Apple Proved a Phone Can Change the World in Just 10 Years
Few people realized it at the time, but the world shifted fundamentally a decade ago when Steve Jobs pulled the first iPhone from Apple’s bag of technological tricks.
“Every once in a while, a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything,” Jobs declared as he paced across a San Francisco stage.
It obviously wasn’t an empty boast. We all know now that Jobs’ “magical product” has reshaped culture, shaken up industries, put computers in billions of pockets and made it possible to do just about anything with a few taps on a screen. Besides its then 3.5-inch touch screen, the first iPhone featured a browser for on-the-go web surfing and built-in apps to check email and get directions.
Apple has sold more than 1 billion iPhones since its debut, spawning millions of mobile applications and prodding other technology companies to make similar smartphones that have become like phantom limbs for many of us.
We use iPhones and their copycats to instantly share video and pictures with friends and family from almost anywhere. We use them to figure out where we are going. We use them to find the best deals while shopping in stores and to pay for stuff at the checkout stand. We use the phones to a hail ride, to tune instruments, to monitor our health and help find our next jobs.
Phones have gotten so smart that they even talk back to us via helpful digital concierges such as the iPhone’s Siri and the recently introduced Assistant on Google’s Pixel phone.
“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,” Apple’s current CEO, Tim Cook, boasted in a retrospective that the Cupertino, California, company posted on its website.
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