The release of the iPhone X marks a decade since the first of Apple’s ground-breaking mobile devices hit the high street. There’s plenty to catch the eye about the new gadget, including the fact that its 5.8-inch Super Retina screen stretches right to the corners of the device, Face ID giving new meaning to security and dual 12MP cameras ensuring high-quality snaps can be taken wherever you are.
Before we get too far ahead of ourselves with everything that makes the iPhone X truly remarkable, stylish and genuine leather iPhone case designers, Torro Cases, is aiming to celebrate ten years of the iPhone by taking a look at how Apple’s devices forever changed the way we perceived mobile phones:
Constant access to the internet
In October 2016, research company, Statcounter, tracked the internet use across 2.5 million websites and found that more websites are now loaded on smartphones and tablets than on desktop computers.
The fact that 51.3% of all pages were loaded on mobile devices not only represented a huge increase from the less than 5% that were loaded as recently as 2010, but also showed that this was the first time that they had surpassed the corresponding figures recorded on desktop and laptop computers.
This research also came soon after Google had announced that searches on mobile had overtaken those carried out on desktop.
Helping to make the internet something that we could access on the go was the iPhone, with Steve Jobs saying as much when he first unveiled the original iPhone and described it as a “breakthrough Internet communications device”.
Eliminating the need to carry multiple devices
The list of things to pack when heading away or even just for a day out that went outside of familiar surroundings was quite different than it is now. If we wanted to capture great photos to keep memories of our experiences, we’d need to take a camera with us. An iPod, mp3 player or — if we are really going back in time — a Walkman was needed if we wanted some music to keep us entertained on the go. Not sure of how to get to a destination? Then we had to make sure we didn’t leave home without our trusty sat-nav.
Before we knew it, we were carrying a small collection of gadgets to make the most of our adventures. Not anymore though, as market research firm, KeyPoint Intelligence, found that 85% of digital photos are now taken on a phone — compared to 50% in 2011 — while GPS can be used on our devices to lead us from our current spot to wherever we’d like to go. When it comes to music, our favourite songs can either be downloaded to our devices or streamed through apps like Spotify and Apple Music.
The selfie trend
Keeping on the topic of our phones being used to take photos, can you now imagine not having a phone with a front-facing camera? These features first began appearing on mobile devices in 2003, with the iPhone 4 being the first of Apple’s smartphones to introduce them. Many believed that these cameras would be used primarily for video calls, but it wasn’t long before people started to snap self-portraits and the selfie trend quickly took hold.
Selfies have had plenty of benefits across many markets. For example, the popularity of the cosmetics industry (it was the top-performing category in UK health and beauty, with sales up £100m from 2015-2017) is suggested to be the result of YouTube tutorials and the desire to share selfies on social media apps.
Chloe Humphreys-Page, a director at data analytics company IRI, also pointed out: “The impact of the so-called ‘selfie generation’ — where people are spending disproportionately long periods of time studying their faces and making sure they are camera-ready — is not just driving sales for certain cosmetics, but also boosting demand for ancillary products, like eyebrow kits, sponges, pencils, and brushes.”
We’ve touched on GPS being a standard feature on mobile devices already, but the likes of Google Maps and Apple Maps offer so much more to iPhone users while they’re on the go.
As of 2016, there was reportedly more than five billion searches or requests on Apple Maps each week. Each user gets access to features such as proactive suggestions (which sees the system predicting the places where people are most likely to go), up-to-date public transport information, and detailed Indoor Maps of a wide variety of airport terminals and shopping centres covering locations across the globe.
With Google Maps, one of the most intriguing aspects was announced in 2016 when it was revealed that users would have the opportunity to become the system’s editors. As a result, they can suggest new places or edit names of places to make them more accurate — improving the overall system of maps.
An abundance of apps
It wasn’t too long ago that we had to make do with what came pre-loaded onto our mobile phones when we purchased the devices. Then came the arrival of the App Store, originally on the iPhone 3G in 2008, when owners could originally boost their devices by downloading up to 500 additional apps.
Today, the App Store is home to more than two million apps. People spent around £23 billion within the virtual market in 2016 alone, downloading everything from social media apps and photo editing software to games, health and fitness hubs, and TV and movie streaming services.
The way we pay
Another app that we believe needs to be mentioned in its own section is Apple Pay, as the mobile payments platform has transformed how we pay for goods and services on the go.
Launched in October 2014 while people were getting to grips with the iPhone 6, the app works by linking one of Apple’s smartphones up to a compatible debit or credit card account and then allowing people to make contactless payments by simply scanning their device across a payment terminal installed with NFC technology.
As of 2016, there were over 12 million monthly users of Apply Pay covering 15 countries, with transactions increasing by 500% between 2015 and 2016.
Keeping in contact
Above, we have covered the fact that iterations of the iPhone have changed the way we use the internet, take photos, get travel tips, stay entertained, and pay for goods while we’re out and about.
However, Apple’s gadgets have also changed the way that we use one of a mobile phone’s most basic features — communicating with others.
We can message through the internet wherever we are in the world using WhatsApp, for instance, which removes the charges that used to surround getting in touch with someone from another country. Video calling is easily accessible to all through FaceTime too, while the iPhone’s threaded message interface allowed us to see all messages on just the single screen instead of having to come out of a text and open others just to keep track of a conversation.