It is a fact that the iPhone, and later on the iPad, changed our lives and changed our way of doing things. Consuming huge amounts of information wherever you are, and no matter the time. If you think this new way of living is started by the innovative thinking of Steve Jobs, or not: The fact is that it did and still does! Not only in the past, but also in the near future since we are waiting now for the next big leap forwards: The New iPhone 5.
When we are talking about the pre-iPhone period, so roughly before June 2007, life was different than as we know it now: People finished working when they left their computers at the office, Nokia was the biggest mobile company in the world and Android didn’t even exist. Only executives had the (financial) privilege to be addicted to a BlackBerry.
Then, on June 27th 2007, Steve Jobs presented the first generation iPhone with the famous words:
Every once in a while a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything…..
…An iPod, a Phone and an Internet Communicator..…Are you getting it? These are not three separate devices. This is one device!
And we are calling it: iPhone!
Today, Apple is going to reinvent the phone.
With these words, a new era started in mobile communication. As of today, 5 years later, over 220 million iPhones are sold. So the statement that the iPhone changed our lives is clearly a legit one.
Internet On Your iPhone, Where & Whenever You Want
With the introduction of the iPhone, a whole new Internet-user-experience developed. Internet-pages could be received as they look like on your desktop. With this ‘internet in your pocket’ some new disorders appeared: The smartphone-thumb and (even worse) Smartphone addiction. A recent study showed that 15% of the people would rather give up sex than leaving the weekend without their smartphone. Those are the kind of users that see their iPhone as the last thing in the night and the first thing they check in the morning, instead of their partner.
A New Way of Working With Computers
In the pre-iPhone era, people stopped working when they left the office. Simply because they didn’t had access to the files at home. Now, with the rise of the iPhone and other iDevices, the line between work and private is blurring. You are available, everywhere at any given time. And people do not accept that you turn your phone off to be alone, not wanting to be disturbed! This has led to a whole new set of rules about how to use smartphones in a (real life-) social environment. For example, it is not done to constantly use the iPhone during a date, while driving and certainly not when you are at work. You can agree or not, but some ways of usage is not accepted anymore. The impact is shown in a funny way, but very clearly in this cartoon I found (copyright Gerrit de Jager - The Netherlands)
The App and App Store As Eco-System for iPhone
The biggest contributor of the iPhone success was the creation of the eco-system. While the first iPhone came with only a handful of pre-loaded apps to check the weather, stocks, type an email and apps with a calendar and the time. To open the market for apps, and control this market, Apple introduced the app-store in 2008. Creating a new industry of specialized iOS developers.
Today, there are more than 650.000 apps available in the App Store, within a price range from free to $1.000 for specialized business apps. Apple’s TV ads used the catchphrase: “There’s an App for that”. This line represents the variety of the available apps extremely well.
A Whole New Industry
One thing is for sure: The success of the iPhone helped killing the successful companies from the pre-iPhone era. The biggest companies back then, BlackBerry and of course Nokia, are now painfully degraded and only playing on the lower-end of the market.
The introduction of the iPhone gave birth to a whole new industry with apps, uncountable iPhone gadgets (useful or not), mobile advertising and the total supply chain behind this all. An industry worth billions of dollars and providing work for tens of thousands people all around the world. And this is still growing.