The iPhone has had the biggest impact on everyday life of any piece of technology since the telephone line was first created in 1877.
Considering that in 2002 the Nokia 3510 was the first phone to bring internet services to the mass market, the iPhone disrupted all previous expectations consumers had of what a mobile phone could and should do. Since then it has continued to revolutionise mobile technology by creating entirely new products, services and even entire industries, that we couldn’t envision just ten years ago.
While people had already coined the term ‘smartphone’ in 1995, only until the iPhone was released in 2007, did it do justice to the word. Consumers clearly feel the same with over a billion iPhones sold to date.
The level of advancement that has happened is really unprecedented. There were just 500 apps in the Apple App Store when it made its debut in July 2008 – now there are over 2.2 million.
Smartphones are now essential parts of all our lives – helping us plan everything from work meetings to dinner choices; dating to taxi services, to everything else in between. The technology is constantly changing. Across the globe the rise of smartphones is not just changing consumer habits, but changing lives – access to information and communication has never been easier, or so fast. We are at the dawn of how these major technology changes are going to impact society in the years to come. Technology never stands still – and smartphones will undoubtedly be replaced in the future – but now we are very much living in the Smartphone Age.
Professor Will Stewart, IET (Institution of Engineering and Technology) Vice President
The iPhone and other smartphones that have followed Apple’s innovation have transformed our lives, largely by combining a number of tools that we now take for granted.
Who would now buy a small camera, a separate satnav, a separate music player or a railway timetable? The ‘app’ has extended ‘phone’ functionality to cover all of these and much more, to the extent that people sometimes forget that many of these functions do in fact rely on wireless communications being available anytime anywhere – truly a new utility.
Many of us are no doubt unaware that modern speech recognition and translation, such as Siri, depends on effective broadband coverage. The smartphone revolution has already been huge but has far to go, though universal coverage for all will become ever more vital.
A recent IAB study revealed that 40% of Brits stream video content via their mobile, amounting to over 26.1 million people. Yet, despite the huge quantity of people actively using streaming platforms on their mobiles, it still isn’t as simple or easy as it should be to be able to view content in one app or service.
Locating content is still a modern-day headache, and according to an internal TVPlayer report, more than 50% of respondents said that they wish there were a better way of searching for TV, film and video content across multiple services. Due to the complicated and convoluted broadcasting rights landscape, it can take months, or even years, for streaming services to be able to legally stream your favourite channels and TV shows.