iPhone marks 10 years as technology innovator

Global Business

On any street. In almost any major city you’ll see them: Apple’s iPhone. In the last decade, the firm has sold more than one billion phones.

CGTN’s Phil Lavelle takes a look at the product’s evolution.

From finding a ride, to finding a route, to finding a date, it’s effectively a digital concierge.

But wait, there are loads of smartphones out there that do that kind of stuff, and some did it before. Which makes you wonder, why the iPhone gets so much credit.

“This really opened the floodgates for everybody to participate,” mobile device Pocketnow Reviewer Juan Carlos Bagnell said. “Any player that was in the market before the iPhone arrived completely underestimated consumer demand – these were business devices, corporate devices Apple’s great victory was taking the edges off all of these scary, sciencey, nerdy technologies and polishing it all up in a way that most people could interact with. And make it desirable.”

Another Apple achievement is helping ‘selfie’ become an actual world in the dictionary.

Of course, people took photos of themselves before. But the iPhone brought front-facing cameras to a mass audience.

But the iPhone hasn’t all been life through a perfect lens: complaints about conditions for workers on the production line, being overtaken by Google’s Android as the most used mobile operating system.

And there is a continued struggle to achieve dominance in the world’s biggest smartphone market, China

“There are a bunch of domestic phones that flood the market, you can get the basic functionality, you don’t need to shell out and the price gap is huge,” ‘The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone’ Author Brian Merchant said.

That said, the iPhone helped make Apple the world’s most valuable company and kickstarted a billion dollar app industry, something Apple didn’t want at first.

“Steve Jobs, originally, was steadfast, that there was not going to be an app store,” Merchant said.

Just ask any iPhone historian. Yes, they’re a thing. Like the author of this new book – which Apple’s not thrilled about.

“If Steve Jobs, alone, had his way, there might not even be an iPhone,” said Merchant. “He had to be pushed and pressured and get demonstrations of what this technology could do every step of the way.”

And the big question is, what’s next?

Google and Uber are already working on a self-driving car and, reports indicate Apple wants in on the tech.

Bagnell brought up another possibility.

“We’re in the post-PC era, we’re in the mobile era, I think we’re fast approaching that post-smartphone era,” said Bagnell.

And who knows what that will look like. Check back in 2027.

When Apple released its first iPhone in 2007, people lined up for days to be the first to get their hands on one. Ten years later, there’s less enthusiasm for the impact it and other smartphones are having on families.

Numerous studies have highlighted how pervasive they are among teens, but parents can’t put them down either.

CGTN’s Karina Huber has more.

According to Common Sense Media, the average American parent spends seven hours and 43 minutes with screen media every day. And that’s just for personal use.

Researcher Michael Robb said it’s making kids feel they need to compete for their parents’ attention.

“They feel jealous of their parents’ devices because of the kind of attention parents give to their devices,” Robb said. “That’s not all kids, and that’s not to say that there are not good uses of technology in the household, but finding that balance of online use and quality offline time with your family is really one of the biggest challenges we have.”

Studies have shown that parents are also more irritable when they are interrupted while on their devices causing some to react harshly to their children. Part of the problem is they can’t ignore the pings on their phones.

“When we ask parents about the need to respond immediately to those notifications, about 50 percent say they feel the need to immediately respond,” Robb said. “So there’s a lot of pulls on really finite amount of attention that a parent has.”

Beyond the emotional impact, it’s also taking a toll on their growth.

Experts said in the early years, face-to- face interaction is critical. It’s the primary way children learn. They say putting a device between you and your child on a regular basis – could hinder them from achieving developmental milestones and could have a lasting impact.

For more on the impact of smart phones, CGTN’s Karina Huber spoke with Catherine Steiner-Adair, on what she learned after interviewing children about their parents smartphone use.