Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 29th Jun 2012 12:06 UTC
Apple Exactly five years ago today, Apple officially released its entry into the mobile phone market, the iPhone. Immediately loved by customers the world over, ridiculed by the competition, and, in my book, not particularly innovative feature-wise, it changed the mobile phone industry virtually overnight. Love the iPhone or hate the iPhone, its industry-changing impact is evident.
Order by: Score:
Feature phones
by zima on Fri 29th Jun 2012 13:00 UTC
zima
Member since:
2005-07-06

Five years ago, you probably had what we now call a feature phone
[...]
Smartphones [...] you couldn't really do anything with these things. Mobile browsing was in its infancy, Facebook and Twitter didn't exist yet, and applications for the two platforms focused mostly on business needs, not consumer needs. If you were a regular guy or girl, there was little value in moving on up to a smartphone over a feature phone.
The iPhone changed all that. If you look at the iPhone without starry eyes or company-infused loyalty, it was barely more than a feature phone at launch. No applications, very limited feature set

Yes, at the time, exactly 5 years ago, I believe I was still using a so called feature phone, the venerable half decade old Nokia 3510i.

Though, the funny thing is... I did have additional applications on it, and rather "consumer needs" ones - some games, IM client, Gmail j2me app, and a mobile browser (Opera Mini, quite decent considering the hardware) if I wanted to quickly check out something or pass the time in public transport (which occasionally included one social networking site, IIRC).

Such scenario remains very common - Opera is the #1 mobile browser worldwide (Mini being ~90% of that; and many of its users certainly more frugal with usage, hence not leaving so many web hits), mostly used on so called feature phones and to visit FB, Twitter and such ( http://www.opera.com/smw/2011/11/ ).
It seems tech doesn't necessarily move linearly, especially across regions.

Edited 2012-06-29 13:08 UTC

Reply Score: 4

Comment by drcouzelis
by drcouzelis on Fri 29th Jun 2012 13:19 UTC
drcouzelis
Member since:
2010-01-11

I think there was at least one other major thing that Apple accomplished with the iPhone: They made a mobile device that finally gave the device maker power instead of the mobile service provider.

Before the iPhone, mobile device makers were at the mercy of the US mobile network operators. On the contrary, Apple made a device put the device maker in control.

My favorite example was with voice mail. I imagine the conversation went something like this:

Steve Jobs: Your voice mail service is crap. Help us implement visual voice mail.

AT&T: But then people won't be charged an extra two minutes of service while they check their messages.

Steve Jobs: Fine, no iPhone for you.

AT&T: I'm sorry. ;)

Finally, someone had the power to challenge the crappy US network operators.

I know very little about the mobile phone industry and its history, so please correct me if I'm wrong. I'm still not conviced I even ever need something that does more than make phone calls. ;)

Reply Score: 6

Five years?
by Nth_Man on Fri 29th Jun 2012 13:28 UTC
Nth_Man
Member since:
2010-05-16

Five years?

But... the iPhone was dead and buried. Even Microsoft held an iPhone funeral procession in Redmond.
http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/dailyweekly/2010/09/microsoft_throws...
http://brooksreview.net/2011/05/ballmer/

They wrote "WINDOWS PHONE 7 OS PLATFORM Buries the Competition" in a banner in the parade. It's funny because it's not true.

Edited 2012-06-29 13:41 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: Five years?
by EvilMonkeySlayer on Fri 29th Jun 2012 13:45 UTC in reply to "Five years?"
EvilMonkeySlayer Member since:
2010-04-08

Oh my. I remember that, rolling my eyes and thinking "hubris, thy name is Microsoft".

Reply Score: 3

Grammar police
by Drunkula on Fri 29th Jun 2012 14:06 UTC
Drunkula
Member since:
2009-09-03

In my opinion this sentence fragment, "not particularly innovative feature-wise, it changed the mobile phone industry virtually overnight" is a bit contradictory. Isn't innovation changing something? Perhaps not innovative compared to current products, Thom?

Long live Android!

