The Leather Case for the iPhone 11 Pro Max was made from “specially tanned and finished European leather, so the outside feels soft to the touch and develops a natural patina over time.” The case included “machined aluminum buttons match the finish of your leather case, while a microfiber lining inside helps protect your iPhone.”
The iPhone 11 Pro Max allowed wireless charging using the Qi charging standard of the time. This leather case was designed to allow wireless charging to pass through the case. (However, the case did not include Apple’s built-in MageSafe wireless charging—it was released a year later along with the iPhone 12.)
The iPhone 15 Pro Max Clear Case was described by Apple as “Thin, light, and easy to grip” to show off “the brilliant colored finish of iPhone 15 Pro Max while providing extra protection.”
The case was made from “a blend of optically clear polycarbonate and flexible materials.” The sides of the case had a slightly more flexible feel, while the back was rigid. Apple touted that “all materials and coatings are optimized to prevent yellowing over time.” I have selected Apple’s clear polycarbonate cases since the iPhone 11 in 2019 and all are still essentially clear with almost no yellowing in over 5 years (as of this writing).
This case uses MagSafe as a design element on the back. The round Magsafe magnet is bright white and perfectly surrounds the Apple logo on the back of the iPhone. Below the circle is a capsule-shaped dash that allows chargers and accessories to align to the magnets in the system. Apple describes the iPhone version of MagSafe:
“With built-in magnets that align perfectly with iPhone 15 Pro Max, this case offers a magical attach experience and faster wireless charging, every time. When it’s time to charge, just leave the case on your iPhone and snap on your MagSafe charger, or set it on your Qi-certified charger.”
The iPhone 8 was announced September 12, 2017, at the same time as the iPhone X (iPhone ten). Except for a glass back (replacing a metal back), the iPhone 8 (and the iPhone 8 Plus) were similar in design to the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models that preceded them. The iPhone 8 was arguably eclipsed by the iPhone X with Apple’s first edge-to-edge screen with no Home button and a design that hinted at future designs of iPhone and iPad devices.
The iPhone 8 had a 4.7-inch Retina HD touchscreen (1334×750 at 326 ppi). Its solid-state Home button used Apple’s Taptic engine and a Touch ID fingerprint sensor. Its front camera was a 7-megapixel FaceTime HD camera, and its back camera was a 12-megapixel 4K camera with a six-element lens system with augmented reality (AR) support.
The iPhone 8 was first offered in gold (white front with gold glass back), silver (white front with silver glass back), and space gray (black front with dark gray glass back), and Apple later added a (PRODUCT)RED Special Edition model (black front with a red glass back).
Internally, the iPhone 8 used an A11 Bionic processor with six cores, 2 GB RAM, and was offered in storage options of 64, 128, and 256 GB. Wireless connections included 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, LTE (4G), and NFC (Apple Pay). Its only wired connection was the Lightning port (the headphone jack had been removed from the previous iPhone 7 models).
Qi wireless charging was also introduced with the iPhone 8—and also the iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X, introduced at the same time.
When Phil Schiller introduced the iPhone 11 at a special event on September 10, 2019, he described the device:
“iPhone 11 is the next generation of iPhone, packed with great new capabilities in an incredible design, including new Ultra Wide and Wide cameras for gorgeous videos and photos, the power and ease of use of iOS 13, and A13 Bionic—the fastest chip ever in a smartphone that quickly handles the tasks that matter most to people every day.”
The iPhone 11 was the first of Apple’s base model phones to include a dual-camera system. Apple described the cameras in a press release:
“iPhone 11 introduces a dual-camera system with all-new Ultra Wide and Wide cameras that are deeply integrated into iOS 13, offering the highest quality video in a smartphone and major advancements in photography for the ultimate camera experience.”
Compared to previous models, the camera system was a major leap forward for iPhone. The camera system had two 12MP cameras (Ultra Wide and Wide). The A13 chip allowed Portrait mode with advanced bokeh and Depth Control, and Portrait Lighting included six effects: Natural, Studio, Contour, Stage, Stage Mono, and High-Key Mono. Panorama mode allowed photos of up to 63MP. Videos could be recorded at up to 4K (at 24, 25, 30, or 60 fps). Machine learning capabilities allowed Cinematic video stabilization (4K, 1080p, and 720p) and continuous autofocus video.
iPhone 11 was available in six “stunning colors” including purple, green, yellow, black, white and PRODUCT(RED). This example is purple, a lighter shade of purple sometimes referred to as “lilac.”
This phone had a Liquid Retina HD display that measured 6.1‑inch (diagonal) display at 1792 x 828‑pixel resolution (326 ppi). The A13 Bionic chip allowed for “the best machine learning platform in a smartphone” at the time of its release. It used a 6-core CPU with 2 performance and 4 efficiency cores, a 4-core GPU, and an 8-core Neural Engine.
The iPhone 11 was also the first base iPhone to lack a Home button. Its six sensors included Face ID, barometer, 3‑axis gyro, accelerometer, proximity sensor, and an ambient light sensor.
