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Happy 10th birthday iPhone - the device that defined mobile computing  March 20, 2020 – 07:30 am
Steve Jobs announcing the Apple iPhones through the ages


Imagine a world without mobile touchscreen devices, where the App Store wasn’t a thing and we still had headphone jacks. Well, we still have headphone jacks on most devices, but without the release of Apple’s iPhone, the touchscreen, the App Store, and the countless other gimmicks the smartphone released into our world, arguably, mobiles would be very different.

Today, January 9, marks the tenth anniversary since the unveiling of the iPhone by Apple’s then-CEO and "visionary leader", Steve Jobs. Before this point, having music on your phone usually meant a dodgy ringtone. And accessing the internet not on a computer? A rare occurrence. The iPhone changed all of this.

Opinions on Apple and the products it releases can cause divides in the most friendly of settings, but it isn’t hard to recognise the impact the “three-in-one” device - as Jobs first described it - has had on the world of technology. The top smartphone operating systems of 2007 included Blackberry, Palm and Windows CE, while Swedish phone maker Nokia was one of the leading handset developers 10 years ago. Now, almost every new smartphone is measured up to Apple’s flagship product on release. The word "app" is now a regular part of the 21st-Century lexicon.

And lest we forget, Samsung and Apple’s court battle over the South Korean company copying the iPhone’s design for its Galaxy smartphone range waged for five years before the US Supreme Court eventually threw it out, finally putting to rest the battle between these two technology giants.

The legacy from the first iPhone device still lives on; in 2016 it was announced that more than one billion iPhones had been sold since 2007. Admittedly sales have declined in recent years, but hours after the new iPhone 7 was released, it had completely sold out online and Apple had to push back on release dates to cope with demand.

As part of the anniversary celebrations, Tim Cook has said the best of the device is still yet to come. The soon to be released iPhone 8 will apparently bring updates better than those seen in the phones since 2007.

It’s about time too. When the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus devices were launched in September 2016, the dimensions of the new phones were almost identical to the previous models, the 6S and 6S Plus. And the “courageous” decisions to remove the headphone jack meant you now can’t charge your phone while listening to music; less courageous, and more inconvenient.

Is the world ready for the big changes the iPhone 8 will bring? Rumours suggest it will feature a new screen that will stretch all the way across the front of the phone, leading to the removal of the home button and the introduction of new “screen technologies”. As this will be the 10th-anniversary phone, now is the time for Cook and co to really pull out the stops and bring a brand new device to the fore.


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