The Oakley Mobile Blog

The iPhone is ten, but will the next decade see Apple fall?
Wednesday August 9, 2017

June 2007, Rihanna was at number one in the singles chart, and when you weren’t singing about her umbrella, you were looking forward to the upcoming Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix blockbuster.

But it was during this month when a guy wearing his customary comfy trainers and infamous black turtleneck top (tucked into his jeans of course) held up a 3.5 inch-screen device and changed the future forever. 

The iPhone certainly wasn’t the first ‘smartphone’, but in that moment the mobile revolution truly began, and data proves that internet traffic has never been the same since.

Steve Jobs was correct when he described the iPhone as “a revolutionary mobile phone”, “a widescreen iPod with touch controls” and “a breakthrough internet communications device”. At a time when most, if not all, phones relied on a clunky physical keyboard not fit for the sausage-fingered populous, we really can thank Apple for the ubiquity of the touchscreen era. 

The past ten years have proven that technology takes time to mature.

The aforementioned “revolutionary mobile phone” didn’t exactly live up to it’s promise when people realised there was no cut and paste functionality, no video capture or the ability to send a photo via text message. I know right?!?!?

You couldn’t even download an app onto your shiny new iPhone back in 2007…because the App Store didn’t exist. Steve Jobs wasn’t sure if he even wanted to have one. Frankly because of his desire to control the entire experience. He relented and the App Store not only set the benchmark for how to customise your phone’s functionality, but in doing so he also created an industry that is set to be worth $77bn this year.

Since then Apple have brought us FaceTime and the controversial ‘Antennagate’. In today’s Alexa-fuelled world we may also forget that Siri is celebrating her (or his depending on your settings) 6th birthday this year. 

Much-loved updates like Wallet and NightShift are now overshadowed by more ground-breaking introductions like depth-sensing dual-lens cameras and Apple’s pioneering augmented reality platform ARkit. Which makes me look forward to the next ten years.

When Steve Jobs launched the iPhone, we didn’t know we needed an App Store. So what are we missing now that we’re blissfully unaware of? What will I be reminiscing about on the iPhone’s 20th birthday? I don’t know the answer to that question. But I do know that the pressure on the impending launch of the iPhone 8 is immense. If you believe the rumour mill then the next version of Apple’s iPhone will use infrared-based facial recognition unlocking - completely eliminating the need for a passcode or fingerprint.

Whilst Apple blazed the trail back in 2007, they’ve now lost ground to the likes of Samsung’s Galaxy S8 near bezel-less designs. iPhone 8 or iPhoneX (whatever they call it) aside, the last ten years of updates and improvements have increased our expectations whilst our patience declines.

Even as a die-hard Apple fanboy, I recognise that their innovation has stagnated somewhat and they really do need to pull the proverbial rabbit out of the hat for their phone’s 10th anniversary.

Will they become the next ill-fated BlackBerry? No. But are they facing fierce competition in the world of smartphones, VR & AR? Definitely! Over to you Mr pressure!

Written by Barry R at 12:11