Reply Score: 0

RE: Grammar police
by David on Fri 29th Jun 2012 15:33 UTC in reply to "Grammar police"
David Member since:
1997-10-01

That contradictory statement is actually the essence of both this essay and the iPhone's success. Many of the geek elite pooh-poohed the iPhone because they *rightly* pointed out that when you looked at the individual features and specs separately, the iPhone was just moderately better or worse than other smartphones that had come before it. There had been phones for years that could do the same things that the iPhone could do. And certainly that first iPhone, with no apps ecosystem, no 3G, and the high price, was a shadow of what the iPhone would become. But what made the iPhone great, as Thom points out, was that it transcended its specs. Its various features worked together, and there were a few key features that weren't just a little better than the competition (the browser, the email client), but far, far better.

Also, as another reader mentioned, the iPhone broke the downward spiral of the carriers' control of the phone user experience, and even though the rise of Android has somewhat allowed the carriers to make us all miserable again, the existence of the iPhone keeps them from abusing their power too much.

Reply Score: 5

Status symbol
by kragil on Fri 29th Jun 2012 14:20 UTC
kragil
Member since:
2006-01-04

There are a lot of Iphone users who just have it because it is the most expensive phone and therefore must be the best.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Status symbol
by darknexus on Fri 29th Jun 2012 14:27 UTC in reply to "Status symbol"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

There are a lot of Iphone users who just have it because it is the most expensive phone and therefore must be the best.

While that's certainly true (although at least in the US there are more expensive phones than the iPhone even when subsidized) you can't deny that the iPhone changed how other companies looked at their phones. There was a story here a little while back about Android's beginnings, and you can't really argue that the iPhone had a huge impact on what Android actually became. The iPhone itself wasn't particularly revolutionary, especially in the first revision (you couldn't even have apps in iOS 1.0), but what Apple managed to do was change how both the average person and mobile phone manufacturers viewed the entire mobile ecosystem. Even if one doesn't like where Apple took their devices (I, for one, do not) it's partly because of this shift in perspective that we have the smartphones we do today.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Status symbol
by David on Fri 29th Jun 2012 15:37 UTC in reply to "Status symbol"
David Member since:
1997-10-01

I don't think that's true at all. There are a lot of people who bought the iPhone because it was the "hottest" phone, and was therefore a status symbol. But it's silly to think that it was "hottest" because it was more expensive. It was expensive because it had fancy features, and all phones with similar features are similarly priced. Apple managed to build a strong brand by delivering the first of a new generation of cool phones, and that sparked a trend.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Status symbol
by ronaldst on Fri 29th Jun 2012 18:28 UTC in reply to "Status symbol"
ronaldst Member since:
2005-06-29

And some have it because it's the best smartphone on the market. It still is.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Status symbol
by Neolander on Sat 30th Jun 2012 11:14 UTC in reply to "RE: Status symbol"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Please, anytime you use an expression like "best smartphone on the market", add a "for them" precision. Not doing so makes you sound like a fanboy in the ears of those of us who do not like $700 phones with a fragile screen, ridiculously costly battery replacements, and no physical keys.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Status symbol
by brichpmr on Sat 30th Jun 2012 12:40 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Status symbol"
brichpmr Member since:
2006-04-22

Please, anytime you use an expression like "best smartphone on the market", add a "for them" precision. Not doing so makes you sound like a fanboy in the ears of those of us who do not like $700 phones with a fragile screen, ridiculously costly battery replacements, and no physical keys.


Aside from the fact that the iPhone has provided tech enjoyment and utility for tens of millions of users, the alleged lack of durability is vastly overstated, in my experience with every gen of the device since 2007. The only prerequisite has been to treat the device with the same care that one would give to any fine quality piece of kit. Where I work, a large number of employees have moved to the iPhone from other non-Apple smartphones; and not one that I rub shoulders with has broken the screen nor exercised an option to move on to either an Android or Windows phone. Anecdotal of course, but a simple device is empowering to the non-geeks who simply want to use their phone as opposed to tweaking it or jailbreaking it.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Status symbol
by Thom_Holwerda on Sat 30th Jun 2012 13:14 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Status symbol"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

All you said is applicable to Android. In fact, more people choose Android than iOS - those are the cold and harsh facts. Even in countries without carrier exclusivity - large parts of Europe - Android outpaces Android considerably.

