Apple released the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus on Friday.
They’re Apple’s 14th and 15th iPhones since the first one was launched in 2007.
Obviously, the more recently an iPhone was released, the faster it will be. Apple updates the chips, screens, and other components on an annual basis because that’s how technology works, and so they can claim the latest iPhone is the “best ever.”
But when compared to its peers, taking into account the environment it was released, and the overall aesthetics of the device, the iPhone 7 is not the best iPhone, in my opinion.
So based on design, primarily, but also influence and my personal feelings towards these devices, I’ve ranked the 15 iPhones. As we wrote the last time we did this exercise, “You might say this ranking is arbitrary. You might be right if you do. But so what.”
15. Phone 5C
The iPhone 5C was perhaps Apple’s least well-received phone ever. It was supposed to be a less expensive iPhone for markets like China, but it didn’t sell well. The C stands for “color” — but some people thought it stood for “China,” and the joke was that it stood for “cheap.” When it was announced, the tagline was that it was “unapologetically plastic,” as if plastic is something to say sorry for.
14. iPhone 4S
While the iPhone 4 is a icon of modern design, the iPhone 4S was a more minor update. Its biggest claim to fame is the first iPhone to introduce Siri, and it was also the first iPhone presented by current CEO Tim Cook.
13. iPhone 3G
The iPhone 3G is actually the second iPhone, but it’s one of the iPhone’s least-inspired designs. It had a curved plastic back that was a clear downgrade from the sold, rock-like construction of the original iPhone.
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