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Op-Ed: iPhone celebrates 10 year anniversary

Watching the launch video from ten years ago, as Steve Jobs presents Apple’s new invention at Mac World 2007, it’s hard to believe that we’d be where we are now. Apple has sold over one billion iPhones, and while there remain bumps in the road, the touchscreen phone, loaded with apps familiar to mobile users the world over continues to dominate the minds and mobile markets of phone users.

While back in 2007 the press mocked the cultish behaviour exhibited by Jobs’ presentation of the product, ten years on, the event has gathered the impact and sanctity of its world-changing quality.

Jobs originally launched the new product as a three-in-one mobile device: an iPod, an internet communicator and a new kind of phone. Ten years on, the iPhone has become much more than just three things, with app technologies and hardware breakthroughs enabling mobile computing to serve a wide range of tasks in the lives of smart phone users.

How did the world fall in love with the iPhone?
Simplicity was key to the original iPhone’s appeal. The company pushed the aesthetic qualities that a single, glass touchscreen created. And the functionality of that single glass surface made it much easier for people to interact with than any smartphone before. No stylus! You can hear Steve Jobs’ excitement about the concept of ‘the finger as stylus’ in his original presentation. It seems like ancient history if we let our mind wander back to a time when a stylus dominated the world of smart phone functionality. The world is so changed, ten years on.

The satisfying click of the home button must have also appealed to early users as well. Apple had already landed on something similar with its iPod’s scroll wheel technology. But the combination of versatile touch screen control and a simple home button provided phone users with an adaptable interface that promised an easy return to the comfortable territory of the home screen with a single click.

What’s in store for iPhone?
With innovation came profitability. Sales of the iPhone in 2015 helped Apple to set a record for the most profitable quarter by a public company in history.

Apple remains optimistic for the future of the product. Speaking on the anniversary, and alluding to a possible redesign on the horizon, CEO Tim Cook promised more intriguing developments in the phone’s future:
“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.”

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