Thursday, June 29, 2017

Apple iPhone celebrates 10 years

Mossberg was in classic form in nailing it on the iPhone - it's not just a phone!

Apple iPhone celebrates 10 years today and I've been using one about 98.5% of that time. I remember when one of my marketing students (the local variety) had one that he showed me during a class break shortly after the launch, and I resolved that I had to have one too! I was already an AT&T Wireless customer and felt I'd missed the boat on cell phones up to that point, and that this new Apple gadget would help me catch up. I remember being particularly intrigued with the two-finger, in-and-out interface for viewing photos.

Early on, I remember reviewers as well as a jealous neighbor expounding that the iPhone's "telephony" (remember that word?) capabilities were not all that impressive. Again, coming from behind in that field, I was happy enough, but I was more inclined to take the "big picture" view inspired by Walt Mossberg (see above) that it was not so much a phone but more a revolutionary pocket computer.

I had fun taking my new iPhone on the road to an industry conference, in Vegas during August believe it or not, but had to live through having a dedicated BlackBerry user tell me how it was a nearly useless toy and that it couldn't come close to matching his device's built-in contact directory. (Again, more on that "phone" thing.) But later in the summer I also remember having a few young techies from a Portland startup visit me in Boise on their way to a Denver industry event, and their favorable impression of the device's technology (especially that two-fingered thing) renewed my faith!

Later in the year, after speculation that it was a bit over-priced, Apple did a price cut, and rewarded existing owners with a gift card, which I used to help my wife do her own catching up, this time in the iPod department (remember the iPod?). And also, near the end of the year, I remember being at a niece's wedding and enjoying being in the "iPhone club" when owners would notice other owners (which was quite infrequent except at something like a millennial-oriented event like the wedding) and offer a nod, wave or some other acknowledgement.

The year ended, and things like apps, and yes, printing, were still in the distant future, but it was great to be an iPhone early adopter. And now, looking back, who knew its impact would be so far-reaching? I recommend a nice summary in USAToday, "The iPhone’s smartphone revolution in 4 graphs", which boils down the trends to sales numbers, time spent on mobile devices, and consumer expenditures, and also includes a clip of Steve Jobs introduction speech. ReCode has a series of tweets also well worth reviewing, if only to answer the trivia question, what do the iPhone and gum have in common?

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