Monday, July 2, 2012

Why the iPhone proved so disruptive

The iPhone recently celebrated its fifth birthday. In the brief span of 5 years it has truly been revolutionary, and is now selling at the rate of more than one million per day. The always-perceptive John Gruber explains why:

What’s happened over the last five years shows not that Apple disrupted the phone handset industry, but rather that Apple destroyed the handset industry — by disrupting the computer industry. Today, cell phones are apps, not devices. The companies that were the most successful at selling cell phones pre-iPhone are now dead or dying. “App” is now a household word.

Indeed. The iPhone was never just a better phone, it was a better computer—totally portable and always on. Making and receiving phone calls is just one of the amazing things this pocket computer can do.


Benjamin Cole said...

Nice batch of posts by Scott Grannis.

I am totally amazed at iPhones---all the knowledge and information of the vast Internet at your disposal. You can be in a field in Thailand and check the DJIA or who signed the Constitution or how to make bronze or read Grannis.

I guess I am becoming an "old fogie"---I am totally amazed at this, but the kids just take it for granted.

Of course, I am still in wonder we can fly the globe in a few hours. Color TV still seems like a luxury to me.

Bob said...

As I sit here in a small town outside Bodrum Turkey, on the Agean Sea I salute the disruptive technology that allows me to trade securities and instantly keep in touch with the rest of civilization.

We witness the fulfillment of George Gilders 'teleputer' first described well more than a decade ago. (or has it been two?)


Rob said...

I am totally amazed at how my iPhone 4S constantly runs out of juice and then takes forever to come back on when attached to a power source.

Rob said...

PS - Scott, I am just as much of an Apple fanboy as you but I am still able to see its shortcomings, as per previous comment. You really don't do nuance, do you ?

Scott Grannis said...

Rob, my iPhone 4s is incredible. I can routinely go two days between charges if I'm not using it heavily. I've never had it run out of juice in one day. Are you using the latest version of the software? You should have an Apple genius person look at your phone. Perhaps one of your settings is not as it should be.

Kurt said...

Yes, the era of the Dick Tracy wrist videophone is more or less here, even though I don't yet see people wearing their iPhones on their wrist. I can still remember a panel discussion at a computer conference back in the mid 80's where one of the panelists, asked to predict a future technology of note, described what he called an "electronic wallet". He was pooh-poohed by other panelists, but he was essentially correct, since that date preceded the PDA by many years. Remember the Palm Pilot? A great technology come and gone. One hopes that the iPhone will have a longer lifespan.

As far as the iPhone being "a better computer", I have to disagree. I would never use an iPhone to work a spreadsheet, do heavy text editing (like writing an article or a book), compute differential equations, do CAD design, or any of the other things that I associate with the word "computer". I think the author had it right: the point of the iPhone is not the device, not the computer aspect; the point is the applications it puts at your fingertips.

takeshi007 said...

Nowadays, iPhone plays an important role in a lifestyle of a person and iPhone have also several usage especially in business or making money online.

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