So, the statement that the iPhone is the best smartphone is ridiculous. It's definitely one of the very best - but not the best.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Status symbol
by jared_wilkes on Sat 30th Jun 2012 15:09 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Status symbol"
jared_wilkes Member since:
2011-04-25

Android is not a phone, it is an OS. By your own metric, the iPhone is generally and in most geographies the "best" smartphone. At best, in most geographies, there is only 1 phone that remotely approaches the iPhone (the latest and greatest Samsung Galaxy) and it will generally only outsell the iPhone for a few months of its initial availability.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Status symbol
by Thom_Holwerda on Sat 30th Jun 2012 15:42 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Status symbol"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

By your own metric, the iPhone is generally and in most geographies the "best" smartphone.


Wut?

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: Status symbol
by Neolander on Sat 30th Jun 2012 17:39 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Status symbol"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Here's a handy guide for you : Android as an OS is more successful than iOS, but iPhones as individual handsets are more successful than every individual Android handset. People like to think that they use a successful platform, so Android users like to discuss OS market share, iOS users like to discuss handset sales, and WP users like to discuss the amount of desktop Windows devs that are somehow all going to migrate to their platform in a month. The relevance of these various numerical indicators, or even the extent to which they can be compared when discussing different platforms, is irrelevant to this kind of debate, which is pretty much the grown-up variant of a dick measurement contest.

Edited 2012-06-30 17:47 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: Status symbol
by jared_wilkes on Mon 2nd Jul 2012 23:04 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Status symbol"
jared_wilkes Member since:
2011-04-25

What Wut?

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Status symbol
by Neolander on Sat 30th Jun 2012 13:31 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Status symbol"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

iPhone users are only a small fraction of the total amount of cellphone users worldwide (4.6B cellphones in the world in 2010, according to CBS, iPhone users representing maybe 1% of that). By arguing that the iPhone is best for everyone, you are implicitly arguing that the billions of people who own other phones have made uninformed choices or couldn't afford one. Hence my remark that you should temper this judgement, no matter what anecdotal evidence tells you.

I could spend pages of text explaining why iPhones are not for everyone, but I don't think that this would be necessary to drive the point that although it's a nice product, there's really nothing magical about it. People will always be happy to have other choices, depending on their priorities when they choose a phone.

Edited 2012-06-30 13:36 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Short memories >.>
by Beta on Fri 29th Jun 2012 14:36 UTC
Beta
Member since:
2005-07-06

It definitely shook up the mobile space, and got rid of a few niche & crappy platforms like Blackberry and Windows Mobile.

Anyhow, wth Thom.

Mobile browsing was in its infancy, Facebook and Twitter didn't exist yet.


http://howlonghaveyoubeentweeting.com/
5 years, 5 months, 3 weeks, 6 hours, 49 minutes, 3 seconds
Jan. 6, 2007

Facebook is even older than that >.>

Reply Score: 5

Tony Swash
Member since:
2009-08-22

I would add a few other special things the iPhone had

It wasn't controlled by the carriers. It still isn't. No carrier crapware, guaranteed access to OS upgrades. Wherever you buy an iPhone, no matter who from, it's the same phone.

It was built on top of the iTunes content/sync system. iTunes may irritate some but when the iPhone launched it was already used by tens of millions to sync and buy content. For ordinary users getting stuff on and off an iPhone and buying stuff for an iPhone was both easier and way better than the competition. Remember iTunes already had by then the largest digital music store and was ramping up video content.

An app store that worked. I know the App Store came later but the the fact that it has shifted 30 billion apps in five years is nothing less than staggering. The fact that Apple did everything it could, successfully as it turns out, to create a low cost software market was nothing short of genius. Not only did it mean that the iPhone to this day has fantastic developer support but it began the process of undermining the high cost software model. The low cost software culture is a big part of Microsoft's disorientation in the mobile market.

Reply Score: 4

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

I would add a few other special things the iPhone had

It wasn't controlled by the carriers. It still isn't. No carrier crapware, guaranteed access to OS upgrades. Wherever you buy an iPhone, no matter who from, it's the same phone.


This is the number one reason why it succeeded: independence from carriers. It was difficutl for them to give up control of the software and their stupid ringtone stores, but we are all better off because of apple's move.

Reply Score: 3

Just the facts, ma'm
by Soulbender on Fri 29th Jun 2012 17:06 UTC
Soulbender
Member since:
2005-08-18

Mobile browsing was in its infancy, Facebook and Twitter didn't exist yet,


Do you live in an alternate reality? Because in this one Facebook started in 2004 and already had a pretty good momentum in 2007. Twitter launched in 2006.
Both well before the iPhone launched.

