Opinion

The iPhone has changed your life, yes, yours

To call something life changing is often just a cliche but the iPhone, which turns 10 this week, has changed my life.

And yours too, even if you've never used one.

Despite the hyperbole that defines technology, most new gadgets are just something that's a little better than something else. And some are not even that (we're looking at you Samsung Note7).

The iPhone was certainly not the first smartphone. IBM showed off the Simon Personal Communicator 15 years earlier. But it set the mark for everything that was to follow.

Keyboards went out and pinch and zoom came in. Digital photography exploded and our notion of having "nothing to do" changed forever. Three quarters of people take their smartphone into the toilet - the next time you're spending a penny, you can thank Steve Jobs for that too.

Mobile phones changed the world because, for the first time, you were able to call a person rather than a place. The launch of the iPhone, which sparked a new smartphone era, had just as significant an impact.

When Jobs did his big reveal on a stage in San Francisco 10 years ago this week, the iPhone he showed off was a buggy prototype that was so problematic he needed a collection of phones on stage to avoid the public embarrassment of a technology fail.

The new IPhone 7 has been released.
The new IPhone 7 has been released. Bev Lacey

What it did do, as Jobs said at the time, was combine three things in one: an iPod, a phone, and an internet communicator. There was no App Store, there was only a crappy two megapixel camera.

Ten years later and the camera is the number one selling point of any smartphone and the ability to use your iPhone as a "phone" seems very quaint.

One of the great things about the iPhone is that it sparked a new smartphone war, with competitors wanting to be the iPhone killer. Competition drives technology further and consumers, no matter what gadget they buy, are the winner.

In one recent survey, most people said they would rather leave their home without their wallet than without their smartphone. In another, a majority said they would rather give up sex for a weekend than give up their smartphone.

My iPhone isn't just on me, it's always on me. And smartphone saturation has changed the way we live.

My life, in the past six years, has been dominated by daily photography projects that has involved me taking a picture on the iPhone every day, editing it on the iPhone and sharing it with the iPhone.

Throughout the day, I frequently listen to audio books on my iPhone. Whether I'm mowing the lawn or running a marathon, I always have my iPhone on me and I'm always using it.

The first thing I reach for when I wake up is my iPhone. It's the last thing I look at as I go to sleep.

It is certainly not the most important thing in my life, but it's close at hand when important things happen, so I can take a picture to record the moment.

To the Apple fanboys, the iPhone is the best thing ever.

Apple

To those who deride the Apple cult, the iPhone is a device that has copied its best features from the true innovators.

Love it or not, it has changed the world. Tech analyst Jan Dawson says not even Steve Jobs knew what the next 10 years would bring when he boasted of "a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything".

Evolution is easy. Revolution is rare.

Now we know what happens when we all carry a smart device on us for 10 years. The big question is what happens next.

Topics:  editors picks games and gadgets ios iphone smart phone


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