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back to article Behold: Today marks Year Five of the iPhone Era

Apple has been credited with the first smartphone, with creating the mobile application business and pioneering touch interfacing. None of these things are true: but actually the launch of the iPhone, five years ago, was a much bigger revolution than that. Apple's wasn't the first smartphone by a long chalk, and people (your …

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Stop

Do what?

"No longer must they submit to the pretence that the network operator actually had something to do with making the handset"

What, like the Orange San Fransisco for example? Or the Vodafone Smart II? HTC may have gone up in the world, but the cell companies are still branding lower tier manufacturers hardware as their own.

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Anonymous Coward

I have one

And am waiting patiently for edition number 5, which will, most probably out phone all other phones when it is released.

All hail the I device.

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Re: I have one

Congratulations on your well reasoned and argued response the OP's very salient point and not at all attempting to push your comment to the top of the thread regardless of its relevance

All hail society!

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Just think, in 5 years

We'll be reading a similar article about the death of Nokia...

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Being Online

Indeed, the apple threw us all online, putting the world into our pockets. Now we all have flat fee plans that allow us to do what we want to do without some bean counter trying to milk extra fees out of that exclusive VIP service.

Next stop: give us international flat fees so we can use the devices everywhere. Shouldn't be so hard considering that the infrastructure exists in most countries, but the mindset to milk those traveling customers is still there!

Somebody please sign me up for decent PayGo service in all countries (or just when I cross the border) and take those cents from my account.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Being Online

It won't happen with GSM/3G though, it's far too stupid in how data roaming works. Given an all-IP LTE network we might see it.

Another way are software SIMs. Go to new country, get list of operators and plans - pick one on screen. Done. Original virtual SIM stays on for incoming calls/txts. New virtual SIM provides data and outgoing calls.

But for some reason people, especially operators, don't like this.

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Anonymous Coward

Surely today marks year six of the iPhone era, if its been around five years already?

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Anonymous Coward

Actually, I think Apple did more than push the operators in a corner. The iPhone was revolutionary, it was the first touch device that actually was user friendly (WinMo and all XDA/HTC/whatever sucked, especially if you had to provide support). Granted, without it other vendors would have gotten there eventually (maybe), but after the 2nd iteration every vendor was scrambling to get there too. The same with tablets : when the original iPad was announced, I was thinking that it would be a niche device. Now I have two of the things lying around the house, and you can get Android tablets for about a 100 euro.

Disclaimer : yes, I use Apple devices (2 iPads, 2 iPhones, a MBP and an iMac in the house), but I can honestly say I'm not a fanboi. The gear is just easier to use, and as for mobile devices I have to support about 80 iPads, 40 iPhones, and 6 Android devices (1 tablet, 5 phones). Guess where most questions are coming from...

AC because the only people I know in the office who read El Reg are the Google Geek Squad :-)

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Bronze badge

"The iPhone was revolutionary, it was the first touch device that actually was user friendly"

Well of course it was user friendly when it first came out - there was no bloody addon content (app store came some time later), and it couldn't do difficult things like send an MMS or copy and paste!

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Re: I can honestly say I'm not a fanboi. The gear is just easier to use

I have NEVER bought this argument. I've been a Mac user since '84 and I find them just as much as a PITA to use as PCs - which I first encountered in '94. I've used smartphones since '99 and yet, when presented with an iDevice (you know how it is. You work in IT so as soon as someone gets a gadget you keep getting handed it and asked "How do you do X with it?") it takes me just as long to figure out how to do stuff as it does any other phone. Just the other day someone handed me his new iPad and asked me how to bookmark a page. After a few seconds I spotted a symbol that looked VERY vaguely like it might refer to bookmarks and tapped it. All it did was LIST them. The bookmark button doesn't let you ADD bookmarks? Turns out that is a different button whose icon bares no resemblance whatsoever to adding, bookmarks or anything else. Why would you prevent someone bookmarking a page from the bookmarks?

My Mum picked up my Wife's cheapy Android device and within seconds was delighted that she had managed to find and use a recipe search app and declared it was the easiest phone she'd ever used and wanted one. I bought her the exact same phone for her birthday 3 weeks ago and she STILL can't figure out how to send a Text message??

I simply don't buy that any of them are particularly easy to use. People, under certain circumstances, will be driven to trying things to find out how they work. On a different day, in a different mood, they'll be petrified and declare it is "too difficult" to use. Maybe dropping £500 on an iPhone just "inspires" more people to be brave than spending £50 on a Huawei from Tesco.

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Devil

Ah the good old days

Cut some jpegs with clouds, puppies, tits and shit, sell through Handango as mobile wallpapers for £3, keep 30% of the revenue and you're done. Since iPhone, you have to bloody develop a whole app to get £0.59 from the market. The Satan himself must have brought this device...

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Anonymous Coward

5 Years old ..

.. and a brand new Apple phone today looks exactly the same as the ones they were selling in 2007.

("ooh but rounded corners" <--- shut up)

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Carriers let apple in because of the downside of iPhone, not the upside

I think the way Apple disintermediated the carriers was by exploiting the "competition" set up by governments when issuing carrier licences. By offering an exclusive, if iPhone failed, no harm done that the carrier had signed away the customer relationship. But if iPhone was a success, subscribers would switch in their millions, and competing carriers would be powerless.

So carriers signed up as simple insurance, not to be on the losing side. I don't think anyone in the industry actually believed iPhone would succeed. Signing was just in case.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Carriers let apple in because of the downside of iPhone, not the upside

"disintermediated" ?

admit it, you just made that word up.

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Re: Carriers let apple in because of the downside of iPhone, not the upside

Its high-fallutin' talk for eliminating the middleman, nice concept really, but it wont happen and hasn't happened yet. Certainly not with the iPhone nor Android or WP7, instead of the carrier being the middleman, Apple turned into one, after seeing how well Apple did at it, Google and Microsoft followed suit.

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Re: admit it, you just made that word up.

OSX spellchecker likes it. "Disintermediation" is in Wikipedia too, if you want more.

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Why not discuss what you actually said?

Your article made light of how far off your judgement was.

“As customers start to realise that the competition offers better functionality at a lower price, by negotiating a better subsidy, sales will stagnate. After a year a new version will be launched, but it will lack the innovation of the first and quickly vanish. The only question remaining is if, when the iPod phone fails, will it take the iPod with it.”

To get the worth of your writing I have to allow for a great deal of bias on your part.

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