Put down your iPhone for a minute and appreciate its genius

“Ten years after the introduction of Apple Inc.’s iPhone… it’s worth stepping back to see what we have learned,” Tyler Cowen writes for Bloomberg View. “As with most major technological innovations, it’s brought a number of collateral surprises about the rest of our world.”

“First, we’ve learned that, even in this age of bits and bytes, materials innovation still matters. The iPhone is behind the scenes a triumph of mining science, with a wide variety of raw materials and about 34 billion kilograms (75 billion pounds) of mined rock as an input to date,” Cowen writes. “Especially impressive as a material is the smooth touch-screen, and the user’s ability to make things happen by sliding, swiping, zooming and pinching it — the “multitouch” function. That advance relied upon particular materials, as the screen is chemically strengthened, made scrape-resistant and embedded with sensitive sensors.”

“I am notoriously bad with gadgets, and even my microwave oven confuses me. But I more or less figured out all the essential operations of an iPhone the very first day I got it,” Cowen writes. “Without an instruction manual. Wasn’t it bold of Apple to sell it that way?”

MacDailyNews Take:

That’s been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains. — Steve Jobs

“Names can be deceiving. The iPhone isn’t fundamentally a phone,” Cowen writes. “Instead, it’s an all-purpose communications device, music player, recorder, camera, map, adviser, software distributor and dating-enabler rolled into one. ”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Yup.

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

Inside Apple’s 6-month race to make the first iPhone a reality – June 28, 2017
Apple’s revolutionary iPhone is turning 10. What will it look like at 20? – June 27, 2017
Apple’s iPhone revolutionized photography – June 27, 2017
How Apple’s iPhone changed gaming for the better and the worse – June 27, 2017
Gene Munster: Expect Apple smart glasses in mid-2020 – June 27, 2017
How Apple’s iPhone was born: Inside stories of missteps and triumphs – June 26, 2017
How Apple’s iPhone impacted, upended, and disrupted these 5 major industries – June 26, 2017
In 10 years, your iPhone won’t be a phone anymore – June 26, 2017
Steve Jobs would be proud: A full decade later, Apple’s iPhone still dominates – June 26, 2017
First four original iPhone reviewers reminisce about the first time they touched Apple’s revolutionary device – June 25, 2017
How Apple’s revolutionary iPhone changed everything – June 23, 2017
Happy birthday, revolutionary iPhone: Ten years later, Steve Jobs’ creation owns us – June 21, 2017


    1. unfortunately this anniversary reminds me of the crooks who plagiarized and then outright stole almost every aspect of the iphone, google, samsung are nothing but robber barons.

  1. I’ve watched a number of interviews with the people who helped design the original iPhone and was really amazed at what they went through. Nowadays, there are all these critics of Apple who are always complaining about how Apple doesn’t come out with some revolutionary new product every year. These complainers are real dickheads. In the case of the iPhone nearly everything could have gone wrong and none of those people thought the iPhone would be the success story it is except for maybe Steve Jobs. Apple took a lot of chances which most companies would not have done. The Apple critics don’t seem to realize that the iPhone was a great advancement in mobile tech and not likely to be duplicated anytime soon by some revolutionary new product. I think the risks would be too high for most major companies to do something like that. You’d need a truly brave and confident CEO to do something that risky. I believe Elon Musk is that type of CEO.

    It’s so easy to sit back and criticize a company for not meeting some individual’s high expectations. I think the average consumer can probably appreciate the iPhone more than any of those tech-heads and greedy Wall Street investors. To me, almost any flagship smartphone is an amazing device and I don’t take them for granted. My only expectations of smartphones are that they’ll improve a little bit year by year like most high-tech products do. Any one company pulling a rabbit out of a hat simply isn’t going to happen every few years.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.