One of the amazing gadgets of this era, iPhone celebrated its 7th birthday recently. When Steve Jobs introduced this device to the world on January 9, 2007, it was the beginning of a revolution in the mobile device industry. The BlackBerry OS and Windows Mobile devices had dominated the smartphone market then and followed a staid, corporate-led smartphone paradigm mainly focused on enterprise needs. The iPhone with its capacitive touchscreen and consumer-friendly design was much beyond a communication tool â€“ it came with a music player and a powerful computer to surf the Internet and check email within the palm of your hand – and literally stormed the smartphone market. While Symbian, BlackBerry OS, and Windows Mobile were reluctant to handle additional tasks beyond communication, iPhone OS or iOS featured a robust design with the capabilities of multitasking and graphics to meet high-tech demands. The launch of App Store in 2008 was another pinnacle in the history of iPhone as it began the era of mobile application development by creating a martketplace that provides app developers a direct path to customers, which was unexplored by the then smartphone pioneers. Letâ€™s take a look at iPhoneâ€™s achievements over the years since its launch.
Pioneer in Global Smartphone Market
Appleâ€™s iPhone is undoubtedly one of the most popular smartphones available in the world today. The brand has an indisputable space in the global smartphone market. According to the report released by Strategy Analytics on Q3 2013 (third quarter of 2013) Appleâ€™s sale of just 33.8 million iPhones earned the company more than the combined sales of 211.2 million phones by the worldâ€™s best five phone manufacturers. AppleInsider estimates the mobile industry profits of Apple increased from 53% in the second quarter to 56% in the third quarter of 2013.
Though Appleâ€™s Q4 2013 results (fiscal 2013 fourth quarter ended September 28, 2013) show a quarterly net profit of $7.5 billion compared to a net profit of $8.2 billion in the year-ago quarter, the company sold 33.8 million iPhones, a record for the September quarter, compared to 26.9 million in the year-ago quarter. Appleâ€™s global smartphone sales continue to increase month by month since the release of iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S handsets.
iPhone Reigns as Appleâ€™s Flagship Product
Apple launched several products (iPad, MacBook Air) after iPhone, nothing could mar the huge popularity of this device and it continues to be the flagship product of the company. According to the Barclays Research, iPhone accounted for 53% of Appleâ€™s total revenue when the fiscal year ended at September 30, 2013 while the iPad accounted for only 19%. The gadget alone generated $91.3 billion revenue, more than half of Appleâ€™s total net sales.
Apple revealed that more than 420 million iPhones have been sold in past seven years to people in more than 100 countries. The company sold 33.8 million iPhones compared to 26.9 million in the year-ago quarter. At the same time, it sold only 14.1 million iPads during the September quarter compared to 14 million in the year-ago quarter and 4.6 million Macs compared to 4.9 million.
Overwhelming Popularity of App Store
According to a recent Apple (AAPL) press release, App Store generated more than $10 billion in 2013. App Store customers have downloaded around three billion apps and spent over $1 billion in December alone. Mobile developers earned $15 billion on App Store since its debut in 2008. After hailing 2013 was the best year for App Store ever, Apple says with the introduction of iOS 7, app developers got an opportunity to create stunning apps that exploited the redesigned user interface, and had more than 200 new features and APIs for customers. Apart from the mobile application development for iOS 7, several app developers such as Evernote, AirBnB, OpenTable, and Tumblr re-imagined the user experience along with increasing the overall efficiency and performance of their apps. App Store offers over one million apps to iPhone users and the customers can choose from a vast range of apps in 24 categories.
iPhone 5S â€“ The Latest Entrant
Another big achievement is the release of iPhone 5 in September 2013 in two versions â€“ iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C. According to the survey conducted by CIRP firm, iPhone 5S took 59% of iPhone sales in the final quarter of 2013 while iPhone 5C could grab only 27% of sales. The major features of iPhone 5S are:
- It is 18% thinner and 20% lighter than its predecessor iPhone 4S, with 40X faster CPU and 56X faster GPU than the original iPhone.
- The device has got a new, powerful processor A7 with 64-bit architecture which is first time in a smartphone as per Apple. The A7 processor can process twice as much data at a time than the 32-bit A6 processor.
- A motion co-processor is included in the iPhone 5S which can interact with the physical sensors of iPhone such as the accelerometer, compass and gyrosocope for providing new feedback and options to apps. This chip could include more detailed fitness and exercise apps and the capability to understand whether the user is sitting or standing.
- The device has a built-in Touch ID fingerprint scanner in its Home button which allows the users to tie the security of iPhone to unique personal fingerprint so that the gadget stays very secure.
- The insight camera of this device can take 8 megapixel still images and record 1080p HD video. The camera has got dual-flash for truer-to-life colors, the ability to record a slow-motion video at 120 frames/second in 720p HD and a burst mode to capture up to 10 photos per second.
- The storage capacity of this gadget is 64GB – you can store thousands of songs, dozens of apps and hundred of photos
- This version comes in three colors â€“ silver, space grey and gold.
Some experts say the exclusivity technique of selecting a subset of customers and giving them a special deal on goods or services is the reason for the huge success of iPhone and its continuing ascension over seven years. Apple made their entire iPhone product range exclusive rather than making their special offers exclusive. The most effective form of promotion for any type of product or service is word-of-mouth and this centuryâ€™s extension of word-of-mouth is forums, blog comments and social media. Apple recognized the potential of these outlets and capitalized on them effectively.