Remember the original iPhone from 2007, just a decade ago? Critics howled and laughed. Meanwhile, Google’s Android OS team went back to the drawing board because they saw the future that Apple’s iPhone was about to bring to the smartphone masses.
Instead of shaking my head at another article on the iPhone, I snorted. Honestly. A snort. Maybe two. It was such a snort of derision that I had to check my keyboard and screen for snort residue.
Famous technologist Adrian Kingsley-Hughes:
Why I’m still surprised the iPhone didn’t die
Now, to be fair, many so-called technologists did not see Apple’s trees for the forest. Tech critics panned the iPhone. Tech executives snorted with derision. For many, Apple’s entry into the smartphone business was a laughable venture sure to meet with failure.
I know that it’s popular to hate on the iPhone and spread predictions of its impending doom, but what surprises me isn’t how popular the iPhone is now, but that it survived the first couple of years to become the influential cash-generating machine that it has become.
Why? Or, rather, why not? Customers flocked to the iPhone and the more that Apple sold the more people wanted iPhones. Why? It was the first smartphone that could be used by mere mortal man. Or, woman. Navigation was simple. The screen was big. Buttons were obvious. Hardware keyboard? Meh. The onscreen keyboard worked just fine for the masses.
Who could not see that success coming? Especially so when lines formed around the block or down the mall to get the latest model each year. Customers knew something that technologists did not.
I’m just going to come out and say it — the original iPhone was junk. I know, that’s a scandalous thing to say, but to say otherwise is to do a disservice to the memories of the awesome handsets of the time. Call quality was terrible, it didn’t support multimedia messaging, and data speeds were slow even for 2007 because Apple chose not to support 3G.
Therein lies an obvious difference between those who tell you what is good and right and the rest of us who can figure some of it out ourselves.
The original iPhone was not junk by standards in 2007. Awesome handsets in 2007? Name one. Few phones supported 3G. Most smartphones were Edge at best and that meant slow to the point of not knowing how to do anything but email and texting. Call quality on all smartphones was horrible because call quality is horrible.
The iPhone was the future and people back then knew it but they could buy it then. And they did.
Back then, even platforms such as Windows Mobile had a massive features advantage over what Apple had to offer.
Uh huh. Features? That’s what made so-called smartphones so dumb and useless back in 2007. They were so full of complicated features they were impossible to navigate– except for members of the technorati elite politburo like Kingsley-Hughes.
Now, remember, this guy is a critic, it’s his job to gin up controversy, and he just couldn’t understand why the iPhone became such an iconic and successful product. Uh huh.
Now listen to him:
What I think made the iPhone what it is today was a combination of two things. First, excellent design. Yes, a slab that’s mostly screen seems obvious, but it’s clear that Apple put a lot of engineering effort into making the iPhone that way, and that meant making unpopular compromises, such as making the battery non-removable.
All of a sudden the iPhone is an excellent design. And the mostly screen seems obvious now but not back then?
A testament to just how good the initial iPhone design was is how little it’s changed. Yes, the phone’s gotten bigger and thinner and such, but the overall design remains the same. In fact, the biggest change Apple made to the design outside of the bigger screen has been moving the headphone jack — it started out on the top, moved to the bottom with the iPhone 5, and then eliminated with the iPhone 7.
What a crock. How little it’s changed?
The glass slab is the only thing that hasn’t changed, dude. Everything else inside and outside has changed every year; sometimes iterative innovation, sometimes disruptive innovation. Apple created a platform that is bigger than the iPhone itself, and that’s what people buy. Features? Meh. I just want my iPhone to work– camera, text, email, browsing, games, applications, privacy, security, resale value, easy support and service, and so on.
Technology writers don’t see Apple’s trees because they’re in the forest. Frankly, these nattering nabobs of negativism need to get out and walk around more; talk to people, find out what they like about a product instead of assuming the world lives in their forest.
Google’s Android engineers saw the future of smartphones. Apple’s customers saw the future of smartphones. They could see Apple’s trees in the forest.