January 2017 marks ten years since the blockbuster debut of the very first iPhone from Apple.
Speaking at Macworld 2007 in San Francisco, the late Steve Jobs, co-founder and then-chief executive officer of the Cupertino-based consumer electronics giant, introduced the device that would go on to revolutionise the way people communicate and access information.
It was originally promoted by Mr Jobs as three products in one: “A widescreen iPod with touch controls, a revolutionary mobile phone and a breakthrough internet communications device.”
The reference to the iPod mp3 player seems incongruous now, as it is hard to imagine that the iPod was such a big success that many commentators doubted whether people would want to pay for a phone that offered much less storage space for mp3s than that product.
Needless to say, what might have appeared a gamble to some paid off in a big way, with over one billion iPhones sold worldwide ten years later. Apple clearly has a great deal of pride in the success of the iPhone, describing it as a revolutionary platform for hardware and software integration that has enriched the lives of people everywhere.
Indeed, it has gone on to inspire new products and further innovations in consumer technology, such as the iPad range of media tablets and the Apple Watch, in addition to millions of apps that have become an extension of people’s daily lives.
Tim Cook, successor to Steve Jobs as Apple chief executive, offered intriguing hints that more exciting developments could yet be on the horizon: “iPhone is an essential part of our customers’ lives – and today more than ever it is redefining the way we communicate, entertain, work and live.
“iPhone set the standard for mobile computing in its first decade and we are just getting started. The best is yet to come.”
Some of the latest developments that were introduced with the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus on their launch in September 2016 included an improved camera, with a 12-megapixel lens, optical image stabilization and an f/1.8 aperture that captures 50 per cent more light than previous models, as well as wide colour capture, all allowing for more detail and more vibrant colors even in low lighting conditions.
While other smartphones offer more advanced technology in some areas – including the camera – senior vice-president of worldwide marketing at Apple Philip Schiller emphasised the fact that the iPhone is the “gold standard” that all other smartphones have to measure up to.
He claimed that this has been the case throughout the device’s history, starting with the original in 2007 all the way up to the iPhone 7 Plus today – and this is what has made it so indispensable for many users.
“iPhone is how we make voice and FaceTime calls, how we shoot and share Live Photos and 4K videos, how we listen to streaming music, how we use social media [and] how we play games,” Mr Schiller commented, adding that the iPhone is all of this and much more besides.
“I believe we are just getting started.”