Reply Score: 3

v RE: Just the facts, ma'm
by Thom_Holwerda on Fri 29th Jun 2012 17:14 UTC in reply to "Just the facts, ma'm"
Before iPhone...
by Verenkeitin on Fri 29th Jun 2012 19:18 UTC
Verenkeitin
Member since:
2007-07-01

iPhone ruined phones. I don't have one, but I have a Samsung Galaxy S2. Which is way too much like iPhone (according to Apple).

Before iPhone, phones were build to survive in use without bumpers or extra covers. My S2 will break if I ever drop it on pavement.

Before iPhone, phones were build to work even if you weren't right next to multiple cell towers. My S2 gives up trying to work as a communication device when it gets out of yelling distance from the nearest cell tower.

Before iPhone, phones could come with a stylus for clicking tiny links, selecting text etc. Now that convenience is unacceptably old fashioned.

In short, before iPhone, phones were engineered. Durability, reliability and real usability mattered.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Before iPhone...
by darknexus on Fri 29th Jun 2012 20:42 UTC in reply to "Before iPhone..."
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Before iPhone, phones could come with a stylus for clicking tiny links, selecting text etc. Now that convenience is unacceptably old fashioned.

Oh yes, because an extra tiny stylus you could easily lose, and required to operate a phone, was oh such a great idea. Yes, let's make the phone hard to operate (and they were) if you don't have a little pen because, you know, it works for pencil and paper. This is exactly why the iPhone trumped those phones. Most stylus phones ran either Windows Mobile or Palm OS. Windows Mobile was utter crap for touch, as Microsoft tried to shoehorn a desktop-style UI on that tiny screen. Palm wasn't so cludgy an interface, but it had other problems such as its lack of stability when under even a bit of load. Add to that, resistive touch screens could activate while in your pocket if you bumped into something. No thanks. If you're going to do touch screens on devices like this, they need to be finger-operable and designed for that from the ground up.

In short, before iPhone, phones were engineered. Durability, reliability and real usability mattered.

The only truly durable phones I've had have been Nokias, most of them running Symbian. Now, there was a nice mobile os (light, quick, and it put phone functionality above all else), though it was no good for touch-based input. If you want to get annoyed at anyone for ditching durable phones, you should point the finger at Nokia. RIM used to make durable phones as well, or at least that's my impression, but they've gone straight down the crapper as well. You can also blame the average person for this; these are the people who want extra-thin and shiny devices instead of rugged ones, and that trend started long before Apple.

Reply Score: 3

Impacts of the iPhone
by benali72 on Fri 29th Jun 2012 21:03 UTC
benali72
Member since:
2008-05-03

Impacts of the iPhone --

1- Greatly cut into iPod sales
2- Killed off Palm, put Nokia and RIM on the ropes
3- Killed off Microsoft's near-monopoly of
consumer OS sales
4. Popularized the smartphone

Reply Score: 2

RE: Impacts of the iPhone
by winter skies on Fri 29th Jun 2012 21:19 UTC in reply to "Impacts of the iPhone"
winter skies Member since:
2009-08-21

Impacts of the iPhone --

1- Greatly cut into iPod sales
2- Killed off Palm, put Nokia and RIM on the ropes
3- Killed off Microsoft's near-monopoly of
consumer OS sales
4. Popularized the smartphone


I agree.
And nothing except maybe #3 has had a good impact on my way of enjoying technology. It ultimately strongly threatened or even killed "bio-diversity", in terms of mobile operating systems.
I've been reflecting about this lately, and I realized there has never been such a deep discordance between my approach to devices such as smartphones or computers and what the mass market is dictating. It is sad for me, as an early smartphone adopter, that the world in which I've been growing up is changing for worse.
I know my definition of "worse" could be anyone else's definition of "better", this is only my take, and my fingers are not fluent enough in this foreign language to clearly express the reasons for my opinion.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Impacts of the iPhone
by spiderman on Mon 2nd Jul 2012 18:32 UTC in reply to "Impacts of the iPhone"
spiderman Member since:
2008-10-23

Impacts of the iPhone --

1- Greatly cut into iPod sales
2- Killed off Palm, put Nokia and RIM on the ropes
3- Killed off Microsoft's near-monopoly of
consumer OS sales
4. Popularized the smartphone

1 - OK
2 - Palm and RIM maybe but Nokia put itself on the ropes. It shot itself in the foot. Apple has nothing to do with that.
3 - Microsoft still has a near monopoly of desktop OS sales. Microsoft on the phones was struggling before the iPhone and is still struggling. The media focus has changed but this has always been the case.
4 - There is no evidence about that. Symbian phones were more popular than the first iPhone. The iPhone 3G and 3GS became popular and now Android phones are becoming popular. The mobile phone market was very competitive before the iPhone and still is.

