The original iPhone wasn’t actually the first smartphone, but it has created a new mainstream product in the industry. Previously, there were already cellular-capable PDAs and phones with resistive touchscreen displays, but they were still considered as niche products. The first iPhone model arrived on January 2007. Since then, we saw the introduction of many features into the mainstream smartphone industry.
GPS: Before the prevalence of GPS-based solutions, people still used maps and asked a stranger when they are navigating themselves in a new area. The iPhone 3G was the first iPhone model with GPS feature. It wasn’t the first GPS-capable mobile phone either, but since then, GPS became a standard feature in the industry, including for affordable, low-entry devices.
Threaded SMS messages: Before the introduction of threaded SMS messages, texts were stored and displayed individually in a menu. Users need to open each and it’s quite easy to lose track of the conversation. The Messages app of the iPhone changed this and managing text messages is much easier to do.
Self-photography: Self-photography or ‘the selfie’ has become a big social phenomenon and it’s made possible by the introduction of front-facing cameras. The iPhone 4 was the first model with a selfie camera and the craze suddenly sprang up.
Long-lasting battery: It’s true that an old Nokia phone can last three days or more with a single charge. But, smartphones are ravenous and they consume a lot more battery juice. The constant processing of data and an array of sensors put the battery under constant strain. The iPhone popularised the concept of long-lasting smartphone that can survive for a day or more.
Call-less lifestyle: It is now a common fact among iPhone and Android smartphone users that they barely communicate with people through voice call again. It’s more convenient to send instant messages, emails, social media comments, tweets and texts with a smartphone.
Autocorrect: Regardless of the screen size and onscreen keyboard layout, typing on the touchscreen display is a less intuitive experience. You don’t feel the sensation of pushing a physical keypad. We are more prone to make a mistake when typing on the screen. Autocorrect is making our life easier and applying correction is as easy as choosing the right word.
Pinch to zoom: Even with a large computer display, we often need to zoom at maps or images to see things more clearly. This is even more critical with smartphone displays that are smaller.
Third-party apps: Java-capable and Symbian phones already allowed users to install third-party software. But, thanks to the Apple iPhone, the mobile apps industry is now worth tens of billions of Dollars. The App Store was first released in 2008 on the iPhone 3G.
Apple has always revolutionised the phone and computer market. They take something that’s been around for years and make it better.