From revolution to evolution: Revisiting the past 10 years of iPhone

By Zhu Lingqing | | 2017-09-12 16:34
From revolution to evolution: Revisiting the past 10 years of iPhone

A man holds his iPhone7 Plus in Osaka, Japan, on Sept 16, 2016, when the iPhone7 and iPhone7 Plus smartphone went on sale in Japan. [Photo/IC]

"A widescreen iPod with touch controls", "a revolutionary mobile phone", and "a breakthrough internet communicator" – this is how Steve Jobs, then chief executive officer of Apple Computer Inc, introduced the very first iPhone, a true game-changer in the phone industry, 10 years ago.

Fast forward to now. The iconic Apple smartphone, which has evolved 15 models over the past 10 years, will embrace its next generation, which includes the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, and the most talked about 10th anniversary iPhone, iPhone X, on Wednesday.

Predictably, days after Wednesday's launch event, a large number of Apple fans will line up outside the company's stores worldwide to get a first touch of the new releases as soon as possible.

However, the sense of wonder once experienced by those thousands of customers who queued for the first iPhone outside Apple and AT&T retail stores in the US on June 29, 2007 may never recur today.

Although not every generation of iPhone changed the industry as revolutionarily as the first one, which perfectly responded to Jobs's ambition of "reinventing the phone", did, the gradual evolution brought by them together has been inspiring enough.

Besides keeping customers' changing understanding of the aesthetics and functions of a phone, on the basis of technology-supported hardware and app store, and a platform that gathers the wisdom of software apps developers worldwide, iPhone has also transformed people's lives by widely broadening a phone's usage from handling contacts and taking photos to online live streaming, or playing artificial intelligence games.

The past 10 years have witnessed how the market rewarded Apple, so that the company is ranked third on the Fortune 500 list this year with a market value of $753.7 billion as of March 31, and is expected to become the world's first trillion dollar company, a report by Fortune said.

However, having entered the Chinese mainland market nearly eight years ago in October 2009, Apple, which once witnessed the market the biggest growth engine for it, only accounted for 7.1 percent of market share in the second quarter of this year, according to research firm IDC China.

Not only in the domestic market, Chinese smartphone vendors also have started showing their muscle and competing with Apple in the global market.

In June and July, Huawei surpassed Apple as the world's second-largest smartphone vendor for the first time, according to consultancy Counterpoint Technology Market Research.

As the road ahead for Apple faces uncertainties, let's revisit the past 10 years of iPhone.

iPhone 7 Plus

First sales date: Sept 16, 2016

Display: 5.5 inches

Color: Rose gold, gold, silver, black, jet black, red

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