Smartphone revolution blazes on as iPhone turns 10

January 8, 2017 by Glenn Chapman
The iPhone 7 - 10 years after the release of the first iPhone, Apple is under pressure to come up with a new wonder

The smartphone continues to change the world a decade after the debut of the iPhone, even as Apple is under pressure to come up with a new wonder.

The iPhone—introduced by late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs on January 9, 2007—set the stage for and an entire industry revolving around it.

The handsets built on successful iPod digital music players and featured touch screens at a time when the was ruled by BlackBerry devices with keypads.

Jobs billed his smartphone approach as blending liberal arts, design and technology.

What was not obvious at the time was how iPhone's focus on apps would send people rocketing along a path to tweeting, Snapping, Pokemon Go, live streaming video, and more.

"Apple gets credit for the apps that brought the mobile computing platform to your pocket," Gartner analyst Brian Blau told AFP at the Consumer Electronics Show that ends Sunday in Las Vegas.

"Today, it is hard to make a consumer electronics product without (internet) connectivity."

Smartphones are even playing a big role in the virtual reality trend, with people using handsets as screens inserted into headsets for exploring fantasy realms.

Apple does not attend CES. But its trend-setting power is felt here from cars boasting "infotainment" systems that synch with iPhones, to smart-home networks controlled by mobile apps and rival smartphones mirroring iPhone features.

"The iPhone changed the world because mobile computing is now part of everyone's daily life," Blau said.

People wait outside an Apple store in Santa Monica, California for the release of the first iPhone on June 29, 2007

Altered landscape

The iPhone, in a way, was a seed around which the industry has crystalized, according to Maxwell Ramsey of mobile phone news website phoneArena.com.

"It's pretty remarkable what it did," Maxwell said of the iPhone.

"We are still riding that wave from 2007. No doubt about it."

Putting the internet in people's pockets, and on tablet computers, has profoundly changed the way people watch films, get news, socialize and work.

Insiders at the CES trade show cited the iPhone as the main impetus for the revolutionary shift to mobile computing lifestyles.

"It turned the industry on its head," Maxwell said at CES.

"It figuratively destroyed a lot of companies, and changed the landscape."

The iPhone powered Apple's money-making machine, but sales began to decline last year in the increasingly saturated and competitive smartphone market.

Missed targets

Apple chief executive Tim Cook and other top executives saw their compensation for 2016 cut because internal income targets were missed, according to a filing Friday with US regulators.

Apple iPhone

"The two financial measures used to evaluate executive performance under our annual cash incentive program, net sales and operating income, declined from our record-breaking 2015 levels," Apple said in the filing.

"These results were below the target performance goals."

Apple reported net sales of $215.6 billion for the fiscal year, with an operating income of $60 billion, the filing indicated.

Cook's pay will tally $8.75 million as compared with $10.3 million in 2015. His base pay jumped to $3 million from $2 million.

Apple's profit in the quarter ending September 24 slumped on a widely expected drop in iPhone sales, but gains in services offered optimism on company efforts to curb dependence on its smartphone.

Apple is to release performance figures for the recently ended quarter on January 31.

Apple has been working to make more money from services and apps.

The iPhone maker said its App Store had its busiest single day ever on New Year's Day, capping a record-breaking holiday season for the online shop.

Since the App Store launched in 2008, developers have earned more than $60 billion from software creations tailored for Apple devices, according to the company.

Meanwhile, eyes are on Apple for its next "big thing" in the face of worry that the company lost its innovative mojo with the passing of Jobs in 2011.

Rumors of projects in the works include a self-driving car.

"I think they will have a next big thing," analyst Blau said.

"But the future of the company will rely on smaller innovation. And there is nothing wrong with that kind of a business."

