On Wednesday, the iPhone marked its fourth anniversary. The first smartphone of the company was sold on June 29, 2007 and was the official start to what would become iOS and arguably Apple’s key business. Apple sold only 273,000 devices that opening weekend on one carrier and one country but today it ships almost as many every day to dozens of countries and has 200 million iOS devices on the market.
At the time, Apple had targeted to move 10 million iPhones in its first year and to claim one percent of the total phone market. It now has four times as much share and has outpaced many of the companies others had presumed would defeat it in growth, including Sony Ericsson, Motorola, and most recently RIM. Nokia still outsells Apple at least for now but primarily blames the iPhone for pulling its market share down immensely and forcing the company to ultimately switch to Windows Phone. Palm’s failure and selloff to HP has also been mostly credited to Apple.
One this you all would agree to is that the iPhone is the pioneer in establishing the modern smartphone business model. Apple was the first to make a genuinely optimized, intuitive touchscreen phone. It also single-handedly popularized mobile apps after many years of slow performance from Microsoft, Palm, and RIM.