On January 9th, 2007, the world changed forever when Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced the very first iPhone.
Work on the device, which was codenamed Project Purple, first began all the way back in 2004. Three years later, things had finally reached the announcement stage.
The very first iPhone featured many features that remain today. It was compact, featured a multi-touch screen, and did everything you expect from a mobile phone.
However, the reason the iPhone revolutionized the industry so markedly was all the other things it was capable of. Whether it be multimedia playback, world-class photographs, or internet browsing, people were soon smitten.
From the iPhone 3G to the iPhone X, each new generation of models has brought extra features and a smoother user experience. However, things are far from over either, with plenty of new additions to come over the next decade or so.
The next release in the pipeline is the iPhone 13 — although it may be called the iPhone 12s — which is coming in 2021. Improvements to the camera, CPU, and much more are expected, making it the most powerful iteration yet.
Now we have some distance from its initial launch, and it is easier to assess just how dramatically the iPhone has changed the way we live. Below, we have done exactly that.
One of the industries that were most obviously transformed after the iPhone joined the fray was gaming. In 2007 the Xbox 360 and PS3, along with the Nintendo Wii, had just been brought out — supposedly ushering in an era of console dominance.
However, as the iPhone began to gain popularity, mobile gaming began to gain a bigger slice of the industry. The various providers that offer poker on iPhone is one example of the subgenres of games that have sprung up.
It is far from the only popular variety of games, though. All the staples of regular console gaming — strategy, sports, shooters, etc. — have translated to the iPhone seamlessly.
One of iPhone gaming’s earliest success stories was Angry Birds.
Costing users just a few dollars to download, it represented incredible value compared to its console equivalents. Games for the Xbox 360, PS3, or Wii cost closer to $50 new at the time.
It was not just its price that made it popular, of course. The gameplay was also wonderfully addictive.
Players were tasked with destroying structures and green pigs by flinging a string of cartoon birds from a catapult. It was the perfect way for people to kill time.
Another famous iPhone game that you have no doubt come across is Candy Crush Saga. This remains a staple of many people’s iPhones to this day.
And who could forget Flappy Bird? That particular game was so popular, and its creator ended up taking it off the App Store!
In short, mobile gaming is a huge business, with the industry projected to be worth $272 billion by 2030. But, of course, none of it would have been possible without the iPhone.
Before the arrival of the iPhone, photography was a somewhat elite practice. To get a good shot, you would need prohibitively expensive cameras, which would then need to be lugged around.
The iPhone changed all of that. Suddenly consumers could carry around an industry-standard camera in their pocket.
The possibilities were endless. It birthed the “selfie” and also meant amateur photographers could take stunning vistas of beautiful landscapes.
As the iPhone has developed, so has its camera. The original model featured a five-megapixel wide camera, alongside a 0.3 MP front-facing camera.
The latest cameras, released for the iPhone 12 series, could not be further from these humble beginnings. The rear is now 12 MP with a range of wide, ultrawide, and telephoto options. The front, on the other hand, is 12 MP.
Depending on which side of the debate you are on, social media is either the great savior or scourge of our age.
One thing’s for sure, though. The likes of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok would have nowhere near the same level of cultural influence if not for the release of the iPhone.
Thanks to its smaller size, consumers can update their followers on the go. The influence this increased accessibility has had on the world cannot be overstated.
Very few aspects of society have been untouched by social media. It has changed the way news is broken, brands and popular figures are marketed, and how we communicate as a species.
Out of all the effects the iPhone’s release has had, amplifying the power of social media is the most drastic. But, unfortunately, it’s not even close either.
A final area that the iPhone has revolutionized is banking and money management.
Prior to its release, in-person banking was king. Regardless of the size of the financial transaction, one would be forced to visit a high street outlet to carry it out.
The growth of smartphones ended all that. Instead, customers could manage their money from the palm of their hand.
Mortgage applications, direct debits, eCommerce purchases, and much more are all dealt with electronically these days. This has helped give consumers autonomy over the money like never before, weakening banks’ influence in the process.
Thanks to the iPhone’s security surfaces, this digital shift did not sacrifice security for convenience either.