Store for a small additional fee. The ringtones can be 3 to 30 seconds long from any part of a song, can fade in and out, pause from half a second to five seconds when looped, or loop continuously. All customizing can be done in iTunes,[95] or alternatively with Apple's GarageBand software 4.1.1 or later (available only on Mac OS X)[96] or third-party tools.[97]


The layout of the music library is similar to that of an iPod or current Symbian S60 phones. The iPhone can sort its media library by songs, artists, albums, videos, playlists,genres, composers, podcasts, audiobooks, and compilations. Options are always presented alphabetically, except in playlists, which retain their order from iTunes. The iPhone uses a large font that allows users plenty of room to touch their selection. Users can rotate their device horizontally to landscape mode to access Cover Flow. Like on iTunes, this feature shows the different album covers in a scroll-through photo library. Scrolling is achieved by swiping a finger across the screen. Alternatively, headset controls can be used to pause, play, skip, and repeat tracks. On the iPhone 3GS, the volume can be changed with the included Apple Earphones, and the Voice Control feature can be used to identify a track, play songs in a playlist or by a specific artist, or create a Genius playlist.[93]

The iPhone supports gapless playback.[98] Like the fifth generation iPods introduced in 2005, the iPhone can play digital video, allowing users to watch TV shows and movies inwidescreen. Unlike other image-related content, video on the iPhone plays only in the landscape orientation, when the phone is turned sideways. Double-tapping switches between widescreen and fullscreen video playback.

The iPhone allows users to purchase and download songs from the iTunes Store directly to their iPhone. The feature originally required a Wi-Fi network, but now can use the cellular data network if one is not available.[99]

Internet connectivity

Wikipedia Main Page on iPhone's Safari in landscape mode

Internet access is available when the iPhone is connected to a local area Wi-Fi or a wide area GSM or EDGE network, both second-generation (2G) wireless data standards. The iPhone 3G introduced support for third-generation UMTS and HSDPA 3.6,[100] but not HSUPA networks, and only the iPhone 3GS supports HSDPA 7.2.[101] AT&T introduced 3G in July 2004,[102] but as late as 2007 Steve Jobs felt that it was still not widespread enough in the US, and the chipsets not energy efficient enough, to be included in the iPhone.[41][103] Support for 802.1X, an authentication system commonly used by university and corporate Wi-Fi networks, was added in the 2.0 version update.[104]

By default, the iPhone will ask to join newly discovered Wi-Fi networks and prompt for the password when required. Alternatively, it can join closed Wi-Fi networks manually.[105] The iPhone will automatically choose the strongest network, connecting to Wi-Fi instead of EDGE when it is available.[106] Similarly, the iPhone 3G and 3GS prefer 3G to 2G, and Wi-Fi to either.[107] Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and 3G (on the iPhone 3G and 3GS) can all be deactivated individually. Airplane Mode disables all wireless connections at once, overriding other preferences.

The iPhone 3G has a maximum download rate of 1.4 Mbps in the United States.[108] Furthermore, files downloaded over cellular networks must be smaller than 10 MB. Larger files, often email attachments or podcasts, must be downloaded over Wi-Fi (which has no file size limits). If Wi-Fi is unavailable, one workaround is to open the files directly in Safari.[109]

Safari is the iPhone's native web browser, and it displays pages similar to its Mac and Windows counterpart. Web pages may be viewed in portrait or landscape mode and supports automatic zooming by pinching together or spreading apart fingertips on the screen, or by double-tapping text or images.[110][111] The iPhone supports neither Flash[112] nor Java.[113] Consequently, the UK's Advertising Standards Authorityadjudicated that an advertisement claiming the iPhone could access "all parts of the internet" should be withdrawn in its current form, on grounds of false advertising.[114] The iPhone supports SVG, CSS, HTMLCanvas, and Bonjour.[115][116]

The maps application can access Google Maps in map, satellite, or hybrid form. It can also generate directions between two locations, while providing optional real-time traffic information. During the iPhone's announcement, Jobs demonstrated this feature by searching for nearby Starbucks locations and then placing a prank call to one with a single tap.[25][117] Support for walking directions, public transit, and street viewwas added in the version 2.2 software update, but no voice-guided navigation.[118] The iPhone 3GS can orient the map with its digital compass.[14] Apple also developed a separate application to view YouTube videos on the iPhone, which streams videos after encoding them using the H.264 codec. Simple weather and stock quotes applications also tap in to the Internet.

iPhone users can and do access the Internet frequently, and in a variety of places. According to Google, the iPhone generates 50 times more search requests than any other mobile handset.[119] According toDeutsche Telekom CEO René Obermann, "The average Internet usage for an iPhone customer is more than 100 megabytes. This is 30 times the use for our average contract-based consumer customers."[120] Nielsenfound that 98% of iPhone users use data services, and 88% use the internet.[32]

Text input

The virtual keyboard on the original iPhone's touchscreen.

