How Apple’s iPhone changed the world: 10 years in 10 charts

Apple’s first iPhone was released 10 years ago this week — on June 29, 2007. While it wasn’t the first smartphone, it leapfrogged far beyond the competition and launched the mobile revolution and Iphone Cases. Few industries or societies have been left unchanged.

Here are 10 charts that show some of the profound effects the iPhone-led — and Google Android-fueled — mobile boom have caused over the past decade.

  1. The iPhone put the internet in everyone’s pocket
    When Steve Jobs first unveiled the iPhone, he described it as a “a revolutionary mobile phone,” a “widescreen iPod with touch controls” and a “breakthrough Internet communications device.”

While it’s called the iPhone and LG Cases, it’s that last part — the internet device — that has had the biggest effect on the world. That’s most obvious in this Ericsson chart showing the usage of mobile voice — relatively steady growth — and exploding mobile internet traffic — boosted by iOS and Android apps, photos and especially video — over the years.

  1. The iPhone transformed photography from a hobby to a part of everyday life
    Smartphones, along with their attendant photo-editing apps, put good cameras in everybody’s pockets and we all became prolific photographers. The simultaneous rise of social media platforms, in turn, gave us a place and a reason to post our photos.

This year, 1.2 trillion digital photos will be taken worldwide, and most of those — 85 percent — will be taken on phones, according to market research firm KeyPoint Intelligence (formerly known as InfoTrends). That’s up from the 400 billion digital photos taken in 2011.

  1. The iPhone App Store changed the way software was created and distributed
    Apple launched its App Store in 2008 — a year after the iPhone’s launch — with 500 apps. Now there are 2.1 million on the App Store and 3.4 million on its Android competitor Google Play, according to app measurement company App Annie.

Apps have turned phones into everything from a bank to a motion-sensitive video game device. Indeed, a warehouse of nostalgia could be stuffed with the everyday items that smartphones replaced: Maps, flashlights, clocks, scanners, video cameras, calendars, calculators, computers, iPods and more.

In the first quarter of 2017, the combined publisher revenue for downloads and in-app purchases in the App Store and Google Play grew to $10.5 billion — not including revenue from in-app advertising or commerce, such as Amazon purchases or Uber rides.

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