In my opinion, the impact of the iPhone was that Apple teached other manufacturers how to market a product. Some of them have learnt the lesson (Samsung) and some have not. But Apple is still light years ahead in marketing. They have the media strings and the power to even rewrite history. They can put all the media focused on their products at no cost. They are very good at that.

Reply Score: 2

Pure OS
by wocowboy on Sat 30th Jun 2012 10:51 UTC
wocowboy
Member since:
2006-06-01

"Windows PocketPC Mobile Second Edition CE Embedded Compact Standard" LOL the BEST line in the entire essay! And best name for a product/OS up until Windows Phone 7 System Mobile OS..etc.

The greatest thing the iPhone and by extension iOS have going is the control Apple exerts over the carriers. THEY control the software on the phone, a pure version of the OS, without crap/bloat-ware, "enhancements" and carrier-branded software and "features" that either cripple stock functions or cripple the entire operation of the phone.

A pure version of iOS, regardless of the fragmentation/segmentation discussion, is always a good thing, and guaranteeing that a phone you buy WILL be upgradeable for the next few years is something Android and Microsoft have not yet accomplished. Google just released Android 4.1 Jellybean, while the vast majority of phones out in the wild still run Gingerbread, a full two software versions back, and there is no guarantee that ANY phone sold right now will ever be upgraded to Jellybean.

Same thing for Windows phones. NOT ONE phone Microsoft is selling right now will be upgradeable to Windows Phone System 8 Apollo. They will roll out the 7.8 "update" to give users a new Metro Start Screen and Nokia will add some crapware apps to soothe hard feelings, but that's it, Windows phones sold right now are done, dead. Say what you want about individual aspects of iOS, but Apple is doing a MUCH better job of servicing the phones they sell.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Pure OS
by zima on Sat 30th Jun 2012 13:21 UTC in reply to "Pure OS"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

guaranteeing that a phone you buy WILL be upgradeable for the next few years

Not sure if "guaranteeing" is the right word... at least, not if you count from the more meaningful end of large-scale sales (and Apple actively promotes, pushes on consumers old models much longer; that's why 3GS is still mostly supported - it's still sold)

Also, WP7 seems to be pushed into budget role (it will probably fulfil it for quite some time) and most apps will certainly run on it ...mostly just not the native, high-performance games - for which budget (or older) phones wouldn't have the horsepower, anyway (just like such games often don't support earlier iPhones, even if iOS is up to date)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Pure OS
by wocowboy on Sun 1st Jul 2012 13:53 UTC in reply to "RE: Pure OS"
wocowboy Member since:
2006-06-01

Yeah guaranteeing was not the best word, but the best one I could come up with at the time. The important part was that Apple still does sell the 3GS and has continued to pus out OS updates for it, with less and less features enabled, but those are more a function of the capabilities of the device for the most part. Nothing wrong with that, at least the OS updates have been available and users don't have to hack, root, or go to other extreme measures to get the latest software for it, unlike a lot of Android handsets that are locked to a particular version of the Android OS or locked to the carrier's version of the OS and cannot be updated at all, even tough they are perfectly capable of running later versions of Android.

Edited 2012-07-01 13:55 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Pure OS
by zima on Mon 2nd Jul 2012 13:18 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Pure OS"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

The important part was that Apple still does sell the 3GS and has continued to pus out OS updates for it

The important thing is that the latter comes from the former, and is unlikely to continue for very long beyond sales period (hence "guaranteeing [...] for the next few years" doesn't quite encompass it)

with less and less features enabled, but those are more a function of the capabilities of the device for the most part.