For text input, the iPhone implements a virtual keyboard on the touchscreen. It has automatic spell checking and correction, predictive word capabilities, and a dynamic dictionary that learns new words. The keyboard can predict what word the user is typing and complete it, and correct for the accidental pressing of keys adjacent to the presumed desired key. The keys are somewhat larger and spaced farther apart when in landscape mode, which is supported by only a limited number of applications. Touching a section of text for a brief time brings up a magnifying glass, allowing users to place the cursor in the middle of existing text. The virtual keyboard can accommodate 21 languages, including character recognition for Chinese.[121] The 3.0 update brought support for cut, copy, or pasting text, as well as landscape keyboards in more applications.[47][48]

E-mail and text messages

The iPhone also features an e-mail program that supports HTML e-mail, which enables the user to embed photos in an e-mail message. PDF, Word, Excel, and Powerpointattachments to mail messages can be viewed on the phone.[16] Apple's MobileMe platform offers push email, which emulates the functionality of the popular BlackBerry email solution, for an annual subscription. Yahoo! offers a free push-email service for the iPhone. IMAP (although not Push-IMAP) and POP3 mail standards are also supported, includingMicrosoft Exchange[122] and Kerio MailServer.[123] In the first versions of the iPhone firmware, this was accomplished by opening up IMAP on the Exchange server. Apple has also licensed Microsoft ActiveSync and now supports the platform (including push email) with the release of iPhone 2.0 firmware.[124][125] The iPhone will sync e-mail account settings over from Apple's own Mail application, Microsoft Outlook, and Microsoft Entourage, or it can be manually configured on the device itself. With the correct settings, the e-mail program can access almost any IMAP or POP3 account.[126]

Text messages are presented chronologically in a mailbox format similar to Mail, which places all text from recipients together with replies. Text messages are displayed in speech bubbles (similar to iChat) under each recipient's name. The iPhone currently has built-in support for e-mail message forwarding, drafts, and direct internal camera-to-e-mail picture sending. Support for multi-recipient SMS was added in the 1.1.3 software update.[127] Support for MMS was added in the 3.0 update, but not immediately in the U.S.[128] and not for the original iPhone.[47][48] A lack of focus on text-messaging is widely considered a chief weakness of the iPhone, although a large number of users evidently have no issue using the device for this purpose.[129]

Camera and photos

The photo display application

The iPhone and iPhone 3G feature a built in fixed-focus 2.0 megapixel camera located on the back for still digital photos. It has no optical zoom, flash or autofocus, and does not support video recording. Version 2.0 of iPhone OS introduced the capability to embed location data in the pictures, producing geocoded photographs. The iPhone 3GS has a 3.2 megapixel camera, with auto focus, auto white balance, and auto macro (up to 10 cm). It can also record VGA video[130][131] at 30 frames per second. It can then be croppedon the device itself and directly uploaded to YouTube, MobileMe, or other services.

The iPhone includes software that allows the user to upload, view, and e-mail photos. The user zooms in and out of photos by sliding two fingers further apart or closer together, much like Safari. The Camera application also lets users view the camera roll, the pictures that have been taken with the iPhone's camera. Those pictures are also available in the Photos application, along with any transferred from iPhoto or Aperture on a Mac, or Photoshop in Windows.

Third party applications

See also: iPhone SDK and App Store

At WWDC 2007 on June 11, 2007 Apple announced that the iPhone would support third-party "web applications" written in AJAX that share the look and feel of the iPhone interface.[132] On October 17, 2007, Steve Jobs, in an open letter posted to Apple's "Hot News" weblog, announced that a software development kit (SDK) would be made available to third-party developers in February 2008. The iPhone SDK was officially announced on March 6, 2008, at the Apple Town Hall facility.[133] It allows developers to develop native applications for the iPhone and iPod Touch, as well as test them in an "iPhone simulator". However, loading an application onto the devices is only possible after paying a Apple Developer Connection membership fee. Developers are free to set any price for their applications to be distributed through the App Store, of which they will receive a 70 percent share.[134] Developers can also opt to release the application for free and will not pay any costs to release or distribute the application beyond the membership fee. The SDK was made available immediately, while the launch of applications had to wait until the firmware update which was released on July 11, 2008.[125] The update was free for iPhone users, but not for owners of iPod Touches with the 1.x release of iPhone OS, whose operating system can be updated to the current version of iPhone OS, so that they can run iPhone applications, only after paying a $10 fee.[135]

