Compare Versions and Models from the X to iPhone 13 Pro Max

Apple introduced the radically new 5.8-inch iPhone X in 2017 to mark the 10th anniversary of its top-selling product. Since then, the company has released a steady stream of successor handsets each year, with all but a handful largely based on that first one of the second iPhone decade. From the iPhone X to the iPhone 13 Pro Max, each Apple handset has been special something new to the table from larger sizes to better displays to improved batteries. Here’s a look at every iPhone history over the past five years.

The year 2017 marked the first time Apple introduced more than two handsets at the same event. The iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Pro made their debut at the media event on September 12 that had the tagline, “Let’s meet at our place.” Also making a debut was the Apple Watch Series 3 and Apple TV 4K.

Though it was announced in September 2017, the highly-anticipated iPhone X didn’t actually arrive until early November due to product delays. Featuring a bezel-less design and OLED, the handset introduced a new type of authentication, Face ID, which uses sensors to scan the user’s face to unlock the device. In addition, because of the new face-recognition capability, the iPhone X shipped with a new feature called Animoji, animated emojis that reacted to the user’s expression. Inductive charging was also introduced.

Priced at $999, the 5.8-inch iPhone X was the most expensive Apple handset to date. It was available in two color options: silver and space gray.

For those unwilling to spend ten Benjamins on a smartphone, Apple offered the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. Like the iPhone 6 and iPhone 7 series, these phones kept Touch ID and a noticeable bezel. However, like the iPhone X, they included a glass back and inductive charging.

models iPhone X iPhone 8/8 Plus
Release Date November 3, 2017 September 22, 2017
Retirement Date September 18, 2018 April 15, 2020
Display Size 5.8-inch Super Retina HD display 4.7-inch Retina HD display / 5.5-inch Retina HD display
Color Choices Silver, Space Gray Silver, Space Gray, Gold. Product Red later added
Storage Options 64GB or 256GB 64GB, 128GB or 256GB
Starting price $999 $699
camera units Back: Dual 12MP cameras (Telephoto and Wide)
Front: TrueDepth camera
Back: Single 12MP Wide camera (Wide) (iPhone 8)
Back: Dual 12MP cameras (Telephoto and Wide) (iPhone 8 Plus) Front: FaceTime HD camera
Notable features A11 Bionic Chip A11 Bionic Chip
face ID True Tone technology added
OLED display HDR10 and DolbyVision
successor iPhone XS / iPhone XS Max / iPhone XR iPhone SE (2nd generation)

iPhone History: 2018

iPhone XS and iPhone XR

In a surprising move, Apple discontinued the iPhone X just 10 months after it arrived in stores. In its place were three new handsets, the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR, announced at the September “Gather round” event. Also announced on this date were the Apple Watch Series 4.

iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max

The 5.8-inch iPhone XS was nearly identical to its predecessor, the iPhone X. However, the iPhone XS Max was the first “Max” handset, and its 6.5-inch OLED display was the largest to date for an Apple handset.

As the “XS” name suggests, the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max didn’t bring many new features to the table. Both included an OLED display, better batteries, and an A12 Bionic chip and were available in Space Gray, Silver, and Gold. However, like the handset it replaced, both the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max were only on the market for a year.

iPhone XR

Meanwhile, the 6.1-inch iPhone XR model featured a Liquid Retina LED, and it also shipped with an Apple A12 Bionic chip. This model brought bright colors back to iPhone for the first time since the iPhone 5c was launched in 2013. The iPhone XR had a long life and is one of the most popular iPhones in history; it was discontinued at the iPhone 13 event in September 2021.

models iPhone XS / iPhone XS Max iPhone XR
Release Date September 21, 2018 October 26, 2018
Retirement Date September 10, 2019 September 14, 2021
Display Size 5.8-inch Super Retina HD display / 6.5-inch Super Retina HD display 6.1-inch Liquid Retina HD display
Color Choices Silver, Space Gray, Gold Blue, White, Black, Yellow, Coral, Product Red
Storage Options 64GB, 256GB or 512GB 64GB or 128GB
Starting price $999, and $1,099, respectively $749
camera units Back: Dual 12MP cameras (Wide and Ultra Wide)

Front: TrueDepth camera

Back: Single 12MP Wide camera (Wide)

Face: TrueDepth camera

Notable features A12 Bionic Chip A12 Bionic Chip
Up to 512GB colorful
new gold option First 6.1-inch iPhone
successor iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max iPhone 11

iPhone History: 2019

iPhone 11

In 2019, Apple introduced the first handsets in the iPhone Pro series alongside the regular iPhone model. The divide between the two has typically centered on the materials used on the device and the camera system. The iPhone 11 (besides the iPhone SE (2nd-generation) became the last iPhone to include an LCD, not OLED.

