The iPhone effect: Tapping into Apple’s legacy, 15 years on

On June 29, 2007, the iPhone went on sale for the first time, creating a history of sorts.

Across the United States, people queued up outside Apple stores for hours to buy the coveted device, with some even getting a “lucky you” sticker inside the box. Apple also designed special T-shirts for store employees.

The iPhone not only transformed Apple’s fortunes dramatically, but also changed the way people engaged with technology.

Here are a few things that the iPhone gave to the world:

A camera in everyone’s hands
The smartphone camera wasn’t really Apple’s idea, and the original iPhone had a 2-megapixel offering, not even its biggest talking point as better cameras existed. However, the immense popularity of iPhones ensured that everyone had a camera in their hands. Technology evolved and the iPhone was at the heart of driving camera innovation for the first few years. The rise of social media coincided with the rise of the iPhone and people’s relationship with photos changed forever.

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Software matters
The iPhone laid an enormous amount of importance on software. Pre-iPhone, brands didn’t really care too much about software and it was hardware that mattered. The iPhone focused on giving a superb software experience. You can have average hardware but if the software isn’t good then you won’t ever buy the device again, and the iPhone is responsible for that change in mindset.

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You’ve never app it so good
It’s hard to imagine a world without apps, right? The App Store arrived one year after the iPhone with 500 apps in tow. Now, it has millions of apps and iPhone became the iPhone because of the App Store as it turned into an absolute must-have device. Apps made life easier, and it was iPhone where apps were found in the early days — till Google arrived with Play Store on Android.

You have ‘arrived’
These days it is rare for Apple to publicly praise Google. With the original iPhone, however, it categorically mentioned that the “iPhone also includes Google Maps, featuring Google’s ground-breaking maps service.” Google Maps was indeed a game-changer and the iPhone with the Maps app killed paper maps and made point-to-point navigation easier than ever.

The ‘ecosystem’ of devices
Before the iPhone, there was no such thing called an ecosystem of devices. iPhone led to the birth of the iPad, and it offered seamless integration. Apple also launched the Apple Watch — which works only with the iPhone — and then the AirPods, and AirTag. All these devices work seamlessly because of the iPhone. Now, Samsung talks about an ecosystem of devices as do Xiaomi, OnePlus, Oppo and others. The word ‘ecosystem’ is a part of the tech lexicon thanks to the iPhone.

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