In its early days little compared to that of the iPhone. Apple had succeeded in creating a device so cutting edge that it set the trend for pretty much every mobile device that followed. Nowadays a smartphone is much less of a rarity and increasing amounts of competition from across the market have begun to topple Apple’s tech success.
As difficult as it may be to believe, the iPhone has been with us since 2007. Announced at the MacWorld Conference and Expo, Jobs explained that it would be a mobile computer that could make phone calls. The first iteration of the handset had its doubters, those of the tech community who couldn’t see Apple mirroring its iPod success in the mobile market.
The June US launch of the handset was surrounded by out of control shoppers and gadget obsessives desperate to get their hands on the new piece of technology. From the outset the mobile saw increasing levels of success.
At the time the ease at which owners could use the mobile internet was miles ahead of any competition. But no one foresaw the direction in which mobile internet was to take. Lucky Brits were treated to the iPhone in November the same year with O2 exclusively selling the handset.
Success on the scale Apple now experiences was a long way off, with only five million units sold initially.
On the launch of the app store however things changed. Apple drastically underestimated the possibilities of iOS and its design community. As time went on the iPhone’s app store continued to flood with a whole range of different applications. A point was reached whereby every major company and corporation had in some way an application in the store.
By the time the iPhone 3G launched the smarphone landscape was somewhat different. Apple now had competition from the likes of Android and Nokia. A combination however of software and hardware improvements saw the 3G ensure Apple would dominate the mobile tech market.
The handset was so successful in fact that it sold out on the internet before hitting shop shelves.
A year later Apple released the 3GS, a souped up version of the 3G and one capable of running complex gaming and more graphic intensive applications. It was this handset which helped Apple to turn the iPhone into a successful mobile gaming device, something now crucial to app store sales.
Finally in June last year Apple announced a totally redesigned iPhone handset. The iPhone 4 represented the most drastic change in hardware since the smartphones launch. Boasting a ultra-high resolution ‘retina display’ and powerful 1Ghz A4 processor, the iPhone 4 was a must have handset. In many ways it still is, however Apple now has a vast amount of competition to deal with. Android continues to grow as an operating system and has now succeeded in overtaking that of iOS.
Hardware of the modern day smartphone has also changed. Previous versions of the iPhone would be expected to easily out-power rivals. Android handsets now however all too often pack more punch than even the iPhone 4. If Apple hopes to retain its tech-trend crown they will have to announce some pretty serious hardware whatever the iPhone 5 might be.