Apple revealed the three new handsets at the “By innovation only” event alongside the Apple Watch Series 5 and 7th generation iPad.

iPhone 11

Continuing a pattern that began in 2018, the iPhone 11 contained the same chipset as the more expensive iPhone 11 Pro series and glass on the front and back. Instead of surgical-grade stainless steel, however, the iPhone 11 contained aerospace-grade aluminum for its body. It also included two rear cameras instead of three. The iPhone 11 remains on the market and will most likely remain there until at least fall 2022.

iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max

The 2019 iPhone Pro handsets were the first to include the triple-camera system on the rear side. In addition, beginning this year, the Pro lineup featured one unique color: Midnight Green.

models iPhone 11 iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max
Release Date September 20, 2019 September 20, 2019
Retirement Date current October 13, 2020
Display Size 6.1-inch Liquid Retina HD display 5.8-inch Super Retina HD display / 6.5-inch Super Retina HD display
Color Choices Purple, Yellow, Green, Black, White, Product Red Silver, Space Gray, Gold, and Midnight Green
Storage 64GB, 128GB, or 256GB (256GB discontinued) 64GB, 128GB, 256GB
Starting price Original: $699, now starting at $499 $999 and $1,099, respectively
camera units Back: Dual 12MP cameras (Wide and Ultra Wide)

Front:: TrueDepth camera

Back: Triple 12MP cameras (Telephoto, Wide, and Ultra Wide)

Front: TrueDepth camera

Notable features A13 Bionic Chip A13 Bionic Chip
Included a price break from iPhone XR camera upgrades
successor iPhone 12 iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max

iPhone History: 2020

iphone history iphone 12 iphone 12 pro

Though COVID-19 pushed the annual iPhone event online, it proved to be one of the best in recent memory. In October, the “Hi, Speed” event showcased the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max. The new handsets were announced after the HomePod mini. In a big surprise, Apple announced MagSafe charging for iPhone and ceramic shield fronts on all four models.

iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini

The 5.4-inch iPhone 12 mini was nearly the same as the regular iPhone 12 model, except for its size and battery. The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini, like the iPhone 11, were Apple’s less expensive models. Each featured the same internals as the iPhone 12 Pro series, with the differences most noticeable on the camera systems and body materials used.

iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max

For this year’s Pro lineup, Apple introduced a Pacific Blue model as the iPhone 12 Pro Max became the largest iPhone to date, 6.7-inch across. Elsewhere, the Pro models once again picked up three rear-facing cameras and included a surgical-grade stainless steel body.

models iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max
Release Date October 23, 2020 / November 13, 2020 October 23, 2020 / November 13, 2020
Retirement Date current September 14, 2021
Display Size 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR display / 5.4-inch Super Retina XDR display 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR display / 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR display
Color Choices Purple, Blue, Green, Product Red, White, and Black Silver, Space Gray, Gold, and Pacific Blue
Storage 64GB, 128GB, or 256GB 128Gb, ​​256GB, or 512GB
Starting price $799 and $699, now starting at $699 and $599, respectively $999 and $1,099, respectively
camera units Back: Dual 12MP camera system (Wide and Ultra Wide)

Front: TrueDepth camera

Back: Pro 12MP camera system (Telephoto, Wide, and Ultra Wide)

Front: TrueDepth camera

Notable features A14 Bionic Chip A14 Bionic Chip
First iPhone mini MagSafe on all four models
First OLED at this price point
successor iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max

The iPhone SE (2nd-Generation)

On April 24, 2020, Apple introduced the iPhone SE (2nd-generation). The 4.7-inch smartphone was designed to replace the iPhone 8 (which was retired following the announcement). It arrived three years after the original iPhone SE left the market. The iPhone SE is currently Apple’s least expensive handset and the only one to keep a Touch ID button.

The iPhone SE (2nd-generation) included some of the features found on the iPhone 11, which was released a few months before. These included an A13 Bionic chip, a glass front/back, and similar capacities. And yet, it doesn’t offer a Liquid Retina display, nor will you find an Ultra-Wide camera.

Whether Apple keeps the iPhone SE (2nd-generation) around long-term is anyone’s guess. But, at least for now, it’s available and serves as a great starting smartphone.

iPhone History: 2021

iPhone history: iPhone 13 series

Finally, this brings us to the 2021 iPhone lineup. Very much similar to last year’s lineup, the iPhone 13 series is noted for its improved cameras across the board, 1TB iPhone Pro option, and introduction of Cinematic mode. The four new handsets are the iPhone 13, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max.

Alongside the new iPhones, Apple revealed the iPad mini 6 and the ninth-generation iPad at the “California streaming” online event.

models iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max
Release Date September 24, 2021 September 24, 2021
Retirement Date current current
Display Size 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR display / 5.4-inch Super Retina XDR display 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR display / 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR display
Color Choices Starlight, Midnight, Blue, Pink, and Product Red Silver, Space Gray, Gold, and Sierra Blue
Storage 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB
Starting price $699 and $799, respectively $999
camera units Rear: Dual 12MP camera system (Wide and Ultra Wide)

Front: TrueDepth camera

Back: Pro 12MP camera system (Telephoto, Wide, and Ultra Wide)

Front: TrueDepth camera

Notable features A15 Bionic Chip A15 Bionic Chip
cinematic mode First 1TB iPhone
cinematic mode
successor current current

iPhone History: the Current Lineup

Here’s the current iPhone lineup alongside the various price points. They range from $399 for the least expensive iPhone SE (2nd-generation) to $1,599 for the 1TB iPhone 13 Pro Max.

Model Storage prices
iPhone 11 64GB, 128GB $499, $549
iPhone SE (2nd) 64GB, 128GB $399, $449
iPhone 12 64GB, 128GB, 256GB $699, $749, $849
iPhone 12 mini 64GB, 128GB, 256GB $599, $649, $749
iPhone 13 128GB, 256GB, 512GB $799, $899, $1,099
iPhone 13 mini 128GB, 256GB, 512GB $699, $799, $999
iPhone 13 Pro 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB $999, $1,099, $1,299, $1,499
iPhone 13 Pro Max 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB $1099, $1,199, $1,399, $1,599

As you can see, Apple has released a lot of iPhones in the last five years. So it will be interesting to see where iPhone history goes from here in 2022 and beyond.

Apple iPhone: Compare Versions and Models from the X to iPhone 13 Pro Max

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