Apple Launched the iPhone Nine Years Ago Today (video)
Lots of companies like to boast that their tech is revolutionary, but when Apple unveiled the iPhone on 9 January 2007, they literally revolutionized smartphones.
With its small, low-resolution screen, the iPhone didn’t look like much. it was mocked for not having a keyboard or a camera, and it still managed to outsell any other smartphone that year and became the standard by which all other smartphones were designed.
Here’s the original launch video from 2007. (The phone doesn’t look like much by today’s standards, does it?)
Interesting footnote: The iPhone was quickly cloned, and not just by Chinese OEMs. Just to give you an idea of how revolutionary the iPhone was, there’s a good chance we would not have Android as we know it today without the iPhone.
Google’s first Android smartphone design looked more like a Blackberry than a smartphone. It had a keyboard and menu buttons but no touchscreen. That design was developed in late 2006, and discarded in January 2007 after the Google engineers saw the iPhone for the first time. Instead Google went with the HTC Dream, which hid a hardware keyboard behind a 3.2″ screen.
Do you suppose copying a few key details from Apple’s smartphone helped propel Android into second place for mobile OSes? (Copying Apple certainly helped Samsung sell smartphones.)
jjj January 10, 2016 um 3:27 am
What was revolutionary about it?
The basic idea is that it didn’t had resistive touch, it had capacitive multi-touch and that came from a small company they bought in 2005,Fingerworks.The hardware and the software were rather terrible. The OS is more of a desktop OS adapted for touch and was very very basic, nothing special there really.
LG Prada was the first device with capacitive touch https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LG_Prada
Neonode in 2002 attracted a lot of attention with it’s optical touch.
There was nothing original or revolutionary, no technological breakthrough, just the package was good enough. That’s what Apple does, giftwraps technology made by others in a sellable package, or used to do, that era ended with Cook.
If you look at glasses. Google took Glass and messed up the marketing and the delays made it much worse. Glass had some good ideas but Google failed to do enough. Hololens is a dual Google Glass able to merge AR and VR but it’s indoor only ,costly, bulky, limited and will need a few generations to become good enough. Oculus ruins it’s device with external hardware, a controller with proprietary wifi, insane pricing and a forced tie to their own store.Oculus had the right idea, make it simple and affordable and instead of following that path, they went the opposite way. Luckly that’s not the only path available to glasses.
At some point someone will have the vision to make the right product and the technology to do so will be available.
Hell, look at watches, the tech is there but nobody can make a decent device at a sane price. Greed and lack of courage keep that market standing still. They don’t have the guts to go with a new form factor that better fits the functionality instead of cloning dumbwatches. It’s safer to sell dumbwatch clones.they all get greedy and price the devices way way too high and Google gets greedy and doesn’t release the source code for Android Wear – releasing that would enable form factor innovations, much better prices and the OS would get better too. Apple’s effort here is comical. Both Google and Microsoft have a better understanding of the end goal.
Everybody sucks at product design, the final calibration that makes the difference between a dud and a great product. And when they don’t they manage to mess up the marketing or the pricing.
What iphone was ,was that, a product well enough calibrated to sell well, it wasn’t good, it wasn’t great , it’s just that the entire world just really really sucks at it and they did a bit better.
Nate Hoffelder January 10, 2016 um 8:39 am
The iPhone was revolutionary because it made everyone change what they were doing. It was the first product to get everything right (or at least it came closer than any did before).
And no, Apple wasn’t the first to make that type of smartphone, but they usually aren’t the first to come up with any idea. They’re like the student that copies your work, but does it better and gets a higher grade.
Frank January 11, 2016 um 1:55 pm
What is revolutionary about the first iPhone is it just worked and easy easy to use. No longer did you need to have technical leaning to use a smartphone or be in business. While it launched without an app store it did everything else that modern smartphones still do today.