Jobs Revolutionizes Smartphones, Tablets and App Stores

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2011-04-11 Print this article Print


5. The death of CDs

When Apple first started as a computer company, few could have envisioned it revolutionizing the music business. But with the launch of the iPod and iTunes, it did just that. Steve Jobs saw an opportunity in digital content, and he capitalized on it. By making iTunes so user friendly, he almost single-handedly ruined the market for CDs. The music industry is forever changed because of Jobs.

6. Redefining smartphones

Apple certainly wasn't the first company to jump on the touch-screen bandwagon. But it's indisputable that Steve Jobs was the first person to make touch screens appeal to a mass audience, thanks to his company's iPhone. That device, which launched in 2007, threw entrenched competitors, including RIM, Nokia and Microsoft, into a tailspin. And it prompted Google to try its luck in the smartphone space. Nowadays, if a smartphone doesn't look and work like the iPhone, it will likely collect dust on store shelves.

7. Tablets can be a business model

For years, Microsoft and its vendor partners were trying to make tablets catch on with the mainstream. But for the most part, those devices only really appealed to medical professionals and other niche markets. With the launch of the iPad, all that has changed. In 2010 alone, Apple sold 15 million iPad units. Some analysts say more than 50 million tablets will ship around the world this year. With a single device, Steve Jobs once again revolutionized a market.

8. There's an app for that

When smartphones or tablets are being evaluated nowadays, consumers and even enterprise customers examine how many applications are available for a respective platform. Steve Jobs saw an opportunity with mobile apps, and he took advantage of it in 2008. Since then, billions of apps have been downloaded from his marketplace, and every other company in the market has created its own store just to stay relevant. Mobile apps are the future-and Jobs can be thanked for that.

9. A look toward the future

Throughout the years, Steve Jobs has been willing to take chances. He doubled down on the mouse when few others saw potential in it. He brought USB to Macs before it really caught on. He tried something new in the smartphone market while other companies were making significant cash on old ideas. Simply put, Jobs has the unique ability to evaluate current technologies, determine what the future looks like and get behind something that few others have the vision to seize upon. In most cases, those risks have changed the tech space in a dramatic way.

10. Mac OS X

Although much of the talk surrounding Steve Jobs' contribution to the tech world revolves around hardware, it's important not to lose sight of the importance of Mac OS X, the company's operating system. Based on NeXTSTEP, the operating system used at Jobs' NeXT company, Mac OS X has become one of the most impressive software platforms ever released. Although some disagree, it has also seemingly been an inspiration for the latest releases in Microsoft's Windows platform. Mac OS X still lags far behind in overall market share, but its innovative additions over the years, including most recently the Mac App Store, have helped change consumer expectations of desktop operating systems. 

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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