10 Years Ago Today

It is 10 years ago today that the most significant consumer technological innovation, possibly of the last 50 years, was introduced. Here is Steve Jobs introducing it:

If you have never seen it, you should watch.

The original iPhone is a shadow of its counter-parts today. But the design is essentially the same. All mobile devices share its core design with a large touch screen and user interface. It is perhaps the quintessential example of a dominant design. It’s core radical innovation was to ditch the fixed keyboard because you could not innovate on apps if you were locked into that. That was radical because the main customers of smart phones until that point had loved their keyboards.

As this innovation occurred during the of my blogging I thought I’d look back and see what I wrote around the time. Here was my first post, right after watching the keynote:

Apple have introduced every major consumer-oriented computer innovation in the last 30 years. With the iPhone they have clearly done it again. The interface is just incredible and it runs OSX. I can highly recommend the demo at www.apple.com.

Watching the keynote demo is enough to bring tears to the eye. Australians will have to wait until 2008 though. It looks like it will be worth the wait.

I was emotional then. I’m emotional still.

A couple of days later, I tried my hand at forecasting what was next for Apple.

I think the most interesting thing about the technology in the iPhone is what it will mean for new products from Apple in the next year or two. Here are some speculations:

1. The iPod design will change to something similar to the iPhone but without the wireless connectivity.

2. Apple will release a tablet device that will be a large version of the iPhone designed to accommodate easy web and email viewing as opposed to pocketable portability. It will probably include a camera the other way for video conferencing and integrate with Apple TV (anyway you might figure). I wonder if it will slot into a fridge but there is a chance that it may be part of a new iMac with separating screen.

3. All MacBooks will migrate to a touch screen option and will have a GSM or Edge integrated option.

4. There will be a GPS navigation version with iPod included specifically for cars.

5. And, finally, for my big hope: an ebook reader that will do to books what the iPod has done to music.

As usual, expect that I will remind you all of things I get right but ignore the rest.

I got 4 out 5 right although Microsoft did do number 3. And yes I was clearly not surprised by the iPad.

It has been 10 years and that technological revolution has now played out. The next one I suspect will be equally unexpected.

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