iPhone: 5 Years On

“Can I order 4000 lattes to go please…. just kidding. Wrong number, thank you.. bye bye!”
– Steve Jobs to girl at Starbucks (iPhone’s first public crank call)

Jokes aside, I think the iPhone introduction in January 2007 (pic above) is the greatest product introduction ever. On June 29 2007, the iPhone started to reach the hands of the consumer. 5 years on, what innovations did iPhone bring with it?

1 Phone industry opened up for innovation by making phones carrier-free. All mobile projects that I was part of pre-iPhone was for tiny screens with crappy displays. But more than that, getting new apps and installing apps was almost impossible for the average user.

2 Successful business model for developing and selling mobile apps. Most people had never heard of Apps, or of an Appstore. Even desktop apps were called programs. Now everyone in the mobile space has an appstore, and has spread into in the desktop industry too. The SDK for a mobile phone was unheard of as well.

3 Full blown internet on a phone for the first time. I remember checking RSS feeds from a Blackberry Pearl a few months before the iPhone was announced. It wasn’t cool. I would not want to remember that experience now.

4 A great Maps experience on a phone. At the 2007 Macworld keynote, when Maps demo was shown, the entire hall went ‘woah!’. It was smooth, fast, slick and running on a mobile device for the first time.

5 Multi-touch gestures have became second nature. You’ve got to hear the reaction of the Macworld crowd when Jobs first scrolled through the songs list with his finger; and after a few minutes when he pinched a picture to zoom in. Remember, no one had ever seen these actions done before on a mobile device.

6 Changed mobile gaming and gaming industry forever. Graphics capabilites mirroring gaming consoles, combined with gyroscope, accelrometer on the device. Third party accessories make games on phones a great experience.

7 The beginning of the end for Adobe Flash on mobile devices. Adobe thought the iPhone ignoring Flash will not affect the global usage of Flash.

8 Every smartphone now looks like an iClone. And soon, with falling costs of screens and batteries, every phone will look like that too.

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