The design of the iPhone 11 included rounded edges and the front and back were made of glass. Apple noted, “With a back design that is precision milled and sculpted from a single piece of glass, iPhone 11 features the toughest glass ever in a smartphone.”
This iPhone is shown in an iPhone 11 Clear Case. Apple described the case as “Thin, light, and easy to grip.” According to Apple’s website:
“Made from a blend of optically clear polycarbonate and flexible TPU materials, the iPhone 11 Clear Case provides a solid, comfortable feel. The back is designed to be sturdy, while the sides are made from a softer, more flexible material that fits right over the buttons for an improved grip. And when it’s time to wirelessly charge, just leave the case on and set your iPhone on your Qi-certified charger. On the surface, a scratch-resistant coating has been applied to both the interior and exterior. And all materials and coatings are optimized to prevent yellowing over time.”
The iPhone X was introduced ten years after the original iPhone and was described by Apple as “the future of the smartphone.” The iPhone used “X” in its name, pronounced “ten,” as a nod to Mac OS X—which also used the Roman numeral X and marked a major milestone in the evolution of the Mac operating system.
The iPhone X was announced on September 12, 2017, at the same time as the lower-cost iPhone 8, Apple’s base iPhone at the time. Somewhat curiously, Apple skipped the iPhone 9 model and continued naming its iPhone models after the iPhone X with typical numerals.
The iPhone X introduced many firsts, including:
It was the first iPhone to use “a gorgeous all-glass design with a beautiful 5.8-inch Super Retina display,” removing the Home button and replacing it with a swipe-up from the bottom to unlock.
The iPhone X was the first iPhone with an “all-screen” display. It used the “first OLED panel that rises to the standards of iPhone…for a more natural, paper-like viewing experience.”
The iPhone X was the first to use FaceID to unlock, authenticate, and make payments. This technology was enabled by a “TrueDepth camera” that was “made up of a dot projector, infrared camera and flood illuminator…powered by A11 Bionic to accurately map and recognize a face.”
The TrueDepth camera also allowed the iPhone X to bring “emoji to life in a fun new way with Animoji.” The camera “captures and analyzes over 50 different facial muscle movements, then animates those expressions in a dozen different Animoji, including a panda, unicorn and robot.”
The iPhone X was the first iPhone to offer wireless charging using the Qi standard. “The glass back design enables a world-class wireless charging solution.”
This iPhone introduced a “notch” design at the top-center to allow the display to stretch “edge-to-edge” and allow a place for the front camera system. The design choice was polarizing. The Verge wrote that “There’s a mix of surprise, sarcasm, and intrigue that Apple has chosen to go with a screen layout that leads to design compromises,” and added the oft-repeated speculation that “Steve Jobs would have never let that happen.”
The iPhone X was available in two colors, silver and space gray, and offered 64GB and 256GB storage options. This example is silver. The sides of the phone were described as “surgical-grade stainless steel [that] seamlessly wraps around and reinforces iPhone X.”
The Super Retina HD display was 5.8-inches diagonal at 2436 x 1125 resolution (458ppi). The device measured 5.65 inches (143.6 mm) high x 2.79 inches (70.9 mm) wide x 0.30 inch (7.7 mm) deep, and weighed 6.14 ounces (174 grams). Its A11 Bionic chip included a Neural engine that enabled artificial intelligence machine learning.
The iPhone X camera system featured a 6‑element lens with 12 Megapixel wide-angle and telephoto cameras. Portrait mode on the iPhone X introduced Portrait Lighting (listed as a “beta” feature in specifications). Other camera features included panorama (up to 63MP), autofocus, tap to focus, auto HDR (photos), auto image stabilization, burst mode, and geotagging. It could record video at 4K (24, 30, or 60fps), 1080p HD (30 or 60fps), or 720p HD (30fps) with features including optical image stabilization, slo‑mo video (1080p at 120 or 240 fps), cinematic video stabilization (1080p and 720p), and continuous autofocus. The front TrueDepth camera offered 7 Megapixel resolution, portrait mode, Portrait Lighting (beta), Animoji, and recorded video at 1080p HD.
The iPhone X included 6 sensors, including Face ID, barometer, 3-axis gyro, accelerometer, proximity sensor, and an ambient light sensor.
Like previous iPhone models, the iPhone X included a set of custom wallpapers, two of which were featured on the product’s packaging and prominently in advertisements. 9to5Mac reported that Spanish artist Ana Montiel created the art that inspired the iPhone X wallpaper set:
“‘Fields’ is the title of Montiel’s series of paintings and exhibit that explore ‘altered states of consciousness as vehicles to go beyond the easily perceived.’ The original digital paintings were transferred to canvas and museum quality prints, and the styling came to life this past fall when Apple introduced the iPhone X with three new live wallpapers…”
The Montiel work that most closely represents one of her original works was used on the Space Gray iPhone X packaging, titled “FIELDS 9 : Tactile Irreality” (2017), an archival pigment print measuring 100x70cm. I am honored to own one of Montiel’s original prints. The iPhone X version of FIELDS 9 uses an aspect ratio to fit the iPhone screen, and it is flipped upside-down from the original, presumably to allow the time and date to be optimally displayed on the iPhone. I have opted to hang it in its original format.
