When Apple’s legendary co-founder and long-time CEO Steve Jobs introduced the first iPhone to the public in 2007, he pitched it as “three revolutionary products.” It was supposed to be “a widescreen iPod with touch controls”, “a revolutionary mobile phone” and “a breakthrough internet communications device,” with the emphasis clearly on the first two points. According to people involved in the iPhone’s development, Apple’s primary goal with the iPhone was much less ambitious than one might think: the plan was to build an iPod that made phone calls.
And yet it was the third of the three products Jobs pitched in 2007 that came closest to describing what the iPhone (and other smartphones) would eventually evolve into: a breakthrough internet communications device. Over the years, smartphones have turned more and more versatile, handling everything from email to gaming, photo editing and video streaming. Anecdotal evidence suggests that many people hardly power on their laptops anymore, simply because they can do anything on their phones, wherever and whenever they want.
According to a recent Comscore report, Americans now spend 70 percent of their digital media usage on smartphones, the lion’s share within apps. Meanwhile desktop use continues to decrease, a trend that is mirrored in faltering PC sales.