But also artificial segmentation. Things like an email VIP list or an offline reading list are certainly not limited by hardware - in fact, to remove them and test such variant Apple likely had to specifically exert some additional effort, to limit people.

users don't have to hack, root, or go to other extreme measures to get the latest software for it, unlike a lot of Android handsets

I suppose vast majority of users hardly care about that, more or less happy with how their handset works, and since they can install applications anyway (OTOH, with Apple OS - both mobile and desktop - devs seem to immediately jump on requiring the latest OS even if it hardly changes anything; so OS updates are pretty much mandatory, old versions quickly abandoned), and since Google updates many core apps separately from the OS.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Lightman
by Lightman on Sun 1st Jul 2012 18:31 UTC
Lightman
Member since:
2012-02-16

To use the words of a superhero:

It's not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me.

Batman

Reply Score: 1

App Store
by Glynser on Mon 2nd Jul 2012 09:30 UTC
Glynser
Member since:
2007-11-29

In my opinion, a very important feature was the App Store. It was indeed possible to install third-party applications on a phone already 10 years ago, but basically no one did.

So the concept of "apps" is not really new, but the way of providing them to the user was. You go to the app store, click on an "install" button, and there you go.

Reply Score: 1

RE: App Store
by zima on Mon 2nd Jul 2012 13:45 UTC in reply to "App Store"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

App Store was introduced only a year later, in July 2008 - in the same month, Opera Mini saw "approximately 15.8 million users" ( http://www.opera.com/smw/2008/07/ - and already 17.3 million in August; also, by April of that year and "since its worldwide launch in 2006, more than 44 million people have downloaded and used Opera Mini" http://www.opera.com/smw/2008/04/ - so it went far beyond handset pre-installs), dwarfing the number of iPhones in the wild ( http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:IPhone_sales_per_quarter_sim... )...

...and this is just one 3rd party app that people installed on their phones - curious "basically no one did" you have there. They also sought games at the very least (IIRC Opera mentioned, in one State of the Mobile Web report, that games are the top downloaded content), largely in earlier app stores already fulfilling your description - like operator ones (for better or worse, those...) or Getjar.

Apparently some very much like to see "Apple this / Apple that" (perhaps looking at things from the bubble of their, overall, quite atypical place) ...but hard data disagree.

Edited 2012-07-02 13:51 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: App Store
by Glynser on Tue 3rd Jul 2012 07:19 UTC in reply to "RE: App Store"
Glynser Member since:
2007-11-29

Yeah maybe I'm a bit misinformed, but to my perceived observation, before the iPhone, no one except for freaks or maybe some business users installed apps on their phones. Most people simply used what was already installed, or maybe installed 1 or 2 additional games or something like that (but never played them). Now since the iPhone, everyone seems to have tons of apps on their phones, and there also exist much more apps than before, e.g. every major website has their own app now, which is basically just a smartphone-friendly version of their web service, but this is something I have never really seen before the iPhone.

And btw I'm not an Apple fanboy ;) I don't really like them but I think they've really made a huge step with the whole "apps" infrastructure, at least to my personal observation.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: App Store
by zima on Thu 5th Jul 2012 03:15 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: App Store"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

But again, when iPhone apps were just introduced in VII'08, merely one j2me (so for "feature phones", consumer stuff) app had already been downloaded by more people than the total number of iPhones existing even a year later (or even 1.5+y, judging from quick glance at that sales chart I linked above). That most likely goes far beyond "no one except for freaks or maybe some business users installed apps" (really classy description, that 1st one... and I wonder how would you describe those who chose iPhone when they were very expensive and/or camped for them under shops), especially since Opera Mini user surveys (discussed in some reports, in their archive) don't paint them at all as "freaks or maybe some business users" - just your fairly usual (if largely younger) folks, just mostly not living in few atypical countries where Apple has significant presence.

Yes, Apple popularised the concept and took it further*, which also included making it more visible thanks to their marketing (making many people believe it's "another" Apple invention?), but come on...

BTW, shovelware (particularly those glorified "Web 3.0" RSS readers that you mention) is not a good thing... but I guess custodians of those new appstores are happy, as long as rubbish inflates app numbers.


*though not as much as you probably think: the changes in global access rates are still more quantitative than qualitative, over the last few years; majority of the 5+ billion mobile subscribers likely still don't have the ability to install any apps - and when they'll get it, it will rarely be from Apple (indeed, Apple quite openly aims to prevent the majority of people from getting technology advancements: http://www.osnews.com/permalink?523030 ). .

Reply Score: 2