The iPhone’s potential was obviously deep, but it was so deep as to be unfathomable at the time. The original iPhone didn’t even shoot video; today the iPhone and iPhone-like Android phones have largely killed the point-and-shoot camera industry. It has obviated portable music players, audio recorders, paper maps, GPS devices, flashlights, walkie-talkies, music radio (with streaming music), talk radio (with podcasts), and more. Ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft wouldn’t even make sense pre-iPhone. Social media is mobile-first, and in some cases mobile-only. More people read Daring Fireball on iPhones than on desktop computers.
In just a handful of years, Nokia and BlackBerry, both seemingly impregnable in 2006, were utterly obliterated. The makers of ever-more-computer-like gadgets were simply unable to compete with ever-more-gadget-like computers.
Ten years in and the full potential of the iPhone still hasn’t been fully tapped. No product in the computing age compares to the iPhone in terms of societal or financial impact. Few products in the history of the world compare. We may never see anything like it again — from Apple or from anyone else.
A “Perfect” looking back piece on the iPhone introduction from John Gruber. Encapsulating the “Where were you when the iPhone was introduced” moment, the “Holy shit!” experience when holding it in your hands for the first time and its remarkable effect on the industry. Here’s to another ten years.