The first iPhone to launch in Australia was the iPhone 3G in 2008.
Apple has sold more than 1.2 billion iPhones since the original iPhone came onto the market in 2007.
2018's iPhone XS Max is the most expensive iPhone Apple has ever launched, with the 512GB model retailing for a hefty $2,369.
What to consider when choosing an iPhone
Over the past 11 years, since the first iPhone was released in the US, smartphones have gone from devices that make calls and send messages to TV replacements, gaming machines, dedicated cameras and virtual credit cards.
Finding the best iPhone for your individual needs can be daunting, but there are a number of factors that you should consider when trying to decide which device to spend your money on:
Apple has never included the ability to add more storage to your iPhone via a MicroSD card, and it probably never will. Instead, you need to decide how much storage you want up front. Over the years, Apple has added higher-capacity models to its lineup, with the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max supporting up to 512GB.
One of the key differentiators of iPhone models is the size of their screens. For the past few years, Apple has released a standard model and a Plus-sized variant with a larger screen. It also launched the iPhone SE for those who prefer smaller displays. Deciding whether you want a big screen or a small one will help you narrow down your search for the perfect iPhone.
While iPhones always launch on a comprehensive suite of mobile plans from all the mobile carriers, they can still be expensive purchases – the iPhone XS Max was one of the most expensive phones ever launched. If you're on a budget, you could consider picking up a model from a previous year, like the iPhone 7, or the budget iPhone SE, as the older components are more affordable in today's landscape.
Apple infamously removed the headphone jack from the iPhone 7 family of phones, and it's missing from the iPhone 8 and iPhone XS models too. If you require a 3.5mm headphone connection with your iPhone, you'll need an older model, or you can use the supplied lightning adaptor to hook up your headphones.
TouchID was one of Apple's key differentiators over the past few iPhone generations, with a responsive fingerprint scanner inside the Home button. But with the iPhone X and the iPhone XS, Apple did away with the technology in favour of facial recognition. If you prefer a fingerprint scanner, you'll have to look to older iPhones instead.
If you're planning on ditching your dedicated camera and only taking photos with your iPhone, the iPhone 8 Plus and the iPhone X introduced a dual-camera array that gives them a definite advantage over previous iPhone models. Not only can you optically zoom, but you can also create stunning portrait photos with an artificial bokeh effect.
While Apple has always pioneered digital photography on the back of its phones, the front-facing "selfie camera" hasn't always had the same quality. Fortunately, the iPhone X added an incredible camera array used for FaceID logins that also delivers great selfies. Apple equipped the iPhone XS and iPhone XR with the same quality front-facing camera, too.
If you want to get the best speeds out of your mobile network, a newer phone is essential. The iPhone XS family supports Category 16 network speeds, while the iPhone 8 family supports Category 12. For a detailed explanation on what this means, read our Network Category speeds guide.
One of the big new features that Apple introduced at its iPhone 8 and iPhone X launch event was the arrival of Qi wireless charging support. If this is a feature you want, you'll need to buy one of those iPhone models or the iPhone XR/XS/XS Max (or pick up a Qi-enabled case for an older iPhone).
A phone is only as good as its battery life. While battery life typically deteriorates over time, being able to get you through a full day without needing to charge it every time you walk past a power point is essential. Historically, iPhones have struggled on the battery life front, though the iPhone 8 Plus was a massive step up on previous generations and competitive with the best Android phones.
Dropping your phone in the toilet happens more than you might think, so having a phone with an IP water resistance rating can mean the difference between a working phone and an expensive brick. iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 models have an IP67 rating, which means they can withstand accidental immersion in up to one metre of water for up to 30 minutes. The iPhone XS goes one step further, sporting an IP68 rating that increases its water resistance to 1.5m for up to 30 minutes. If you'd like to know more about IP ratings, you can see our guide to waterproof phones.
As a general rule, phones get better every year thanks to new and improved processors and better, more efficient software. But sometimes the difference isn't as big as you might expect. We use benchmarks here at Finder to test every smartphone we review to see how they compare.
So what is the best iPhone?
While you should always consider your own personal needs and situation before deciding which model is the best iPhone for you, we do spend a lot of time testing and reviewing all the flagship phones that launch in Australia.
A powerful handset with an excellent camera
It's not cheap, but the iPhone XS is a worthy successor to the iPhone X with plenty of power and a sharp dual-lens camera.
The iPhone XS isn't leaps and bounds ahead of the iPhone 8 or the iPhone X, but it still has plenty to offer folks looking for an upgrade. The new A12 Bionic processor delivers a considerable boost to performance, and the notchless design means you get more screen space to play around with. The dual-lens camera might look the same as the one on the iPhone X, but thanks to the image-processing capabilities of the A12 processor, photos come out clearer and crisper without the need for tweaking settings and adjusting sliders.
What's the best iPhone for photos?
Zoomed optical image stabilisation
Apple added image stabilisation to the telephoto lens of the iPhone X, giving it a slight yet noteworthy advantage over the 8 Plus.
Apple didn't change much about the camera from the iPhone X to the iPhone XS, and with good reason. The iPhone X packs a capable dual-lens rear camera with OIS (Optical Image Stabilisation) for sharper photos, along with a 3D depth-sensing camera around the front. You do miss out on the smart image-processing techniques of the iPhone XS's A12 processor, but keen photographers should be able to compensate by adjusting settings manually. And given the considerably lower price tag of the iPhone X, that's a trade-off worth considering.
What's the best "cheap" iPhone?
Compact form factor
It's the cheapest iPhone by a fair margin, though it is starting to show its age.
Apple has never really catered to the low-cost end of the market with its iPhones. When it launched the iPhone SE, the key pitch wasn't the lower cost but the smaller design. Still, as the cheapest iPhone in the current lineup, it's a good entry point for people looking for a new iPhone but not prepared to fork out more than $1,000.
Looking for an iPhone on a plan?
If you want to break down the cost of a new iPhone over a couple of years, you can compare iPhone plans for the 64GB models of the iPhone XS and the iPhone XR below. You can adjust the models using the filter function, or see our dedicated guide to compare all iPhone model plans.
Nick is the group publisher for tech, telco and utilities at Finder. An award-winning journalist with over 15 years' experience writing about technology, Nick has edited some of the country’s leading tech publications, including Gizmodo, TechRadar and T3 Magazine, as well as contributing to the likes of the Sydney Morning Herald, CNET, Lifehacker, news.com.au and many more. In 2016 he was awarded the Best Reviewer title at the 14th Annual IT Journalism Awards and has been a finalist for Best Reviewer, Best Consumer Technology Journalist and Best News Journalist on multiple occasions. Nick has a Bachelor of Media from Macquarie University and finds joy in solving problems with technology.
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