The iPhone turns 10

Ap­ple CEO Tim Cook prom­ises “the best is yet to come”, writes Caitlin McGarry

iPad&iPhone user - - CONTENTS -

It’s tough to re­mem­ber a time be­fore the iPhone, which ush­ered in the smart­phone era and rad­i­cally trans­formed our lives. A decade ago, on Jan. 9, 2007, Ap­ple CEO Steve Jobs took the wraps off a touch­screen “iPod, phone,

and in­ter­net com­mu­ni­ca­tor” at the Mac­world Expo. Lit­tle did he (or we) know then just how suc­cess­ful the iPhone would be­come.

To­day, the iPhone is Ap­ple’s big­gest seller by far. The com­pany has sold more than a bil­lion iPhones in the past 10 years. A lot has changed in a decade. The iPhone now in­cludes an in­sanely good dual-lens cam­era in the 7 Plus, a built-in stream­ing mu­sic ser­vice, and we can’t for­get about the count­less es­sen­tial apps that weren’t pos­si­ble on Jan. 9, 2007. Ap­ple built na­tive apps for the first-gen­er­a­tion iPhone but didn’t al­low de­vel­op­ers to cre­ate their own. Now the App Store is a thriv­ing in­dus­try unto it­self with count­less es­sen­tial ser­vices.

“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 CEO Tim Cook said in a state­ment. “iPhone set the stan­dard for mo­bile com­put­ing in its first decade and we are just get­ting started. The best is yet to come.”

Ru­mours about the 10th an­niver­sary iPhone 8 have been swirling since be­fore the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus were an­nounced. Re­ports in­di­cate that Ap­ple is work­ing on a curved OLED edge-to-edge glass dis­play with the Home but­ton em­bed­ded right into the screen, plus wire­less charg­ing.

You can’t help but laugh when re­watch­ing the key­note an­nounce­ment. Jobs was clearly de­lighted by the de­vice and proud to show it off. “It’s got a 3.5in screen,” Jobs said. “It’s re­ally big.”

“It’s re­ally thin,” he con­tin­ued. “It’s thin­ner than any smart­phone out there at 11.6mm.”

The iPhone now comes in 4.7- and 5.5in vari­a­tions, both at 7.1mm. Last year saw iPhone sales slip and Ap­ple’s rev­enues shrink, which led some to spec­u­late that the iPhone’s best days are be­hind it. Ap­ple’s Phil Schiller, se­nior vice pres­i­dent of world­wide mar­ket­ing, told Backchan­nel’s Steven Levy that the iPhone “is so great that it has many years of in­no­va­tion ahead.”

Ap­ple’s com­peti­tors are shift­ing their fo­cus from phones to voice as­sis­tants, an area where Ap­ple was ahead with Siri but now lags be­hind ri­vals like Ama­zon.

“Some of the great­est in­no­va­tions on iPhone over the last 10 years have been in dis­play,” Schiller said. “Dis­plays are not go­ing to go away. We still like to take pic­tures and we need to look at them, and a dis­em­bod­ied voice is not go­ing to show me what the pic­ture is.”

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