Zit Seng's Blog

A Singaporean's technology and lifestyle blog

A Decade of iPhones

Your news stream may have been flooded with a lot of iPhone news these couple of days. No, there’s no new iPhone, not yet anyway. It’s about yesterday, 9th January, being the 10th anniversary of the original iPhone announcement, when Steven Jobs revealed Apple’s iPhone plans at Macworld convention. The iPhone was eventually released later on 29th June 2007.

From that iPhone in 2007, the look and feel of every smartphone after that changed. Plasticky keyboards were cool before that, like those you might find on various N-series and E-series Nokia phones. Sure, Blackberry continued steadfastly with their keyboards, but for most other smartphones, keyboards became onscreen virtual ones.

This graphic from Cult of Mac shows quite clearly the impact the iPhone had on smartphone design. The iPhone started a new era of smartphones.

For a while, Apple sued left and right anyone who copied their ideas. Most people will remember, or at least heard of, the legal battles between Apple and Samsung. These days, it seems they’ve given up. Perhaps, they’ve conceded that it’s quite a compliment for their competitors to want to copy them.

Google’s flagship, the Pixel XL, for example, could be mistaken for an iPhone 7 Plus, though of course the former’s lack of a physical home button would be a dead giveaway.

In 10 years, Apple has released 10 generations of iPhones, or a total of 15 smartphone devices, if you could all the Pluses and C and SE. That’s not as many, not even close at all, as say the number that Samsung makes. But the iPhone definitely sets the pace.

To be fair, other manufacturers have had some part in shaping the development of our devices. Samsung, for example, bravely introduced the Galaxy Note in 2011. We all thought it was too big, but these huge screens have become quite the norm now.

If you want to reminisce in some of the nostalgia from the original iPhone announcement, you can watch Steve Job’s presentation on YouTube.

Some people, myself too, dissed the iPhone back then. I still don’t use an iPhone now. However, looking back at that original iPhone again, we’ve all got to admit that Apple really changed the very definition of smartphones in 2007.

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