In January 2007, Apple released the first version of the iPhone. The iPhone introduced innovative features such as touch screen interfaces and virtual keyboards, marking a revolution in the global smartphone market. At the time, Apple’s iPhone was the main growth driver for the smartphone market, pushing competitors to develop new products and operating systems to respond to new market demands. Apple has released 13 series of the iPhone so far and is now the second-biggest smartphone vendor in the world in terms of shipment.
Much of the iPhone’s success can be attributed to Apple’s ability to keep the product competitive throughout the years with new releases and updates. iPhone sales jumped from around 40 million units in 2010 to more than 206 million units in 2020. In the first quarter of the 2021 fiscal year alone, iPhone sales brought in revenues of almost 66 billion U.S. dollars. As sales increased, the iPhone's importance to the company's success increased as well – the iPhone has become Apple’s most successful product and shapes Apple’s business in fundamental ways. The iPhone’s share of the company’s total revenue has jumped from around one-third in 2009 to around half of the overall revenue in the company’s 2021 fiscal year.
iOS and Apple Store
The iPhone runs on Apple’s mobile operating system, iOS, which is the second most popular smartphone operating system in the world. Each of the 13 iPhone series introduced to the market was accompanied by a major release of the iOS. For downloading applications to the iPhone, the user has to go through the Apple App Store, which has dozens of thousands of applications submitted to release each month. Games, business, and education are the top three most popular app categories in the Apple App Store, with games accounting for about a fifth of all active apps on the platform.
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Research expert covering the global consumer technology industry