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Steve Jobs (1955–2011)
“Rarely do consumers line up two days before the release of a product—armed with sleeping bags and changes of clothes—to make sure they can buy it. But that is exactly what preceded the launch of the Apple iPhone on June 29, 2007.
The iPhone’s design and functionality changed the entire smartphone concept by bundling together capabilities that had never been married before: telephony, messaging, internet access, music, a vibrant color screen, and an intuitive, touch-based interface. Without the physical buttons that were common on other smartphones at the time, the entire surface was available for presenting information. The keyboard appeared only when needed—and it was much easier to type accurately, thanks to behind-the-scenes AI that invisibly adjusted the sensitive area around each key in response to what letters the user was forecast to press next.
The following year, Apple introduced its next big thing: specialized programs called apps, downloadable over the air. The original iPhone shipped with a few built-in apps and a web browser. Apple CEO Steve Jobs had envisioned that only third-party developers would be able to write web apps. Early adopters, however, started overcoming Apple’s security mechanisms by “jailbreaking” their phones and installing their own native apps. Jobs realized that if users were that determined to run native apps, Apple might as well supply the content and make a profit.
The Apple iTunes App Store opened in 2008 with 500 apps. Suddenly that piece of electronics in your pocket was more than a phone to make calls or check email—it became a super gadget, able to play games, manipulate photographs, track your workout, and much more. In October 2013, Apple announced that there were a million apps available for the iPhone, many of them realizing new location-based services, such as ride-sharing, dating, and localized restaurant reviews, to name a few.
While the iPhone has largely been celebrated, it has also been accused of ushering in the era of “smartphone addiction,” with the average person, according to a 2016 study, now checking his or her smartphone 2,617 times a day. Since the original release in 2007, more than 1 billion iPhones have been sold worldwide, and it still holds the record for taking only three months to get to 1 million units sold.”
More than 1 billion iPhones have been sold worldwide since the product’s release in 2007.
9to5 Staff. “Jobs’ Original Vision for the iPhone: No Third-Party Native Apps.” 9To5 Mac (website), October 21, 2011. https://9to5mac.com/2011/10/21/jobs-original-vision-for-the-iphone-no-third-party-native-apps/.