You know a product has achieved mainstream recognition and success when what could be considered a technologically-hip, and forward-thinking device is now being used by members of the Baby Boomer generation (or even their parents)! The iPhone is that device. And five years after its introduction to the world by Apple, it remains as popular and fashionable as ever.
We love the iPhone at Casepops, and have enjoyed seeing how its innovative design and extreme usability have disrupted and influenced so many other industries. Around the time of the iPhone's original launch, we could just sense that there was something special about it...something that got the average person excited, not just the technophiles or phone geeks! Tom Krazit at GigOM sums up the excitement perfectly, saying:
...the difference between the launch of the original iPhone and just about every other tech event before or since was the degree to which average people realized just how much this new product would change their lives.
Needless to say, Apple created a winning product, that five years later still remains the "one to beat" and one that has certainly changed many lives.
Remember our top 5 social apps list? That wouldn't even exist were it not for the iPhone and the App Store, which it pioneered in the second version of iOS. So many other features that we now take for granted were pioneered by Apple's device. And, though it was technically "inferior" to the products out at the time of its introduction, the iPhone and its simple, streamlined interface became the focus of the product and its marketing strategy. To this day, bolstered by the introduction of Siri, the voice recognition assistant, Apple has proven that a focus on design and usability and NOT technical specifics is the way to win many consumers' affection. Dieter Bohn of The Verge explains how Apple's focus on design ultimately made the iPhone stand out from the other technically superior choices of the time:
...all of those missing features hardly mattered and nearly everybody knew it. Instead of competing on specs, Apple focused on getting the core experience right. It focused on speed, consistency between apps, and making a few features radically better than anything else that was available in 2007.
So, it's one thing to surmise that this focus on design lead to outstanding sales, but it's another to look at charts of Apple's stock and sales numbers. Clearly, they did something right from the beginning, that has lead to their continued success through 2012. In case you can't see below, Apple sold over 35 Million iPhones globally in the first quarter of 2012. Even more interesting, 26% of those sales came from non-US markets, an increase from 12% the year before. What does that mean? The iPhone is going global. If you think about it, why shouldn't it be?
*** As a side note, while in China in 2008, I was riding in a taxi cab with some friends. Curious as to what the device was that my friend was using, our Chinese cab driver asked to take a look at the iPhone he was holding. Clearly, he realized what it was, and was so enamored that he held it hostage! He refused to let us out of the cab, and told my friend to pay him in order to get the iPhone back. A quick threat of calling the police was enough to get the phone back, but I'll never forget the excitement and desperation with which he held the device (that was banned in China at the time.) Crazy! ***
Indeed, as its 5th birthday neared, Apple's revenue from iPhone sales reached $150 Billion, as reported by Angela Moscaritolo from PC Mag. Every year since its introduction has been more successful that the previous for the iPhone, and with the iPhone 5 reportedly around the corner, we're excited to see where the company is headed next.
Oh yeah, remember how obsessed the Chinese cab driver was with the iPhone? Well, it appears that some Chinese retailers are already selling the "iPhone 5" online using fake mock-up images...for $8,600 a piece!
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