Explore further: Apple says one billion iPhones have been sold

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14 comments

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Max5000
1 / 5 (1) Jan 08, 2017
Really a bit of a stretch to pretend Apple created the smartphone. Most people were already walking around with smartphones even since the year 2000. Most of those already had color screens, had camera's in them, internet, email, the basic apps provided by companies like Blackberry or Nokia (for 10 years the largest mobile and smartphone maker on the planet). Even touchscreens already reached the market. What Apple did was finally refine it with an open app system that everyone could build apps for. What Apple did was to combine touch with a somewhat larger screen and by leaving the keyboard away it become more practical to operate with a larger screen. What Apple did was turn it even more into a symbol that people needed to have. With it`s simple name. As well as the old fanbase of the company. What also happened was that Nokia and Blackberry slipped up by not providing a competing product fast enough. Finally allowing Samsung, Huawei, Google, etc to rise above. Now even beyond.
Origin314
3.7 / 5 (3) Jan 08, 2017
I would never buy a apple product due to their proprietary software, while they may have introduced the first touch screen phone they are far from the creators of the smart phone, more so a important step in the evolution of the smartphone...

My Android has much more functionality and freedom of choice than apple could ever offer.
Eikka
5 / 5 (1) Jan 08, 2017
What Apple did was finally refine it with an open app system that everyone could build apps for.


You could download apps to the Nokia phones from the internet, because Symbian had an open standard for programs. You just downloaded an specific .exe file onto the phone and launched it. It was more or less made to act like a tiny PC - the file system structure even had the familiar drive letters A:, C:, D:... etc. Even the simpler candybar phones with color screens were like that, though they didn't have much software available - some weather and news apps - not much you can do on a 2G non-Edge radio with 14 kbps maximum transmission rate, and of course the data fees were atrocious.

The problem was all the carriers removed the file browser from all the phones and locked them down so nobody could use any of the features - they had to be re-flashed with custom ROMs to get at the smartphone stuff.
Eikka
not rated yet Jan 08, 2017
As well as the old fanbase of the company. What also happened was that Nokia and Blackberry slipped up by not providing a competing product fast enough.


Microsoft killed Nokia. The board of the company hired an ex-Microsoft man Stephen Elop who immediately started talking down the operating system and the phones, publicly calling them crap. He pulled the plug on fixing Symbian, and all the Android and Linux phones as well, and tanked Nokia's stock in preparation for Microsoft to buy the company.

Many don't remeber Nokia had this going:
https://en.wikipe...Nokia_N9

Until Elop put an axe to it and started making Windows phones.
Eikka
not rated yet Jan 08, 2017
It's quite likely that Nokia was cleared out of the way in preparation for Microsoft and other US based companies to expand to the Asian market, because Nokia was already and still is established in China, India and Indonesia as a major brand. The Communicator line was very popular with the businessmen, for example:

https://en.wikipe...unicator

So Nokia was already and could have been huge in the East, so all the other guys, Google, Microsoft, Apple, Motorola, Samsung... etc. wanted them gone.
carbon_unit
1 / 5 (3) Jan 08, 2017
"Today, it is hard to make a consumer electronics product without (internet) connectivity."
Not necessarily a good thing. We are all quite a bit less secure these days.
Max5000
1 / 5 (1) Jan 08, 2017
@ Eikka. "Microsoft killed Nokia." I agree. But the problem is that previous Nokia leaders allowed an American to come in and start running the company in the first place. No EU, Chinese, Australian or other company from any nation besides the Us should allow an American CEO to run it. It almost always ends badly for them. They are not there for the company or the country. Only for the money. And who can blame them. And Elop cleaned up big time while Finland lost a national Icon. Hopefully the Fins and Nokia learned their lesson the hard way and will never repeat that mistake. Nokia is now even back on phones trying to resurrect that market. Though the landscape has dramatically worsened with so many big players. Even for Apple the days of dominance are well over. Almost 90% of the worlds smartphones now run on Android. Nokia's own app/software alternative would have been much appreciated by now. Perhaps they can rebuild to new heights over the coming years and decades. Who knows.
Arthur_McBride
5 / 5 (1) Jan 08, 2017
"Today, it is hard to make a consumer electronics product without (internet) connectivity."
If it is a product that offers information or content that uses the web, then, yes it must have "connectivity". If not, then it is available without "connectivity",,, ie iPod, simple cell phones, etc. Any, ANY product can be set by the user to not have "connectivity".

Not necessarily a good thing.
Only for a person who is so irresponsible as to not take the time to learn how their device works. The problem is not in the technology, it's in the mindset of the user.

