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The iPhone at seven

Like many thousands of companies out there, we probably wouldn’t exist now if it weren’t for the iPhone. Yes, apps existed long before the iPhone came out, but they certainly weren’t nearly as popular. Virtually all of the technology in the iPhone was being used in phones before it came out, yet the way it was packaged together for the first time caused a revolution.

Like many thousands of companies out there, we probably wouldn’t exist now if it weren’t for the iPhone. Yes, apps existed long before the iPhone came out, but they certainly weren’t nearly as popular. Virtually all of the technology in the iPhone was being used in phones before it came out, yet the way it was packaged together for the first time caused a revolution.
Seven years ago, Steve Jobs stood on stage and introduced the iPhone. Despite not being at CES in Las Vegas, Apple stole the show. Aside from the iPad, it’s hard to think of any other mass-market device that had such a big impact over the course of almost a decade. Despite Android becoming the dominant platform, iOS is still where many apps are first launched and, according to data, where people spend the most amount of money.
Every year, during peak shopping times, Apple’s platform is shown to be where users are making purchases of real world goods. Looking at web analytics, many firms see iOS as driving the most amount of traffic to their sites from mobile devices.
Aside from the consumer market, recent statistics from Forrester show that since 2009, Apple’s share of the global enterprise market has risen from 1% in 2009 to 9% in 2012. By 2015, this is expected to rise to 11%. Forrester points out that these numbers exclude the iPhone, but that the iPhone is the gateway for businesses jumping into iOS (iPads) and OS X (Macs.)
“The original iPhone was a complete revolution” said James Frost, Senior iOS Developer at Mubaloo, “but I don’t think it was until the introduction of the App Store a year and a half later that things really took off. That was another revolution in itself, by allowing developers to so easily get their software in front of such a large audience, relatively easily, with little cost. Sure, the iPhone’s hardware is first class, but the iPhone is its software. Without an SDK and an App Store, it wouldn’t be half the device it is.”
As a developer Frost has watched many Apple keynotes but one still stands out, “the original iPhone introduction was my favourite part of any Apple keynote ever. ‘Today, we’re introducing THREE revolutionary new products. The first is a widescreen iPod with touch controls. The second is a revolutionary new mobile phone. The third is a breakthrough internet communications device…An iPod, a phone, and an Internet communicator. An iPod, a phone, and an Internet communicator. ARE YOU GETTING IT YET?’ Steve was on fire.”

Despite this, the iPhone wasn’t a fully working device when they unveiled it. Stories about the launch show that the phone just wasn’t ready. Steve Jobs spent a week locked inside the auditorium with engineers to run through the presentation again and again. In many of the tests, the demos they had failed. The engineers working on the phone were so nervous that they were mostly drunk when the actual presentation happened.
Mubaloo’s technical operations director, Brett Wickenden, remembers the level of anticipation that came with such a major launch, “It makes me feel old as I remember waiting at least a year for the phone to be released!” Though there had been rumours for years that Apple was working on a phone, it managed to take the industry by surprise. It certainly took their competitors by surprise. At the time, Nokia was the dominant player in the industry but like many others, found themselves unable to catch up. Recent stories have also revealed that the Android team knew they had to rethink everything they were doing when the iPhone launched.
The iPhone went on to change whole industries and job roles, Mubaloo’s creative director, Hannah Tempest remembers “working as Flash designer/animator and on my first go on an iPhone thought….I’m about to be obsolete. It was just that much of a game changer.”
From all at Mubaloo, we wish the iPhone a happy seventh birthday.

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