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iPhone 10th anniversary: 5 ways it changed everything

iphone first launch

Today marks ten years since Steve Jobs took to the stage at the then-annual Macworld expo and revealed the first iPhone.

Never one to shy away from hyperbole, Jobs called Apple’s smartphone ‘revolutionary’, something which it’s hard to argue with a decade on.

It’s the device that turned Apple from major tech brand into a global colossus, not to mention one that completely turned technology and everyday life on its head.

Here are five ways the iPhone changed everything.

1 It turned ‘smartphones’ into smartphones

first iphone birthday

Yes, there were smartphones before the iPhone. And yes, some of them had better cameras and offered faster mobile network access.

But none looked as good, were as easy–to–use or had the same cachet as Apple’s effort.

Until the iPhone, setting up email on a smartphone was a tortuous experience, touchscreens were clunky, uploading music was a pain and the design was uniformly awful. Apple changed all of that.

Its design influence is still seen everywhere today. Making it impossible to argue against the iPhone heralding the age of the smartphone.

Held out for ten years, but ready to embrace the iPhone? Get a good deal on an Apple handset at our iPhone comparison page.

2 It did for its biggest rivals

nokia n900

When the iPhone came out, it was derided by existing mobile-makers as an overly expensive, flash–in–the–pan product.

One Nokia exec dismissed Apple as a ‘niche manufacturer’, while BlackBerry’s CEO called it just ‘one more entrant’ into a crowded market.

Within five years, Nokia and BlackBerry were also rans, the latter destroyed by its failure to recognise the iPhone’s immense appeal, the former’s smartphone business sold to Microsoft after the catastrophic failure of its MeeGo operating system.

Microsoft, too, would struggle, seeing its Windows Phone devices outsold by the iPhone and a growing band of Apple–influenced devices from Samsung, LG and HTC.

3 It made Apple into the behemoth it is today

apple store queues

In 2007, Apple was already a major player in the tech world.

Steve Jobs had saved the company he set up and its iPod range and iTunes service had made it into a mainstream concern.

But it was the iPhone that truly turned Apple into the biggest brand in the world.

As the years passed and prices dropped, the iPhone became the most ubiquitous product in the world.

Apple’s profits soared and demand surrounding each iPhone launch was off the chart.

While it’s struggled in the past year, it’s incredible that a product that’s now ten years old is still so sought after.

4 It heralded the age of apps

App Store large

No, Apple wasn’t the first company to offer apps. But it was the one that turned these affordable add–ons into must–haves for every smartphone owner.

When the App Store launched in 2008, no one could have envisaged how it would change the tech world, leading to a boom in developers looking to make their first million and game–changing services from Uber to Deliveroo.

It also changed the face of mobile gaming, hitting big players like Sony and Nintendo where it hurts and spawning cross–platform hits like Angry Birds.

5 It continues to foster innovation

iPhone 7 dual lens camera

Google may have been priming Android around the same time as Apple launched the iPhone, but it was some years after Jobs first revealed Apple’s smartphone that emerging rivals managed to catch up by piggybacking on the search giant's platform.

Samsung’s efforts were undoubtedly influenced by Apple, its early Galaxy smartphones the subject of bitter lawsuits over stolen intellectual property.

These days, a smartphone arms race has led to increasingly impressive tech hitting the market each year, from dual lens cameras to curved screens to fingerprint scanners.

It’s unlikely we would have got here so quickly without the iPhone.

Want a glimpse at the future of Apple? Take a look at our iPhone 8 rumours round-up.

Category: Features
Tagged: apple, ios, iphone
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