We are all quite a bit less secure these days.
Do these trite blanket pronouncements pass for profundity where you come from? The reason I ask is this, I can make a case, an almost unassailable case that my "smart" devices make me more secure. A "smart phone" will never be smarter than the user (though people expect that they are and complain when the work exactly as designed to work.)
Max5000
1 / 5 (1) Jan 08, 2017
@ Eikka. I liked that Nokia N9 and other attempts but that still would not have rescued them. The name just is terrible just as their previous used names. It does not rival names like Iphone or Galaxy phone. Not in a long shot. Nokia became big because previously there was no serious competition. Once the competition started they could not keep up. Besides having top technology the names are hugely critical as well. They need to be very simple and catchy or elegant. Like Apple, Mercedes, Ferrari, Tesla, Facebook, Iphone, Galaxy. Even Samsung to some extend hangs in the balance so the Galaxy name is a very strong addition. Logo's are easier as well like with Apple or Mercedes etc. Instead of more difficult names like Philips or Citroèn or product names like XF2215 or product names like N9. N9 and others like it are not catchy or elegant. They are lame and a company with lame names will and should die if competitors have better names and equally good products. A harsh reality.
Eikka
not rated yet Jan 09, 2017
But the problem is that previous Nokia leaders allowed an American to come in and start running the company in the first place.


The decision was made by the board, which was already full of Microsoft moles.

I liked that Nokia N9 and other attempts but that still would not have rescued them. The name just is terrible just as their previous used names. It does not rival names like Iphone or Galaxy phone.


If the name was the biggest complaint, then they would have done great.

Nokia became big because previously there was no serious competition.

Except Motorola, Ericcson, Siemens...

Nokia did very well in Europe, where the iPhone was originally considered just a gimmick: in the EU customers bought their phones from a store and went to the operator to get a SIM card and a plan. In the US the operators sold the phones, so the operators could choose which phones sell - Nokia couldn't compete on that market because all the operators were paid off.

Eikka
not rated yet Jan 09, 2017
The N9 phone was a crucial point that could have turned Nokia around against Apple and Google, because it was so well recieved and a huge market hit for the limited time it was available in a select handful of countries. It was specifically NOT sold in the US or Canada because of Stephen Elop - he didn't even want people to see it.

Android and iPhones at the time weren't yet so popular in Europe because they were so expensive, they were foreign, and the hardware and the software ecosystems were still quite primitive. Had they continued with the N series phones, Nokia would have murdered the iPhone and left the Android phones in the dust as "cheap chinese toys".

But that couldn't happen because Microsoft wanted Nokia to fail, so it would depreciate in value, so they could buy it off and slaughter it.
Eikka
not rated yet Jan 09, 2017
Nokia's own app/software alternative would have been much appreciated by now.


There's Jolla and the Sailfish OS which is based directly on the N9 project. It is software compatible with Android apps.

https://en.wikipe...ki/Jolla

Eikka
not rated yet Jan 09, 2017
Only for a person who is so irresponsible as to not take the time to learn how their device works. The problem is not in the technology, it's in the mindset of the user


When I bought my first Android phone, it basically thrust me into a gmail/google account and had me accept end user agreements ten miles long, give Google my phone number, name, home address etc. before I could even install an alternative web browser so I wouldn't have to use Chrome. I only just avoided giving them my credit card number by pressing "back" at the crucial point - the program made it seem like I have to.

The problem is the surveillance is built in, and you can't use the devices without. There's dozens, maybe hundreds of "options" and "features" in the system which have to be turned off or bypassed, even hacked away if you want your privacy back. Google is in a position where, if you don't want to give Google what they want, you effectively can't use the phone. Same thing with Apple.

Eikka
not rated yet Jan 09, 2017
I also like the fact that whenever I start the maps application, it says that Google "has to" collect and save my location information to "provide you with a better service". Every time, nag nag, and if I so much as once accidentally press "yes" then I'm in and I can't get out.

I can turn it off, but I can't make Google to delete the data they already have. I just have to trust that they respect my wish.

Frankly I don't really trust that they aren't already collecting the information anyways, because nobody can audit them. They can just pretend they haven't got it.

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