The 10th Anniversary of The iPhone
Launched in 2007, the iPhone did a lot more than just take over the smartphone market, it impacted the lives of people right around the world and changed how we thought about technology. From the evolution of communication, to causing major shifts in youth culture, the iPhone is a centre piece of the modern world and marked a drastic shift from an analogue world to a digital one.
Prior to Steve Jobs showing off Apple's iPhone in January 2007, Nokia ruled the mobile phone market. But the iPhone didn't simply improve upon the phones that had come before it, instead it shifted the conversation in such a radically new direction that other manufacturers had little choice but to follow suit or become irrelevant. On a technical basis alone, the iPhone was like nothing that came before it. It was the first phone to come with multi touch display, allowing users to seamlessly scroll, swipe and navigate in a way that would become the industry standard. The iPhone also perfected and popularised the virtual keyboard, introduced the world to mobile apps, and re-invented the mobile gaming industry thanks to the increased power of its mobile OS and large display screen.
However, the impact of the iPhone goes far beyond just setting the industry standard for almost every aspect of the smartphone, it also changed society. At a fundamental level, the massive success of the iPhone helped to create the always online culture that comes with having a mini computer in your pocket that you never turn off. Compare this to laptops that are turned off at the end of the day or old brick phones with limited usability and connectivity and it's easy to see where our world of 24/7 connectivity really began.
With the iPhone as the driving force in the industry, smartphones have also greatly reduced the need for separate MP3 players and digital cameras. While mobile phones with cameras and music players had been around for years before the iPhone, it was Apple's move into the smartphone market that established the mobile phone as the all in one gadget we know it as today. When the iPhone combined Wi-Fi connectivity, a large touch-screen display, a high-quality camera and increased memory storage, it was only going to be a matter of time before sending photos and videos became the default way of communication for many, especially younger, smartphone users. Today Snapchat and Instagram are two of the most popular apps on the market and the iPhone is a key reason why.
Ten years on and the iPhone continues to be the flagship smartphone on the market. In that time over a billion iPhones have been sold, Apple became the first company with a market value of $700 billion, and smartphones have Become Life's Remote Control. What the next decade holds for the iPhone is yet unknown, but it's impossible to imagine a world without them. That more than anything sums up the impact of the iPhone; its the one piece of technology we can't live without.