How the Apple iPhone Defined What Makes a Great Smartphone

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How the Apple iPhone Defined What Makes a Great Smartphone

It’s been 10 years since Apple released its first iPhone, on June 29, 2007. At the time, the smartphone market was dominated by entrenched competitors such as BlackBerry, back when it was still known as Research in Motion and delivered smartphone designs with physical keyboards and bulky frames. But the iPhone demonstrated what a modern smartphone should look like, with a touch-screen, virtual keyboard and the ability to acquire a huge selection of personal or business apps. The smartphone kicked off an intense period of mobile hardware and software development that spawned new ideas such as Google Android and a new generation of innovative technology companies. A decade later, the iPhone still sits on top of smartphone market. Read on to learn more about the iPhone and how it has changed the world.

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It’s All About the Touch-Screen

Before the iPhone’s release in 2007, some companies were experimenting with smartphone touch-screens, but those displays were hard to use. Apple’s iPhone delivered a touch-screen that was both functional and vibrant. Now, it’s nearly impossible to find a handset that doesn’t come with an Apple-inspired touch-screen.

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Who Needs a Physical Keyboard?

Apple has proven over the past decade that the physical keyboard is dead. Most major manufacturers have eliminated physical keyboards, and it is hard to find new smartphones on the market still equipped with them.

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The iPhone Proved New Mobile OS Concepts

The old-style smartphone operating systems were difficult to use and too reliant on cursors. The iPhone forced competitors to develop mobile operating systems that were visually appealing, touch-friendly and functionally more efficient. Apple’s operating system showed the industry how to design a mobile OS, and one of the results was Google Android.

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Apple's App Store Spawns a Vibrant New Industry

Although the original iPhone didn’t launch with a built-in App Store, Apple added it in the second-generation model. By doing so, it ignited an immense industry of developers worldwide creating software for both iOS and Android. The mobile app industry is huge, and some of its top developers today are billionaires.

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A Camera Renaissance

Prior to the iPhone’s launch, most pictures were taken using point-and-shoot cameras or high-end digital SLRs. Since the iPhone's arrival, smartphone cameras have become the most popular way for people to snap photos. Today, the iPhone is the world’s most popular camera, according to data from photo-sharing site Flickr. Mobile phones had cameras before Apple’s handset, but the iPhone helped popularize smartphone shooters as desirable alternatives to a traditional camera.

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The iPhone Has Nearly Killed Off the Stylus

Apple tried hard over the years to kill the smartphone stylus in favor of touch input. Before the iPhone’s release, devices from companies such as Palm relied heavily upon the stylus as the primary input device. Now, Samsung is one of a few smartphone makers clinging to the technology with its Galaxy Note.

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Google Finds an Opportunity

It’s likely that Google would have capitalized on the mobile industry at some point, but the company’s decision to jump in with both feet after Apple’s iPhone became popular is no coincidence. Apple showed the way, but Google has applied its own philosophy to mobile software design to create Android, which is now the world’s largest mobile operating system.

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The Supplier Ecosystem Has Prospered Mightily

As Apple and others started adding new features into their devices, the opportunities for component suppliers to make money soared. Those suppliers, which sell everything from smartphone processors to RAM modules, have generated untold billions of dollars as smartphone sales skyrocketed.

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Once-Dominant Mobile Phone Brands Have Faded

When Apple launched its iPhone in 2007, BlackBerry, Motorola, Nokia, Palm and even Microsoft were prominent forces in the mobile market. Now, 10 years later, they’re either defunct, as in the case of Palm, or out of the smartphone production business but licensing their brand names to third-party smartphone makers, as is the case with BlackBerry and Nokia. The iPhone was a major contributor to the decline of these other handset makers.

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It's Now a Mobile-First World

In 2007, consumers increasingly were adopting mobile phones and smartphones, but the personal computer still reigned supreme. Today, it’s a mobile-first world where smartphones are the first computing and communication devices people use each day. Apple helped to usher that in and is making billions each quarter because of it.

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Why Samsung Is Selling Refurbished Galaxy Note 7 'Fandom Edition'

Samsung has decided to resume sales in its Korean homeland of Galaxy Note 7 big-screen smartphones with improved batteries to satisfy demand from loyal customer.
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