Apple’s iPhone turns four: How it changed the world

“As anticipation ramps up for the arrival of the iPhone 5 this fall, let’s take a moment to wish a happy birthday to the iPhone itself,” Jeffrey Sass blogs for Forbes. “It hit the market four years ago this week.”

“On June 29, 2007, the company formerly known as Apple Computer introduced its combination of a pocket computer and a phone, a move that would do for the mobile phone what the iPod had done for the MP3 player,” Sass writes. “The iPhone has been the catalyst of explosive growth in the smartphone market and created an app economy that has sown the seeds of new industries and changed the face of gaming, social communications, location-based services and photography as well as advertising and commerce.”

Sass writes, “Because Apple struck a nerve (and gold) with the iPhone, consumers finally became comfortable relying on their mobile phones for much of their information and entertainment. Activities that they had performed solely on their desktops were suddenly happening on their phones. The rest of the industry could not sit by. As a result, whether you use an Android device or another phone made by HTC, Motorola, Samsung, etc., you have Apple and the iPhone to thank for raising the proverbial bar, pushing the proverbial envelope and instigating a vibrant, exciting and culture-changing mobile ecosystem.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Just as every Windows sufferer today uses an upside-down and backwards Mac, every Android settler has a pretend iPhone in their pocket. Apple is amazing, but there’s one thing they still need to work on: Protecting their IP from being bastardized by inferiors who are content to peddle poor copies to the undiscerning.


    1. Steve Jobs has no equal. Everybody else is playing for second place. Don’t even mutter Zuckerberg’s name in the same breath. He’s a coder, not much more. He made off like a bandit because the Winklevoss twins were too stupid to have him sign a “Work-for-Hire” contract. Facebook will be in trouble once Apple devices become THE social network with iMessage and whatever else Apple decides to throw in.

      1. About zuckerberg, maybe. But I work with teenagers sometimes and I’ve been shocked and amazed that many of them DO NOT CHECK EMAIL.

        Facebook is their email.

        I’ve spoken with college professors who confirm this.

        Now add in the concept of Facebook apps and the photo integration, and the weblike quality of the fb listings for companies and organizations and you begin to sense that Facebook is a new platform.

        What is Facebook in ten years? If people aren’t careful (MS, Apple, Google) it’ll be THE platform in which everything else is done.

        That’s when the parallels between Z and Jobs will be obvious to all.

            1. Facebook recently reported loosing 6 million users in a recent count.

              Fads come and go and are replaced by something else.

              Infrastructure survives.

        1. We had this in the early/mid 90’s as well… it was called AOL. Where is it today? Every company that was tech “savvy” had an AOL page as well. People IM’ed and chatted in rooms, etc.

          Then there was MySpace, etc.

          FaceBook is nothing new. It is bigger, because, well, it just happened to be taking off when the computing world went mobile. FaceBook is also a platform that runs on other platforms, so it is dependent on the likes of Apple, MS, and Google. It is nothing more than a single app on my phone or a single link in my web browser.

        2. Lots of kids are using FB as a primary communications tool. That’s all i use in my personal life. But that only gors so far.

          At the end of the day we all must use a device (or several) to get onto whatever platforms we use. Apple owns a ton of these devices. As long as they make the chunk of glass and aluminum we’re all holding, they have the upper hand.

  1. “….you have Apple and the iPhone to thank for raising the proverbial bar…”
    This is incorrectly written. It should say, “…you have Apple and the iPhone to thank for having the competition busy at the bar drowning their sorrows..”

  2. I love all my Apple products, from the G4 iMac, the 2GHz Core Duo iMac, both versions of Apple TV, Airports, iPad 2, and especially my new 27″ iMac.

    And I’ve said this before:
    Of all the Apple products ever made, the iPhone will be the one with the biggest impact on society.

      1. iPad?
        It may sell better-
        It may make more money-

        But the iPhone is a 2Way communicator in your pocket.
        It is an iPad…light(er).
        It is what Science Fiction of the 50s and 60s dreamed of.

        I’ve got the
        First gen iPhone, 3GS iPhone, iPhone 4
        iPad,iPad 2.
        Love them all.

        By the 22nd century, Apple will be remembered for the iPhone
        iCal it!!!

