This week’s Throwback Tech Thursday looks at more recent history. The year was 2007. Rihanna and Jay Z were rocking the charts with a song about an umbrella (yes, we know, it was probably a metaphor for something more meaningful). Two weeks after the series finale of “The Sopranos” we would have a chance to buy the first generation Apple iPhone. That’s right folks, this week’s Throwback Tech Thursday has a look at one of the few items that truly deserves the label “game changer”. This is the iPhone, the phone that was sold 1 million times in the space of 74 days. The iPhone was released on June 29, 2007.
Love it or hate it, the first generation of the iPhone had a massive global impact. While this may not have been the first smartphone that the world had seen, it was undoubtedly the most impactful. Since the introduction of the first iPhone, Apple has managed to consistently break sales records. It has changed many businesses, impacted health and changed how coders design what is presented on the internet. Above all else… it possibly destroyed the good old “honest” table quiz.
The iPhone affected business in many different ways. Firstly, it made products available to the masses in a completely new way. Businesses quickly took advantage of the always-on attitude that was quickly associated with the iPhone and other smartphones. Online marketing became bigger, better and far more inventive. Consumers took advantage of extremely innovative and fun free apps, and business used the creation of these apps to deliver advertising, to gather information regarding consumer habits and more. It would be fair to say that the iPhone changed the world’s approach to retail.
Apps such as Amazon and eBay blossomed. Online stores became a vital part of every retail business. If you didn’t have an app or a mobile-enabled web store, you were missing out. But it wasn’t just the retail world that it changed. It also altered people’s approach to health. Many health apps were created where people could track their progress in walking, running, cycling, eating, and much more. It gave people access to search engines on the fly. This, in turn, enabled them to self-diagnose any and every time they sneezed out of season.
Even with those useful health apps, it still benefitted the retail world with digital marketers learning to place ads and cookies into said apps. Alas, the iPhone also turned the PC world upside down. No longer were people confined to the laptops or desktops when computational work needed to be done. Emails were no longer confined to the office. The way in which we did business changed and created a large cohort of always-on staff.
It could be said that the iPhone somewhat revolutionised the internet. It put pressure on the development of faster carriers like 3G, 4G and more. Such was demand for fast internet on the go.
iPhone = Reinvention of the phone
The influence of the iPhone completely changed how we as people consume our information. Whereas once upon a time we would have had our eyes on a newspaper or a book as we commuted across towns and cities, we now fixate our eyes on our phones as we travel by bus, train, or taxi. In fact, walk down any street and count how many people are looking at their phones instead of where they are going.
While the effects of the iPhone could be perceived as both positive and negative, there can be no denying that it has certainly changed many things in the world. In many instances, the re-invention of the phone that was announced by Steve Jobs in January 2007 has certainly made some things more efficient. In other ways, it has altered the way in which we communicate with others. While many of us now communicate through the likes of iMessenger or Whatsapp, we need to refocus on our art of conversation. Maybe it’s time to embrace this excellent new technology, but limit ourselves in just how much smartphone time we currently use.
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