“In the 10 years since the launch of the iPhone, so much about modern life, commerce and culture has changed. In part that’s because the iPhone, and the smartphone boom it spurred, created a portable personal technology infrastructure that’s almost infinitely expandable,” Kalle Lyytinen writes for Scientific American. “The iPhone changed the game not because of its initial technology and cool user interface but rather as a result of its creators’ imagination and courage.”
“As the iPhone took shape, its designers found themselves torn between making a phone or a computer,” Lyytinen writes “Apple took the leap, however, by installing a fully capable computer operating system on the iPhone, along with a few small application programs.”
“The heightened importance of software on a mobile phone shifted the industry’s economy as well,” Lyytinen writes. “Apple holds about 15 percent of the mobile phone market, but reaps 80 percent of global smartphone profits.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: What’s widely understood today was explained rather clearly on Day One right here:
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…
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