How Apple’s iPhone has led the smartphone revolution over the last ten years

With 77 million units sold in the first quarter of 2018, it’s hard to imagine our lives without the presence of an iPhone. Now, with more than a decade of production behind its original release and an influx of pop culture references, it’s hard to imagine that both the iPhone, and the concept of a ‘smartphone’ were yet to hit the shelves in early 2007.

When the iPhone was unveiled to the world, Steve Jobs described the device as “a magical product that is literally five years ahead of any other mobile phone. The most revolutionary user interface since the mouse.”

With a 3.5-inch display and 480 x 320-pixel resolution, the device introduced the world to a full-colour, multi-touch screen – which soon came to define the smartphone standard as we know it today.

It looked nothing like anything else available and sold a million units in just over two months. In fact, the iPhone X (which was released to mark the tenth anniversary of the iPhone) even features the same basic interface as the original – from pinch-to-zoom capabilities, to inertial scrolling.

Changing the face of mobile use

Whilst the original iPhone was a world away from offering the Face ID capabilities of today’s iPhone X, the technology and new capabilities on board the original iPhone was set to challenge the way manufacturers developed their mobiles – and some can argue, this remains the case today.

In 2007, Apple began to transform the way we interact with mobile, but also the world around us. With the introduction of the Safari web browser on board the device, users could finally load websites on the go, allowing people to seek information on their iPhone just like they would have on their computer. This has since paved the way for mobile working, allowing users to work wherever and whenever they need to.

A year later, Apple launched the AppStore, allowing access to thousands of productivity applications, social media and news outlets. This innovation played a huge part in the technology that brought apps to our lives and helped to shape the way we currently browse and interact with one another, professionally and personally. To date, the AppStore houses over 2.1 million applications, and inspired competitors such as Android to invest in similar offerings (the Google Play store now offers 3.4 million apps).

Inspiring a competitive landscape

Today, smartphones boast incredible camera technology with photo-editing applications that put great camera’s in everybody’s pocket, but this wasn’t always the case. Whilst the original iPhone came with a photo-management solution (allowing users to attach and sync images from their PC or Mac or attach to emails), it offered only a 2-megapixel camera.

Over the past five years in particular, both Apple and its competitors have advanced this feature significantly, bringing dual-lens cameras to the latest devices, complete with extra wide angles or telephoto features. In fact, in both the Samsung S9 and iPhone X, there is now the option to use the camera for interactive purposes – Animoji for instance. All this was made possible from the innovations that Apple brought to the market nearly 11 years ago.

Aside from browsing and camera capabilities, Apple contributed to the transformation in the way we navigate. Although the original didn’t have location services, the device did include Google Maps, albeit a much-stripped back version to what we know today. Consumers were able to view maps, satellite images, traffic information and get directions from their device. Now a standard feature on the latest smartphones, data packages and the availability of faster connection speeds has allowed more and more users to manage their travel time.

Putting the user’s basic needs first

The iPhone was marketed as the smartphone built with the user in mind. The phone featured an accelerometer to detect when the phone was rotated, a proximity sensor that detected when the phone was placed next to the ear and an ambient light sensor that automatically enhanced the user experience and extended battery life, enabling users to feel the phone was ready for their every move.

Looking at phones today, all of these features still exist and are very much taken for granted and an integral part of how we rely on smartphones to communicate.

All of the technology that was introduced in the first ever iPhone back in June 2007 played a huge part in shaping the way we currently interact with each other, and the world around us, and how we are interacted with. It catapulted the popularity of social media platforms, created jobs that would never have existed, allowed brands to influence us daily and made our everyday lives simpler.

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