Once a developer has submitted an application to the App Store, Apple holds firm control over its distribution. For example, Apple can halt the distribution of applications it deems inappropriate as has happened witha US$1000 program that has as sole purpose to demonstrate the wealth of its user.[136] Apple has been criticized for banning third party applications that enable a functionality that Apple does not want the iPhone to have. In 2008, Apple rejected Podcaster, which allowed iPhone users to download podcasts directly to the iPhone claiming it duplicated the functionality of iTunes.[137] Apple has since released a software update that grants this capability.[118] NetShare, another rejected app, would have enabled users to tether their iPhone to a laptop or desktop, using its cellular network to load data for the computer.[138]

Before the SDK was released, third-parties were permitted to design "Web Apps" that would run through Safari.[139] Unsigned native applications are also available.[140] The ability to install native applications onto the iPhone outside of the App Store will not be supported by Apple. Such native applications could be broken by any software update, but Apple has stated it will not design software updates specifically to break native applications other than those that perform SIM unlocking.[141]


The iPhone can enlarge text to make it more accessible for vision-impaired users,[142] and can accommodate hearing-impaired users with closed captioning and external TTY devices.[143] The iPhone 3GS also features black on white mode, VoiceOver (a screenreader), and zooming for impaired vision, and mono audio for limited hearing in one ear.[144] Apple regularly publishes Voluntary Product Accessibility Templates which explicitly state compliance with section 508.[145]

Intellectual property

Apple has filed more than 200 patents related to the technology behind the iPhone.[146][147]

LG Electronics claimed the iPhone's design was copied from the LG Prada. Woo-Young Kwak, head of LG Mobile Handset R&D Center, said at a press conference, “We consider that Apple copied Prada phone after the design was unveiled when it was presented in the iF Design Award and won the prize in September 2006.”[148]

On September 3, 1993, Infogear filed for the U.S. trademark "I PHONE"[149] and on March 20, 1996 applied for the trademark "IPhone".[150] "I Phone" was registered in March 1998,[149] and "IPhone" was registered in 1999.[150] Since then, the I PHONE mark had been abandoned.[149] Infogear's trademarks cover "communications terminals comprising computer hardware and software providing integrated telephone, data communications and personal computer functions" (1993 filing),[149] and "computer hardware and software for providing integrated telephone communication with computerized global information networks" (1996 filing).[151] Infogear released a telephone with an integrated web browser under the name iPhone in 1998.[152] In 2000, Infogear won an infringement claim against the owners of the domain name.[153] In June 2000, Cisco Systems acquired Infogear, including the iPhone trademark.[154] On December 18, 2006 they released a range of re-branded Voice over IP (VoIP) sets under the name iPhone.[155]

In October 2002, Apple applied for the "iPhone" trademark in the United Kingdom, Australia, Singapore, and the European Union. A Canadian application followed in October 2004 and a New Zealand application in September 2006. As of October 2006 only the Singapore and Australian applications had been granted. In September 2006, a company called Ocean Telecom Services applied for an "iPhone" trademark in the United States, United Kingdom and Hong Kong, following a filing in Trinidad and Tobago.[156] As the Ocean Telecom trademark applications use exactly the same wording as Apple's New Zealand application, it is assumed that Ocean Telecom is applying on behalf of Apple.[157] The Canadian application was opposed in August 2005 by a Canadian company called Comwave who themselves applied for the trademark three months later. Comwave have been selling VoIP devices called iPhone since 2004.[154]

Shortly after Steve Jobs' January 9, 2007 announcement that Apple would be selling a product called iPhone in June 2007, Cisco issued a statement that it had been negotiating trademark licensing with Apple and expected Apple to agree to the final documents that had been submitted the night before.[158] On January 10, 2007 Cisco announced it had filed a lawsuit against Apple over the infringement of the trademark iPhone, seeking an injunction in federal court to prohibit Apple from using the name.[159] More recently, Cisco claimed that the trademark lawsuit was a "minor skirmish" that was not about money, but about interoperability.[160]

On February 2, 2007, Apple and Cisco announced that they had agreed to temporarily suspend litigation while they hold settlement talks,[161] and subsequently announced on February 20, 2007 that they had reached an agreement. Both companies will be allowed to use the "iPhone" name[162] in exchange for "exploring interoperability" between their security, consumer, and business communications products.[163]

The iPhone has also inspired several leading high-tech clones,[164] driving both Apple's popularity and consumer willingness to upgrade iPhones quickly.[165]


Unlocked iPhone firmware version 3.0.

