Was the Apple iPhone Truly 5 Years in Front? Well, it’s now 5 years old

iphone evolution infographicFive years. Yup, it certainly flies doesn’t it? Looking back at when the iPhone was released, Steve Jobs claimed it was five years ahead of the competition. So, now it’s fives years since he uttered that bold statement – how would the iPhone stand against today’s blowers?

You may or may not recall when the original iPhone landed. Some of you may have been intregued whilst others would have seen it as the future of mobile phones incarnate.

As much as Steve Jobs was brilliant, saying that the iPhone was five years ahead may have just been an empty boast. Anyone that loves tech knows that what you have now will be almost obsolete in 12-18 months time.

Hardware v Software

Looking at the hardware packed by that first iPhone, well, it would be overlooked by almost everyone. The single-core 620MHz ARM processor and 8GB of storage is fairly basic (the 16GB version arrived in February 2008). You had to work with a 2-megapixel camera without video recording. There wasn’t even 3G. Hmmm… which future was this going to be?

To be honest, hardware is always going to be limited to what is available now – but, the software is really where the Apple handheld was well ahead of its competitors. Jobs and co knew this was going to be where they could leap in front of Nokia, Sony Ericsson and the rest.

The fact that they knew this was the main thing before loading the iPhone with swanky gadgets like an impressive camera, huge storage, and spanky processor was evident when they admitted that the iPhone 3G was: “The iPhone you’ve been waiting for.”

iphone evolutionWhen the iPhone came out I was very happy indeed with my Nokia N95. My friend has been using it until he upgraded to the Galaxy S II and it was *the* best cameraphone going. It was fitted with a 5-megapixel sensor paired with Carl Zeiss optics. The thing was, as soon as you played with the iPhone’s user interface and then went back to the Nokia you knew that there was a new dawn on the horizon.

Remember how the phones were back in 2007? You had candybars, sliders, flip phones and oddities such as the Motorola V70 (had one of those too!).

So, things were more varied back then and choices seemed more plentiful but Apple’s new smartphone was to usher in the age of the rectangle with a touchscreen. The positive from this move is that manufacturers are now concentrating on the user-friendliness of mobiles – no longer are you expected to leaf through a bible-sized manual.

The Rise of the App

March 2008 is when Apple made the software development kit available to third-party developers. That’s when programmers, and anyone else that fancied giving it a whirl, could develop apps for the iPhone and sell them through iTunes. This is where Apple really forged its own path. Suddenly the iPhone was no longer just a phone – it was a gateway to to thousands of games and programs.


iOS has continued to be refined. Now you can group your apps together in neat little folders, there’s Siri, and a 6-figure amount of apps to choose from. But, the overall design of iOS has remained the same since it appeared back in 2007 – surely that is proof positive that the iPhone was indeed ahead of its time?

What do you think? Has the iPhone got the legs to keep it ahead keeping in mind clever Android elements such as Google Now?

What does the iPhone 5 need to bring to the party?

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