Happy 8th birthday iPhone! 8 Ways the iPhone changed our lives
“Every once in a while, a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything.”
The 9th of January marks eight years to the day that Steve Jobs first stood in front of an audience at MacWorld 2007 and introduced the world to the iPhone. With one sentence he laid the truth out to the audience, and it wasn’t an empty marketing promise. It really did come true.
“Today, Apple is going to reinvent the phone.”
Eight years on and I’m looking at the ways in which Apple made life easier, cleverly helped consumers part with their hard-earned cash and paved the way for quicker and better communications.
This chart by Business Insider (reproduced on NYmag.com) illustrates the iPhone’s impact by charting Apple’s revenue:
Let’s look at the ways the iPhone changed our lives:
(1) Changed the conversation
Before the iPhone, smartphones were clunky and hard to navigate, email was basic and text messages didn’t follow in the conversation format that the iPhone has since made popular with others adopting worldwide. Texting may seem like a relatively small way that life has changed, but the ability to view our texts in conversation format led to an increase in the use of text messaging and a decrease in calls.
(2) There’s an App for that
The iPhone brought us the App Store and with it a platform to buy anything and everything to make our lives easier or to entertain us. From video games to barcode scanners to personal organisers, the App Store not only gave us access to everything we needed and wanted, it gave us a perfect way of parting with our money a couple of quid at a time. The App Store not only meant big bucks for Apple, it also provided developers with a way to line their pockets. Having previously sold apps through carriers, Apple’s 70% split direct to developers ensured that they got the best apps before other platforms and paved the way for a developers market.
(3) Made us more visible
Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare apps made it easier for us to share where we were and who we were with, and boy oh boy did we share. Everything from what we had for dinner, funny things we saw on our commute, what we were thinking when we were thinking it and everything in between. The iPhone made it easier for us to share our lives like we never had before to our friends, colleagues and complete strangers.
(4) Gave us information at our fingertips
Recognise a face in a programme you’re watching? Search for it. Want to know how tall Tom Cruise is? Search for it. Don’t believe something a friend swears blind happened in Wiltshire on the 9th June 1892? Search for it. Gone are the childhood days of searching through encyclopaedias to find facts. We now have the internet and fantastic mobile web design at our fingertips, so we can search any time we like. The iPhone gave us 24-hour access to the internet and we’ve been surfing ever since.
(5) We never get lost
Printing directions? Reading physical maps? Having an A-Z? All things of the past these days! Initially the Apple Maps app and now Google Maps app have meant that getting from A to B is easy and effective. It pinpoints your location, it can tell you how to get there on foot, by car and bicycle and even gives you live traffic and incident updates. Not only can it tell you how to get to your destination, it can also guide you to your nearest library, public toilet or cash machine.
(6) Turned us all into photographers
We no longer use our digital cameras in the way we used to. The iPhone not only equipped us with a great camera on the go, it provided us with the tools and apps to edit, upload and share. Instagram is one of the most used social media photo apps in the UK and was available on the iPhone for two years before being released on Android. Its success was in part due to its exclusivity. The ability to share photo experiences in our everyday life is one that is loved the world over. Even if you don’t speak the same language as some who may follow you, a picture speaks a thousand words.
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(7) Shopping made easier
From ordering your weekly food shop to buying clothes, gifts and electronics, you can now shop at the touch of a button. Maybe not so great for the pockets of impulse buyers, but great news for retailers, many of whom have now moved their retail operations online to cut costs and remain competitive. Consumers can now make shopping lists, check bank account transactions and purchase items all available in easy, quick steps.
The SoLoMo revolution: social, local, mobile
(8) Gave our lives a personalised soundtrack
The iPhone melded music and phones together forever and gave people the handheld soundtrack to their lives. After the success of the iPod, it made sense to be able to use iTunes across all platforms. The iPhone allowed people to listen to their music anytime and anywhere. It provided a library of our downloaded music, instantly accessible and ready to rock; and access to new music from around the world at the touch of a screen.
Steve Jobs was right, Apple did reinvent the telephone. The iPhone gave so much more than anyone (apart from Steve Jobs) could have ever expected or predicted. So Happy Birthday iPhone, we can’t wait to see what innovations you have in store for us in the future!
What is the future of mobile technology?
How has your business harnessed the opportunities that increased smartphone use has bought? Have you changed your website to be more responsive and mobile optimised? Have you developed apps for your business or run smartphone-technology enabled campaigns?
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