Friday, June 30, 2017

The iPhone Turns 10

My bet is that if you are reading this blog, you own and use a smartphone. Very likely either an Apple iPhone or a phone running the Google Android mobile operating system and made by one of a few other smartphone makers. 

Your phone has a rectangular capacitive touch screen of 4” or larger. It’s “home” screen is populated with square icons for “apps” that you run and that you downloaded from an app store.

I also feel safe in saying that 11 years ago, none of the above was true and your mobile phone was something very different. And if I can bottom-line that difference, 11 years ago you carried a mobile phone while today you carry a pocket-sized computer with advanced multimedia capabilities that could also be used for phone calls if you decided you ever wanted to do that.

Like so many of Apple's great achievements, the iPhone was not the introduction of any great technology inventions. We had already seen smartphones of one type or another, some of which were incredibly popular email readers. We had seen some limited capacitive touch. We had handheld media players, including the iPod, another Apple success story. What Apple did so well with the iPhone was to combine technologies well into a highly functional and reliable product, make exceptional design and user interface choices, and then convince us that we couldn't live without it. They certainly convinced me.

The result was a redefinition of the mobile phone (now smartphone) market, and the other phone makers followed. I believe that Blackberry's days of relevance were numbered when they decided not to follow.

At first, the iPhone supported only apps that Apple provided. But once the iPhone was established, there was a community of developers ready to take advantage of a new platform and so the App Store was born. This in turn meant that users had more choices, and developers could cash in if their app was popular. Apple got their cut of the sale, too, whether the developer wrote an app that sold 3 copies or 3 million.

Now, at 10 years old, Apple continues to ride the tsunami that is the iPhone. With iOS 11 coming out later this year, along with the expectation of an iPhone 8 with some interesting changes, as well as the prospect of augmented reality on Apple's iPhones and iPads, excitement continues. Who knows what comes after that?

Are you looking forward to a next generation iPhone? To using augmented reality? Leave a comment and let us know.


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