“An iPod. A Phone. And an Internet communicator.” These were Steve Jobs’ words to describe the Apple product that would change the world. The iPhone.
Up until then, other companies had been making phones, but none had the power to play music like an iPod could. That’s not to say other companies weren’t working on it – they were, but people loved their iPods for a reason.
The popularity of the iPod and the increasing use of cellphones left Apple with an opportunity. Apple knew that if they could make a cellphone that combined the function of an iPod with that of a great cellphone, they would have a hot-ticket item on their hands.
Rumours began to circulate that Apple was making a phone over a year before Steve Jobs actually walked on stage and showed it to the world. It seemed like a logical progression, and an ‘iPhone’ patent filing capped it off.
On a January in San Fransisco, Steve Jobs took to the stage to show the world what he and his company had been working on. “This is a day I’ve been looking forward to for two-and-a-half years,” he said.
“Today Apple is going to reinvent the phone. We want to make a leapfrog product that is way smarter than any mobile device has ever been and super easy to use.”
Ten years later, we realize just how right he was. Not only have over a billion iPhones been sold, not only have they completely upended the smartphone industry, but they also slowly rendered a bunch of devices obsolete.
What Has The iPhone Replaced?
Think of all the things your phone does for you. It’s a lot more than just texting and calling! Many devices that people had gotten used to have nearly disappeared from the marketplace now.
Here are a few of the devices that the iPhone has replaced
The Stand Alone Music Player
Perhaps unintentionally, Apple reduced one of their most popular products to nothing more than pocket change on Apple’s books.
The iPhone has become most user’s primary music players. Especially with the launch of Apple Music and Spotify – you can listen to literally any song you want, anytime, anywhere. Why would you need an iPod?
Before the iPhone, the iPod was the world’s favourite music player. It was sleek and easy to use – Microsoft’s Zune was the laughing stock of the tech industry, and everyone else was just small fish.
Apple managed to hold on to their title as the world’s premiere provider music on the go, while completely eliminating the competition.
The Low/Medium End Digital Camera
The iPhone’s new camera is stunning. Two 12 megapixel lenses on the back: one wide angle and one telephoto lens. The pictures these take are nearly professional quality, and one thing is for sure: people aren’t buying cheap digital cameras anymore.
Before the iPhone introduced a camera, low-end digital cameras were ubiquitous. People have always liked taking pictures, and the iPhone proved how important cameras are. One of the main changes Apple made in their latest iPhone was huge upgrades to the camera.
Also, remember camcorders? Those little video recorders with annoying tiny screens? How many of those have you seen around lately? As soon as iPhones were able to take video, camcorders lost their appeal.
Personal Data Assistants
Personal Data Assistants were all the rage for a very short amount of time. Now, iPhones do it all. Appointments, calendar, notes, reminders, journals, etc. Everything that a PDA could do, iPhone does better.
Especially with the expansion of Siri’s capabilities; you can tell your phone to make appointments, make reservations, order an Uber, check the weather, and much more. Tapping a screen with a stylus seems so… a decade ago!
GPS Navigators and Maps
Some people are still using traditional GPS navigation, but most people have switched entirely to the iPhone for their navigational needs. The native Apple Maps app is getting better all the time, and third party apps like Waze are innovating mobile navigation further.
iPhone navigation allows you to do more than traditional navigation ever could. You can share a location with a friend with the click of a button. You can share your location in real time with the click of a button. You can perform other tasks on your iPhone while keeping navigation on.
This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t know how to read a map – you should. But kids born today could go through their entire lives without ever having to read a map. iPhones and other smartphones are slowly but surely replacing many physical items that have been essential for millennia.
Handheld Gaming Systems
Handheld gaming systems like the Gameboy, Nintendo DS, and PSP were once very popular Christmas gifts for kids and adults alike. Now, these systems are a thing of nostalgia and indulgence.
Mobile games have completely taken over the scene. Not only do they fit in your pocket on the same device that you use all day, but they’re also much cheaper, sometimes free.
From simple games like Candy Crush and Flappy Birds to in-depth games like Civilization and Grand Theft Auto, people do a lot of gaming on their phones.
The iPhone was a smartphone for everyone. Whereas smartphones were once the domain of business people, the iPhone brought the smartphone to the mainstream and changed the world forever.
We had to adjust to a world where anything can be filmed and posted to the internet in minutes.
We had to adjust to a world where anyone can get a hold of you anytime. A world where every notification is sent right to you.
Ten years ago your phone was just for talking and texting. It’s incredible how quickly that changed, and you can blame it all on the iPhone.
What’s Next For The iPhone
Some analysts speculate that the iPhone will be around for another 50 years or more. In that time we are sure to see some changes. What should you expect when the iPhone turns twenty?
Internet Of Things
It’s already happening: with the advent and popularity of Homecare, Apple is pushing the automated home closer to mainstream reality. In the next twenty years more and more of our everyday appliances and tools will become connected to our phones.
A Port Free iPhone
In a controversial, but unsurprising move, Apple removed the headphone jack from it’s most recent iPhone. They sited antiquated technology and the potential for higher audio quality as the reason for this switch.
We think that this change is here to stay, and the trend is likely to continue. Contactless charging has been available for Android phones for years, and it is quite likely the iPhone will follow suit.
As the public begins to understand the power of cloud computing, Apple will spend more time simplifying and improving their services. Presently, their iCloud services are useful, but not exactly user-friendly.
iCloud will bring all of your devices closer together and ultimately make life easier, but it still needs work.
People Will Still Buy Them
The iPhone is an incredible brand and an incredible device. One thing we can predict with near certainty, is that Apple will continue to sell iPhones. People love them. We love them! And we are looking forward to another ten years.