The iPhone has turned 10, with more than one billion devices
sold since Steve Jobs first unveiled the original Apple
When Steve Jobs (pictured, below) took to the stage at
Macworld in San Francisco on 9 January 2007, he promised "a
revolutionary mobile phone, a widescreen iPod with touch
controls, and a breakthrough internet communications device
with desktop-class email, web browsing, searching and maps --
into one small and lightweight handheld device" in one
Since the launch of the device, Apple has released 11 models
of iPhone, with the smartphone helping to catapult the
Californian manufacturer to become the world’s
most valuable company in terms of market capitalisation just
two decades after it teetered on bankruptcy.
Gfk analyst Imran Choudhary said the iPhone was "truly
revolutionary" for the handset market.
"The device itself brought to the mass market a touch screen
interface and focussed strongly on providing a seamless user
experience through iOS," he added. "Whilst early iterations
were lacking some basic features, the iPhone was a glimpse into
the future, and with the launch of the App store in 2008, it
began to show the world, what a connected Smartphone could do.
The iPhone’s success can be measured in how
it became the standard that all other devices would be compared
to. They say imitation is the greatest form of flattery
and the iPhone’s design and user experience assets
have influenced the competition and this is still happening
Prior to the launch of the iPhone, which did not go on sale
until June 2007, the biggest phone manufacturer in the world
was Nokia, followed by BlackBerry (then Research in Motion or
Though touchscreens did exist and were becoming more
commonplace, multitouch options ad pinch-to-zoom technology,
which has been the subject of numerous lawsuits in the last
decade, was a key USP.
In a blog post, CCS Insight analyst Raghu Gopal explained:
"In 2007, the mobile market looked very different. There was no
Android, no LTE and no app economy. But there was a market for
smartphones, and for the top suppliers at the time it didn't
seem like Apple had much of a chance of challenging their
Nokia has since sold off its mobile
arm to Microsoft, before announcing a recent brand comeback
through a licensing deal with Foxconn subsidiary HMD Global.
BlackBerry has also quit making its own handsets, instead
opting for an outsourcing deal with panel-maker TCL.
Apple, meanwhile, is the second largest smartphone-maker in
the world (behind bitter rival Samsung), having sold 230
million iPhones last year – more than double the 100
million smartphones sold altogether worldwide in 2007.
However, while the iPhone has been fruitful for the
Californian company, 2016 marked the first time since the
launch of the iPhone in which its smartphone sales fell base on
quarterly results. In both Q3 and Q4, Apple reported a dip in
sales compared with the same quarters in the previous year.
In 2016, it released the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, which
Apple claims is 120 times faster in terms of processor
performance than the original iPhone.
The declining sales and struggles with other products, such
as the iPad, have led CEO Tim Cook, who replaced Jobs in 2011,
to take a cut to his annual payout. According to an SEC filing,
the company missed its sales target of $223.6 billion by 3.7%,
reaching $215.6 billion. This resulted in Cook’s
annual pay falling from $10.3 million in 2015 to $8.75 million,
including salary and bonuses.
Cook remained upbeat about the future of the iPhone, as the
manufacturer marked the 10-year anniversary with a blog post on
In, it, Cook said: "iPhone is an essential part of our
customers' lives, and today more than ever it is redefining the
way we communicate, entertain, work and live. iPhone set the
standard for mobile computing in its first decade and we are
just getting started. The best is yet to come."