As Apple countlessly reminded us during their town hall event this week, it’s the 10th anniversary of the iPhone. In celebration of that milestone Apple announced the release of the (expensive) iPhoneX during the event.
It seems incredible that 10 years has already gone by from the day that Steve Jobs first unveiled the iPhone. It was a watershed moment in technology and one of the most innovative inventions at the time. While Blackberry already had their version of a smartphone out, the iPhone was a quantum leap above anything on the market
It’s hard to overstate how influential the iPhone has since its introduction. It ushered in the era of the smartphone and forever changed how we interact with technology.
As we reflect on 10 years of the iPhone being a part of our lives, let’s look back on 5 ways it has influenced the world.
Like many things in technology, Apple was actually not the first to put a camera on a phone. For a quick history lesson the first phone with a camera was done by Samsung in 2000.
However it can’t be denied how influential the iPhone has been to the world of photography. For starters it started the decline of the digital camera market. Since the quality of the camera on the phone was so good, there was no need for users to have a separate camera.
Other smartphone manufacturers have followed suit and now the idea of professional photographers using a phone to take pictures doesn’t seem crazy anymore. As Apple’s “shot on an iPhone” campaign has proven, you can take some breathtaking photos with an iPhone.
4) Digital Payments
Once again, Apple was not the first manufacturer to implement a “digital wallet” technology with its Apple Pay. However there’s something to be said about how Apple can bring technology to the mainstream. It’s almost as if once Apple approves of something then it becomes legitimate.
Mobile payment has skyrocketed in the three years since Apple first introduced the Apple Pay along with the iPhone 6. Retailers have adopted the technology at such a fever pace that it’s almost harder to find a store that doesn’t take Apple Pay than that does.
Other manufacturers have followed, most notably the Samsung Pay system. Much like they did with digital cameras, Apple has now ensured that the iPhone replaces the need to carry around a wallet.
3) Social Media
Technically Facebook and Twitter already existed when the iPhone made its debut but they were far from being in widespread use. Both platforms benefitted greatly from the mobile market that was introduced with the iPhone.
Other social media channels, notably Instagram and Snapchat, were completely mobile from their inception. The influence of the iPhone on the growth of social media is undeniable. We now know that more than 80% of social media is accessed from mobile devices.
Would social media be as ubiquitous as it is now without the iPhone? Odds are pretty good that it wouldn’t be. So whether you like social media or not, you can thank the iPhone for making it a constant part of everyday life.
You know that something is influential when it affects our buying habits. That’s exactly what the iPhone did. While online shopping was already in full swing when the iPhone was released, it added a whole new dimension when people were able to shop with their phones.
The stats for mobile e-commerce are staggering as there was $327 billion in sales via mobile purchase. Additionally 62% of smartphone owners made purchases using their mobile devices. And we can safely say that Cyber Monday wouldn’t be what it is without mobile purchases.
The iPhone made all this possible. We take it for granted now because it’s so common, but there was a time when the idea of buying things on your phone would have seemed futuristic. But if there’s one thing Apple knows how to do well is being futuristic.
“There’s an app for that”
Those five words were the start of a radical shift in how we interact with technology. What’s interesting about mobile apps is that when the iPhone first came out, Steve Jobs wasn’t a fan of the idea of third-party apps.
That changed, and rightfully so. When the App Store first started in 2008 there were only 500 apps available. Today there are more than 2.2 million apps. Smartphone users in the U.S. have an average of 90 apps installed on their phones and 85% of the time they spend on their smartphones are on apps.
We can keep throwing stat after stat here but the bottom line is that apps have revolutionized technology as well as affected how business is done. None of this would have been possible if not for the iPhone being launched. So of all the major influences the iPhone has had on the world, none has been bigger than it introducing apps into our lives.
10 more years
So as we’ve seen over the last 10 years, the iPhone has truly made its impact on the world. Good or bad, the iPhone has forever changed how people communicate with each other, how businesses are run, and the role that technology has on society.
It remains to be seen what else it will influence over the next 10 years and where Apple takes us from here. Will its influence still continue or will it be overtaken by other manufacturers? Either way the world will be watching and paying close attention…and maybe that’s truly the most influential impact of the iPhone.