The iPhone problem

THE iPHONE IS PROBABLY one of the world’s most popular technological achievements. It revolutionised the mobile phone industry when it was introduced in 2007, and I strongly recommend you take the time to watch the inspirational and charismatic Steve Jobs making its introduction:

The iPhone is a fantastic music player, movie player, camera, web browser, calculator and address book. It’s capable of performing an almost innite array of additional tasks, limited only by the imagination of the thousands of third-party developers who contribute the fruits of their work to the app store.

The trouble is, it’s not a very good phone. The audio quality isn’t that great, and it has a disturbing tendency to drop calls. So why didn’t Apple concentrate on getting the phone side of it sorted out?

Because—and this is just my view—Apple never had that much interest in making a telephone.

What Steve Jobs really wanted was to get a mobile computer into everyone’s pocket. At the time, even in the relatively recent past of 2007, that was an unthinkable proposition. No-one really wanted a pocket computer, or could imagine why they might need such a device. And so Jobs realised that the only way to achieve his goal would be to smuggle a computer into a phone, because everyone wants a mobile phone.

To date, Apple has sold over a billion of these pocket computers. They must be doing something right.



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