  3. When the first iPhone came out I was still on Windows. Admittedly I was cursing Microsoft every day for inflicting pain but the Mac didn’t look too interesting as it was to me an overpriced toy. I had friends who were early adopters of the iPhone 1, the original model (I’m using 1 for simplicity’s sake) and the feedback I got from them was, “Interesting concept, but we can’t do anything with the phone beyond making phone calls and some interesting calendar app to play with.”

    It took the third iteration of the iPhone, the 3GS, for me to take a second look at what my friends were carrying. The way it was explained to me, the usefulness of the apps that you could install on the phone, caused me pause and think that it had grown beyond the stage where it was a toy. In my eyes it had morphed into a handheld computer akin to the Palm Pilots and Treos I used to own. The Palms were incredible machines for their time and were heads and shoulders above the pathetic Windows Mobile 6 devices that were out there at that time, which I also owned and immediately regretted.

    When Apple released the iPhone 4 I knew instinctively that I had to get my hands on one. I knew after owning it for 6 months that Apple was the real deal – no longer a purveyor of toys, but a real computer company that could stand toe to toe with Microsoft.

    I had no means to sync my iPhone to iTunes for the first 6 months because I was still dithering over getting a Mac. But when Apple released the fantastic i7 MBP in 2011 I knew it was time for me to cross the Rubicon. Never regretted my decision since. I have as reference installed Windows 7 in Boot Camp so if any Windows fanboys want to blow smoke up my ass about the inferiority of Windows as compared to Macs they’re welcome to duke it out with me here in this forum.

    The iPhone has exerted a halo effect on Apple way beyond the imaginings of Mr Jobs. I salute him. And I salute Apple for daring to experiment, to try, to fly where eagles soar. Thank you Apple for enriching my life.

  4. Wow… That means my switch (my Assimilation) to Mac turns 3…
    I bought the iPhone 3G when it came out, my first Mac the same week..

    It seems like yesterday 

  5. While Android is a tragedy, the greater tragedy is that there are people who are indiscerning, who are willing to settle for less, who just don’t care enough to want to know the difference, and who apparently like to suffer.

  6. iPhone changed the world? Not if you ask the Android fans foaming at the mouth over at Engadget . . . they’d tell you that copycat Apple stole Google’s notification system.

    I guess those 12-year-olds were only 8 when the iPhone came out. A bit like those who think Rock ‘n Roll started with Elvis (and Android ain’t Elvis).

    1. I tried to show them they were wrong about the notification system… Did not go over well.
      There were jailbreak apps that did the same thing 5 months before the very first android came out.

  7. I’ve been using an Apple device as my “personal” computer since the Apple IIgs (from back when Macs had 9-inch monochrome CRT screens and operated at 8 Mhz running off 3.5-inch floppy disc).

    Apple has been “changing the world” for decades, not just four years. (But they took a “break” around the early 1990’s to let Microsoft play catch-up.)

  8. Hell yeah the iphone changed things.

    A lot for the better and a little for the wotse like any disruptive technology.

    I love the OS and the shift it forced on the industry. Smartphones would be crap today without the iphone.

    Ergonomics took a bit of a dive i feel. I had nokia and moto phones in the 90s that felt far better in my hand as a phone.

    Oh and mdn puhleaze give it up. Not all of us settled for an android. Many of us love it. Its the most exciting OS I have used in years. Yes im technically more of a hacker than a casual user and android has been a blast of a playground.

    Here is a tip of the glass and a nod to the iphone. May many more grace our hands in the years ahead!

  9. @BLN
    “I have as reference installed Windows 7 in Boot Camp so if any Windows fanboys want to blow smoke up my ass about the inferiority of Windows as compared to Macs they’re welcome”

    I assume you meant to reverse the sentiment on the last line of the above quote.

    1. Well caught. I had an internal debate as to which to use then settled for inferiority as I might have drawn the ire of Macheads had I used the word superiority of Windows. I didn’t want to engage in a prolonged debate with my Mac brethren here.

  10. i was sooo anti-mac before the iphone. and that’s mainly due to my ignorance. I had never used, much less touched one. i was a windows guy and defended it staunchly.

    one day about four years ago, i watched a ‘keynote’ about this new phone coming out soon. I was using a t-mobile mda with windows mobile. it was an absolute pain in the ass. I sat in amazement of the ease of use.

    in anticipation of the release of the first iphone, i sold my dell laptop, my desktop and everything else that was marked ‘microsoft’. I bought a 15″ mbp, a ivook

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