Given it’s been 8 years since the announcement of the very first iPhone, I decided to look back into the archives and see what I was thinking about that moment.
I remember being seriously positive and I’m rather proud that unlike a lot of other publications, I recognised the device, the platform, the strategy as being worthy of attention. I titled the post: “The Apple iPhone changes everything“. Reading through my post, though, I had to smile as I referenced app developers that are just on the edge of my memory. Hotxt anyone? (Hi Carl Uminski!) BuddyPing? (Hi Justin).
Those were the days. You had to be seriously, seriously focused if you wanted to be an App developer. Virtually the only model was getting your app pre-installed on operator handsets.
If you recall, we had to speculate at that point about whether developers could deploy their own apps on the iPhone. We had to wait until June of 2007 before we got confirmation. I covered that here: “More on the iPhone and third party applications” with a bit of commentary and a link to Apple’s press release.
A year later, the sales figures weren’t looking too good. I remember then knocking out a post discussing just how frustrated I felt. I have to remember that the iPhone, at this point, was competing directly with ‘smartphones’ that were *completely* free on TWELVE month contracts. So it was a big push, at this time in the development of the marketplace, to get people to want to pay for anything up front, let alone commit to a whopping 18-month contract. I speculated that if nothing changed, the iPhone would only be a bit player. Also, at this point, we were expecting the rest of the industry to actually get with the programme — and sort out their own strategies, both device and platform.
If memory serves, it wasn’t until the bigger players got through a few flagship iterations with NOTHING to offer compared to the iPhone before I felt the market perception shifted and it was clear Apple (and the coming behemoth that was Android) was the new king.
Probably the biggest frustration across the first 4 years after the iPhone announcement was watching with increasing incredulity at the compounding train wreck created by the other industry players who just couldn’t handle the new world.
What a fascinating time that was. I seriously enjoyed chronicling the growth of the marketplace.
Where will we be in another 8 years? Will we still have Apple? Android? Will we still be running to the BlackBerry platform whenever we actually have to use mobile devices that are actually secure — rather than pretending with the other ones? Where will Microsoft be?
Will Microsoft Office still be the daily tool for almost every white collar worker?
Will we still have “phone plans”?
Will operators still be peddling 24 month £55/month contracts as normal? 😉