“Thin, light, and easy to grip—this case lets you enjoy the look of iPhone XR while providing extra protection. It’s also crafted with a blend of optically clear polycarbonate and flexible TPU materials, so the case fits right over the buttons for easy use. On the surface, a scratch-resistant coating has been applied not only to the exterior, but also to the interior. Need to wirelessly charge? Just leave the case on your iPhone and set it on your Qi-certified charger.”
Interestingly, 9to5Mac pointed out that “this is the first clear case that Apple has produced since the iPhone debuted back in 2007.” Clear cases are notorious for turning yellow, but I have owned at least four Apple Clear cases since they were released, and all are still crystal clear, with only slight yellowing on the cases that are over 4 years old.
The iPhone 14 Pro Max Clear Case with MagSafe is “Crafted with a blend of optically clear polycarbonate and flexible materials, the case fits right over the buttons for easy use. On the surface, a scratch-resistant coating has been applied to both the interior and exterior. And all materials and coatings are optimized to prevent yellowing over time.”
The sides of the case use a more flexible, rubber-like material to allow for a better grip, while the back of the case is more rigid.
The case also includes MagSafe magnets that extend the functionality of MagSafe built into the iPhone through the case. Apple described the functionality: “With built-in magnets that align perfectly with iPhone 14 Pro Max, this case offers a magical attach experience and faster wireless charging, every time. When it’s time to charge, just leave the case on your iPhone and snap on your MagSafe charger, or set it on your Qi-certified charger.”
I have used Apple’s clear cases since the iPhone X. As Apple indicates, the cases have not yellowed significantly over time.
The iPhone 13 Pro Silicone Case was “Designed by Apple to complement iPhone 13 Pro, the Silicone Case with MagSafe is a delightful way to protect your iPhone. The silky, soft-touch finish of the silicone exterior feels great in your hand. And on the inside, there’s a soft microfiber lining for even more protection.”
The case also included MagSafe magnets that extended the functionality of MagSafe built into the iPhone through the case. Apple described the functionality:
“With built-in magnets that align perfectly with iPhone 13 Pro, this case offers a magical attach experience and faster wireless charging, every time. When it’s time to charge, just leave the case on your iPhone and snap on your MagSafe charger, or set it on your Qi-certified charger.”
This iPhone 13 Pro Silicone Case is red and part of Apple’s (PRODUCT)RED line of products. In 2021–2022, Apple changed the (PRODUCT)RED statement to include the support of COVID-19: “Every (PRODUCT)RED purchase contributes equally to the fight to end AIDS and its impact from COVID-19.” Additional information specified that “A portion of the proceeds from every (PRODUCT)RED purchase goes to the Global Fund to fight AIDS with (RED). From now until December 31, 2022, half of those proceeds will go to the Global Fund’s COVID-19 Response to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the fight to end AIDS.”
Apple’s MagSafe Duo Charger is a compact, square-shaped charger for the iPhone (or other Qi-certified devices) and the Apple Watch. According to Apple: “The MagSafe Duo Charger conveniently charges your compatible iPhone, Apple Watch, Wireless Charging Case for AirPods, and other Qi-certified devices. Just place your devices on the charger and a steady, efficient charge begins on contact. The charger folds together neatly so you can easily take it with you wherever you go.”
The charger ships with the MagSafe Duo Charger and a 1 m USB-C to Lightning Cable, but no charging brick. Therefore, the MagSafe Duo Charger does not charge out of the box without pairing it with an existing plug.
An Apple Support article specifies that “Your MagSafe Duo Charger is designed to work with all iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 models, all Apple Watch models, Apple MagSafe accessories, and Qi-certified devices and accessories.” The article goes on to state that you should “Use the included USB-C to Lightning cable to plug in your MagSafe Duo Charger to a recommended 20 watt (W) or greater Apple USB-C power adapter,” but the “Apple 29W USB-C Power Adapter isn’t compatible with the MagSafe Duo Charger.”
The Apple Watch charging side “…can charge your Apple Watch in a flat position with its band open, or on its side, by lifting the inductive charging connector. When docked on its side, your Apple Watch automatically goes into nightstand mode, so you can also use it as your alarm clock.”
The iPhone 13 Pro Clear Case with MagSafe was designed for the iPhone 13 Pro to provide a case that was “Thin, light, and easy to grip…” and to highlight the “brilliant colored finish of iPhone 13 Pro while providing extra protection.” Although the case had no seams, it used a “combination of materials including optically clear polycarbonate and flexible materials.”
The built-in MagSafe allowed the iPhone’s MagSafe capabilities to extend through the case and function optimally with charging and accessories. Apple described the experience as:
“…magical attach experience and faster wireless charging, every time. When it’s time to charge, just leave the case on your iPhone and snap on your MagSafe charger, or set it on your Qi-certified charger.”
This example here is shown along with the iPhone 13 Pro in Sierra Blue.