Apple tightly controls certain aspects of the iPhone. The hacker community has found many workarounds, most of which are condemned by Apple and threaten to void the device's warranty.[166] All iPhones must be activated (assigned a telephone number and carrier) before most features become available. "Jailbreaking" allows users to install apps not available on the App Store or modify basic functionality. SIM unlocking allows the iPhone to be used on a different carrier's network.[167]


The iPhone normally prevents access to its media player and web features unless it has also been activated as a phone with an authorized carrier. On July 3, 2007, Jon Lech Johansen reported on his blog that he had successfully bypassed this requirement and unlocked the iPhone's other features with a combination of custom software and modification of the iTunes binary. He published the software and offsets for others to use.[168]

Unlike the original, the iPhone 3G must be activated in the store in most countries.[169] This makes the iPhone 3G more difficult, but not impossible, to hack. The need for in-store activation, as well as the huge number of first-generation iPhone and iPod Touch users upgrading to iPhone OS 2.0, caused a worldwide overload of Apple's servers on July 11, 2008, the day on which both the iPhone 3G and iPhone OS 2.0 updates as well as MobileMe were released. After the update, devices were required to connect to Apple's servers to authenticate the update, causing many devices to be temporarily unusable.[170] Apple avoided this by releasing the 3.0 software two days before the iPhone 3GS.

Users on the O2 network in the United Kingdom, however, can buy the phone online and activate it via iTunes as with the previous model.[171] Even where not required, vendors usually offer activation for the buyer's convenience. In the U.S., Apple has begun to offer free shipping on both the iPhone 3G and the iPhone 3GS (when available), reversing the in-store activation requirement. Best Buy and Wal-Mart will also sell the iPhone.[172]

Third party applications ("jailbreaking")

The iPhone's operating system is designed to only run software that has an Apple-approved cryptographic signature. This restriction can be overcome by "jailbreaking" the phone,[173] which involves replacing the iPhone's firmware with a slightly modified version that does not enforce the signature check. Doing so may be a circumvention of Apple's technical protection measures.[174] Apple, in a statement to the United States Copyright Office in response to EFF lobbying for a DMCA exception for this kind of hacking, claimed that jailbreaking the iPhone would be copyright infringement due to the necessary modification of system software.[175]

SIM unlocking

An original iPhone shown with the SIM tray partially ejected.

The majority of iPhones are sold with a SIM lock[citation needed], which restricts the use of the phone with one particular carrier, a common practice with subsidized GSM phones. Unlike most GSM phones however, the phone cannot be officially unlocked via inputting a code. The locked/unlocked state is maintained on Apple's servers per IMEI and is set when the iPhone is activated.

While the iPhone was initially sold on the AT&T network only with a SIM lock in place, various hackers have found methods to "unlock" the phone from a specific network.[176]Although AT&T is the only authorized iPhone carrier in the United States, unlocked iPhones can be used with an unauthorized carrier after unlocking.[177] More than a quarter of the original iPhones sold in the United States were not registered with AT&T. Apple speculates that they were likely shipped overseas and unlocked, a lucrative market prior to the iPhone 3G's worldwide release.[178] Unlocking iPhones in the U.S. is done because many would-be users dislike switching carriers or consider AT&T's monthly fees too expensive.[31]

On November 21, 2007, T-Mobile in Germany announced it would sell the phone unlocked and without a T-Mobile contract, caused by a preliminary injunction against T-Mobile put in place by their competitor, Vodafone.[179] On December 4, 2007, a German court decided to grant T-Mobile exclusive rights to sell the iPhone with SIM lock, overturning the temporary injunction.[180] In addition, T-Mobile will voluntarily offer to unlock customers' iPhone after the contract expires.[181]

AT&T has stated that the "iPhone cannot be unlocked, even if you are out of contract".[177][182] On March 26, 2009 AT&T in the United States began selling the iPhone without a contract, though still SIM-locked to their network.[183] Such iPhone units are often twice as expensive as those with contracts, because Apple and AT&T lose the deferred income.[184] On July 17, 2009, AT&T announced that they would no longer sell iPhones without contracts, resulting in having an AT&T contract in order to buy an iPhone a requirement.[citation needed] Vendors in Hong Kong, Italy, New Zealand, and Russia (among others) sell iPhones not locked to any carrier.[78] In Australia, four major carriers (Three, Optus, Telstra, and Vodafone) sell locked phones, but will unlock upon request, in addition to Apple selling unlocked iPhones directly.[78][185]

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