How Apple’s revolutionary iPhone changed everything

“Ten years ago, hailing a cab meant waving one’s arm at passing traffic, consumers routinely purchased cameras, and a phone was something people made calls on,” Betsy Morris writes for The Wall Street Journal. “The iPhone, released a decade ago this month, changed all of that and more, sparking a business transformation as sweeping as the one triggered by the personal computer in the 1980s.”

Apple’s revolutionary iPhone, “and the smartphone boom that followed, gave rise to whole new industries, laid waste to others and forced new business models,” Morris writes. “By essentially compressing a powerful, networked computer into a pocket-size device and making it easy to use, Steve Jobs made the internet almost ubiquitous and fundamentally altered decades-old consumer habits in areas like music and books. What’s more, the functionality packed into the iPhone made it a digital Swiss Army knife, supplanting existing tools from email to calendar to maps to calculators.”

Morris writes, “By offering faster, easier ways to communicate—text, photo, video and social networks — ‘the iPhone destroyed the phone call,’ says Joshua Gans, professor at the University of Toronto and author of the book, The Disruption Dilemma. ‘It’s funny we even call it a phone.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Yes, it is. Just as we told you it would be on the very day Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone, 10.5 years ago:

Apple really only botched one thing with the iPhone – its name.

Apple’s “iPhone” isn’t really a phone at all. It’s really a small touchscreen Mac OS X computer, a Mac nano tablet, if you will. Here’s how misnamed the iPhone is: Some people are complaining that Jobs didn’t spend enough time on the Mac in his keynote! Folks, iPhone is not only a Mac, it’s the most radical new Mac in years! What’s to stop Apple from making a 12-inch model (and larger, and smaller) one of these days (use the headset for the phone, please) and calling it a Mac tablet?

It has an iPod built in, yes, so it can be used solely as a “true video widescreen iPod,” if that’s what you want… But, the main thing about the “iPhone” is that it’s really a pocket Mac. It has email, SMS, full-featured Web browsing, and much more. But, beyond that, it is a platform that’s just sitting there waiting for Apple to sell software for it. Just imagine games with the large multi-touch display and the built-in accelerometer!

Imagine all of the other software possibilities, too…

Maybe Apple named it iPhone because of all of the free publicity and buzz that name has already garnered. Maybe they want this trojan horse to slip into the market first under the guise of being the best smartphone available and they’ll exploit its capabilities as a full-fledged platform later. Perhaps it’s easier to explain and sell as a phone first. It probably would have been even easier to just have called it iPod (6G) and listed “iPhone” as a new iPod feature – that’s how they sold video, right?

So, yeah, it can be a phone, even the very best smartphone, but it’s so much more and holds so much promise that the name “iPhone” hardly does it justice.SteveJack, MacDailyNews, January 9, 2007


  1. I remember back before the iPhone, I was using an
    LG semi smartphone that opened up like a hotdog bun to have access to its keyboard and screen. It used WAP version of webpages and it would take me 10 minutes to find out a stock price . Just a terrible experience. The iPhone rocked my world!

  2. If Steve had launched a pocket computer, no one would have bought it except for people like me, who bought a Newton. Calling it a phone was a way to address over a billion potential customers. Calling it a pocket computer would mean building a market from nothing.

  3. when that was introduced i told my partners, who were generally clueless about apple, to buy apple stock. i put 1/4 of my liquid assets into the company over the next few years.

  4. “PortaMac” pr “PocketMac” (3 syllables) or some such would hardly have been as catchy a marketing device name as iPhone (2 syllables). And in those days would only confuse people as to what it was. The emphasis had to be on a “phone” that does lots of things. Apple shouldn’t have changed a thing contrary to MDN’s mis-take.

  5. It wasn’t a smartphone when it first came out, and probably not even at least until iCloud and multitasking came out with the 4. Otherwise, it was a cute, high end multimedia phone.

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