Apple iPhone turns five this Friday
Staggering money spinner - and that's just the hardware
The iPhone first went on sale five years ago this week and it has already clocked up more than $150 billion in revenues - more than the annual GDP of Hungary - for Apple.
More than 250 million iPhones have been sold since 29 June 2007, the day over-the-counter sales began in the US, almost six months after its January 2007 launch.
That's just the hardware, of course. Apple takes a 30 per cent cut of the purchase price of ever app downloaded through the iTunes App Store, and with well over 30 billion apps downloaded since the app shop went online on 10 July 2008.
Apple netted $1.9 billion in iTunes revenue in the three months to 31 March 2012, though that includes music, video and e-book sales as well as apps. Kerching.
But Apple may have a less easy ride during the next five years.
"There are emerging signs that the iPhone’s next five years could get tougher," said Neil Mawston of market watcher Strategy Analytics.
"Some mobile operators are becoming concerned about the high level of subsidies they spend on the iPhone, while Samsung is expanding its popular Galaxy portfolio and providing Apple with more credible competition."
There was no external storage - there still isn't - and the battery was tightly integrated into the casing - it still is. It has a 2Mp camera and 4-16GB of on-board Flash storage.
But the iPhone introduced the world to smooth touchscreen operation, its capacitive panel outclassing the less sensitive resistive screens commonplace at the time. Likewise, it introduced roll, pitch and yaw detecting accelerometers, now found on every smartphone. Likewise Wi-Fi.
Compared to the rivals of the time - Windows Mobile 6 had been released the previous February, Symbian S60 was a version 9.3 and Palm OS Cobalt was still desperately looking for supporters - iOS arrived as a breath of fresh air. It certainly had its shortcomings - no third-party apps, for staters - but it quickly began to define a smartphone feature set its rivals hastily tried to follow. ®
Re: Speaking as a Fandroid
People never moaning about 'walled gardens' when we had Nokias / Motorolas.
I'm personally all for it - makes it more secure and easier and frankly there is every app you could want. I'm not a tinkerer - just want my phone to work - suspect I'm not alone but there will be people who feel the need to customise. Look at the cars people drive - 95%+ are 'stock' - how many actually have / need / benefit from underbody lighting and whale tails?
iOS does well because it's easy and you can move from one device to another with little hassle. Android is a mash-up of bits from Google, different hardware, bits from the manufacturer - for most people it's messy. even with Android being more 'open' - I bet again 95% of people don't re-rom or install stuff from outside the main marketplaces.
That is assuming they install / buy anything - I suspect most Android phones are being sold as time based 'end of contract' upgrades - i.e. why have a candy bar when you can have a touchscreen for free on a 2 year deal - then just use it as a phone.
Re: No denying
When it first appeared, compared to what else was on the market it looked as if it was extra-terrestrial technology. Apple, a company that had nothing to do with mobile phones instantly put all of the established manufacturers on the back-foot or in some cases practically destroyed them. The tech also paved the way for proper touchscreen interfaces and is now making it into TVs and cars. Whatever you think of Apple, it did change the world.
Re: No denying
It looks "run of the mill" now because it was so blatantly and flagrantly copied by others
Definitely a game-changer
The Keynote where Jobs introduced the iPhone is on youtube (can't be bothered to post the URL, but I know y'all have Mad Surcheen Skillz, as eny ful kno).
Watching it now is interesting; it's hard to remember just how BAD the existing smartphones were at the time. I'd had a Blackberry for work and all I wanted from my phone was to make and take calls. This was a pain in the gluteus as phones of the day got 'smarter'. But with the iPhone debut, you could tell Apple had figured out a lot of things and they "got it". Nowadays it seems commonplace and boring in some ways, but that may just be an indication of just how well they did.
The original iPhone wasn't perfect -- nothing is -- but boy was it a leap.
5 years old, looks like 10 and the UI totally 1980's.
I'm sure I must have seen a phone with an interface like back in the eighties.
Nope it was a tiny screen that showed in barely legible numbers the call you were trying to make after pressing huge buttons and extracting the aerial from up your nose.
You've been putting too much googledust up yours.