iPhone history and how it’s transformed consumers’ lives

By Karen He

Like many transformative technologies, the iPhone attracted skepticism when it was first introduced in 2007, according to Ars Technica. At the time, market leaders and technologists stated that the iPhone was simply another gimmick that would only reach at most 3 percent market share at USD 500 per device. It wasn’t the first time Apple faced scrutiny from the public. In fact, in 2001, TechTarget dubbed the iPod as one of the “Top Five Worst” holiday gifts.

However, iPhone history proves how Apple not only transformed the mobile landscape but how consumers lived. In short, the iPhone blew the market out of the water.

Last year, Apple sold its one billionth iPhone. The iPhone is now the single most important product for the company. Approximately 60 percent of Apple’s revenue comes from iPhone sales, and it’s sitting at a steady 43.5 percent market share in 2016.

The iPhone has come a long way since Steve Jobs envisioned it as “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.” It set the standard for the mobile industry to aggressively pursue mobile developments, including touchscreen devices, apps and digital media.

There are a total of 11 generations in the iPhone history, with the iPhone 7 as the latest. Although not every generation has successfully met consumers’ expectations, each iPhone model increased traction in the mobile market as consumers lined up outside Apple Stores days before releases to get their hands on one. What did this really mean to the mobile landscape?

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The rise of mobile apps

For starters, the iPhone created a high demand for mobile developers to create apps hosted on the Apple App Store, enabling consumers to access information whenever and wherever they need it. These mobile applications have transformed the way consumers communicate, entertain and work. Thanks to the iPhone, consumers have access to more than 2 million apps with a simple tap.

The “Year of Mobile”

Since the mid-2000s, industry experts referred to each year as the “Year of Mobile,” calling out the year’s newest mobile innovations. The reality is that each year, mobile innovations lapped the previous year’s capabilities. The market has come to realize the power of mobile, as consumers have heavily integrated it into their lives.

Some well-recognized apps, such as Instagram, MyFitnessPal, Shazam, Twitter, Snapchat, Tinder, Candy Crush, WhatsApp, Uber, Airbnb and Angry Birds, have successfully taken mobile apps to the next level and gained a large user base. As a result, mobile companies are under pressure to improve their apps and devices to gain competitive advantages in the market.

Today, iPhone history is still being written, and Apple continuously pushes the market to create the impossible. Little did we know that back in 2007, we would embed virtual reality to enhance the user experience and activate our smart home straight from a 4-inch screen.

Mobile analytics takes off

In order to attract new users and keep customers loyal to mobile apps, companies have sought tools that let them monitor their mobile apps, including the number of downloads, level of engagement, conversion rate and more. Brands would then have a good sense of how well their apps are performing. Nevertheless, brands must understand the customer experience and intent whenever they interact with a mobile app. Today, mobile analytics is still a fragmented market because most of these tools simply focus on mobile, rather than integrate with other channels to illustrate the broader picture of the customer journey.

For now, only time will tell how the iPhone will further empower consumers to easily connect with one another and complete their daily tasks.

Written By

Karen He

Product Marketing Manager at IBM Tealeaf

Karen He is a hands on professional with Product Marketing and Product Management focus. She plays an integral role in IBM Tealeaf's product marketing team, enjoy working closely with Product Management, Marketing Communications, Field Marketing and Sales teams across IBM to formulate…

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