A decade ago, not many people considered the clumsy and expensive first generation of the iPhone a fan favorite. Nowadays, few people would deny its great influence on everyday life as the iPhone turns 10 this week.
A poll conducted by Xinhua News Agency via its Twitter account on Wednesday showed nearly half of respondents think the iPhone has been the greatest smartphone in the world over the past decade.
“It is truly remarkable that in the 10 year span of the iPhone being on the market, it has disrupted the telecom industry, the music industry, the television industry, the video industry, the computer industry, the communications industry — and that’s just a start,” analyst Tim Bajarin, president of Creative Strategies was quoted by CNN as saying.
Apple has sold more than 1 billion iPhones since June 29, 2007, according to a Reuters report. Even though most of the world’s smartphones now run on Google’s Android mobile operating system, Apple still garners most of the profit in the industry with its generally higher-priced devices, the report said.
However, the iPhone had a rocky start ten years ago. The first iPhone, which launched without an App Store and was restricted to AT&T’s EDGE network, was limited compared to today’s version.
“The business model for year one of the iPhone was a disaster,” Tony Fadell, one of the Apple developers of the device, told Reuters. “We pivoted and figured it out in year two.”
The iPhone’s success has had a halo effect on other products and industries. Apple went on to make the iPad, a tablet version of the iPhone. It added an App Store to iOS in 2008. Developers that have built careers and billion-dollar companies on iPhone apps have earned more than 16 billion U.S. dollars, the CNN report said.
Apple releases a new version of the device every year, sprinkling on new features like water resistance or a fingerprint sensor to entice people to upgrade. All of the specs have been radically improved over the years, from the chip to the camera resolution.
However, for three years, the iPhone’s exterior design has remained mostly unchanged, cutting into demand for upgrades.
Xinhua’s polls showed a divided attitude toward the level of innovation of each generation of the iPhone. Forty-two percent of people think iPhone’s improvements are “small,” 36 percent think improvements are “obvious,” 13 percent think there is “no improvement at all” and 9 percent think iPhone has “regressed.”
Apple reported last year its first ever decline in iPhone sales. The iPhone slump continued in the following two quarters, which led to Apple’s first annual sales decline since 2001.
A latest Apple report said it sold 50.8 million iPhones in the first quarter, down from 51.2 million units sold in the same quarter last year.
Analysts say users would hold off on purchasing new iPhones ahead of the much-hyped 10th anniversary phone expected this fall.
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