Back in 2007 when Steve Jobs announced the first iPhone, the world went crazy. For the first time, a company was making a new phone that didn’t have buttons or a clunky operating system, all key attributes of a smart phone of that time. The iPhone was this sleek glass and metal device that featured a large (by 2007 standards) 3.5” multi-touch display and a internet browser. It was so revolutionary, that it was one of the first times people were lining up days in advanced just to buy a phone. Apple ended up selling over 5 million units. To this day, people still line up in the thousands to buy the latest device from Apple, and every year sales rise higher and higher. So why the title of this article? Why do I think that this fanatic “smartphone excitement” has faded?
Modern smartphones, as advanced as they are, have gone through minimal breakthrough innovations in the last few years. Looking back at the first few iPhone models, every year it seemed like iPhones had major technological breakthroughs. In 2008, the Apple added a app store and 3G to the iPhone, in 2010 they released a phone with two cameras and a revolutionary processor. However, recently, smartphone innovation has slowed. The biggest changes to recent phones have simply been larger screens. Every other area: processor, cameras, features, all have only received minor updates in recent years.
The fact that the iPhone X was the biggest upgrade in recent iPhone history shows just how slow innovation has been. The only discernible difference between the new iPhone X and the previous iPhone 8 (besides a different external shell) is simply the size of the display. The processors, camera, and all other features remain identical. Even the brand new Samsung Galaxy S9 is simply a small facelift of the Galaxy S8 with a better camera.
In recent years, smartphone innovation has been slowing down and a result, customer excitement has been weening too. In more recent years, iPhone launch day lines are shrinking in remote locations and the website for pre-orders hasn’t been crashing due to a craze of millions of people trying to order an iPhone on launch day at midnight. It’s clear that the excitement behind iPhone fans has been slowly shrinking along with slower iPhone innovations.
However, that’s not to say that iPhones and smartphones haven’t become even more popular. iPhone and overall smartphone sales increase every year. The difference is that there isn’t that raw excitement behind these devices that there used to be. Smartphones are simply just devices that we all have nowadays and there is rarely anything super new or exciting about each generation upgrade.
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