“Every once in a while there is a revolutionary product that comes along, that changes everything.”
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These are the words that Steve Jobs used to introduce the first iPhone ten years ago. Back then, we didn't know what we were looking at, nor did we think it would change our lives as it has. This was a phone that didn't have a keyboard like our beloved BlackBerries did, nor did it have something to protect the screen. People dismissed the iPhone as something "too new" and "too simplistic" to ever fall into favor by the bigger companies that were releasing many models of phones that looked quite different.
At the time, the "smartphone" industry looked nothing like it does today. For many, the iPhone was too expensive, too different, too gimmicky, and too touchy. It didn't have an expandable storage slot, it didn't have 3G, and you needed iTunes for everything.
Yet everyone wanted one.
The first iPhone was an embodiment of Jobs' claim that “a lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” Almost every other company that was making phones at the time, those companies that wrote off Apple, aren't making phones anymore: Microsoft, BlackBerry, Nokia, and Palm all don't have the market share that they used to, largely because of Apple.
While it is hard to believe that this product didn't exist just a decade ago, it is even harder to imagine that the iPhone might be on its way out.
There are problems with slowing sales and there are signs of saturation. For some markets, the technology is too slow. For others, the phone is too expensive.
“iPhone set the standard for mobile computing in its first decade and we are just getting started. The best is yet to come,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook in a statement to celebrate the iPhone’s tenth anniversary. However, it won’t be as easy as it was 10 years ago and it will take something revolutionary for Apple to keep the iPhone mojo going for the next decade.