“Steve Jobs recently declared during an internal company meeting that he believes all phones will, some day, work the same way as the iPhone and that those who worked at Apple during the iPhone launch will be able to tell their grandchildren about it.”
2007 - Source
I’ve been accused of being a fanboy of many clubs over the past fifteen years. I remember when it was AMD and Intel battling it out before Intel introduced the Core architecture. Then it was 3DFX vs NVIDIA which turned into NVIDIA vs ATI that has now become AMD vs NVIDIA. There was also OS X vs Windows and most recently, iPhone vs everything else. My answer has always been that I’ve been a fanboy of technology- show me a better overall product than the one I’ve been preaching about and you’ll see me convert almost immediately.
What has changed over the years is how we use and measure technology. It’s no longer something purely analytical such as faster benchmarks or lower heat generation or smaller dye-sizes. We’re at a point where our hearts decide what works better for us. And sometimes we force our biased opinion on others because we don’t have the analytical data to prove it. Maybe this post of mine will come across as something like that but I knew I had to write something after reading some of the most absurd reactions of people on the Apple vs. Samsung case verdict on my twitter feed.
But instead of sharing my own personal opinions, which some of you will label as biased before even attempting to read this article, I decided to put together quotes from some of the most popular, reputable and respectable websites. These are quotes from their original iPhone review back in 2007- long before every Smartphone looked like a slab of glass from top to bottom. Before we get to the quotes, here are pictures from three of the articles I’ve used comparing the iPhone to the then-current crop of Smartphones.
Image taken from Anandtech's iPhone review
Image taken from Ars Technica's iPhone review
Image taken from GSM Arena's iPhone review
I’m not sure what your eyes see but what I see is that the original iPhone looking very different than almost all other Smartphones that were available at it’s time. Now lets get to the quotes from five years back. I’ve arranged these quotes alphabetically based on the name of the website.
“The iPhone’s interface is its biggest selling point. For years you’ve had to force yourself to conform to your cell phone’s UI, the iPhone is the first phone I’ve used that works the way you’d expect it to. The elegance and simplicity of the interface just makes sense…”
“…going back and forth between it (iPhone) and the Samsung Blackjack or the Blackberry Curve just highlights how much of an improvement in usability it is over the competition.”
“The iPhone is now out and promises to revolutionize the way we use our phones forever. You don’t have to love it; you don’t even have to like it. You will, however, be witness to a great upheaval in the mobile communications business because of it. ”
“…like iPod 1.0, this design set out to accomplish the basics of what a full-featured Internet phone should be.”
“To date no one’s made a phone that does so much with so little, and despite the numerous foibles of the iPhone’s gesture-based touchscreen interface, the learning curve is surprisingly low. It’s totally clear that with the iPhone, Apple raised the bar…”
“Only a few days after launch it’s easy to see June 29th as a watershed moment that crystalized the fact that consumers will pay more for a device that does more — and treats them like a human being, not a cellphone engineer. Imagine that.”
“This is what the phone of the future will look like”
“Look at other handsets from Nokia, Helio, Palm, Sony Ericsson, LG and Samsung; or anything running the vomit-inducing Windows Mobile.”
“First of all the speed is incredible – no lags, no hanging, simply marvelous. Plus, now you get to use the revolutionary gesture-based (or multi-touch) control system.”
“When it comes to touch navigation, the iPhone offers probably the most intuitive and user-friendly interface interaction we’ve seen so far.”
New York Times
But even in version 1.0, the iPhone is still the most sophisticated, outlook-changing piece of electronics to come along in years. It does so many things so well, and so pleasurably, that you tend to forgive its foibles.
Wall Street Journal
Our verdict is that, despite some flaws and feature omissions, the iPhone is, on balance, a beautiful and breakthrough handheld computer. Its software, especially, sets a new bar for the smart-phone industry, and its clever finger-touch interface, which dispenses with a stylus and most buttons, works well…”
“…the iPhone is a whole new experience and a pleasure to use.”
Yes, I’ve highlighted some words from the quotes above to make a statement. Phones did not look or behave the way they do now before the iPhone was introduced. Apple did in fact disrupt the industry, revolutionized the way Smartphones were used and changed the game forever by setting a new bar.
“And boy, have we patented it!” – Steve Jobs
Competition is good- it certainly breeds innovation. Look at Windows Phone which I think has a better looking UI than iOS. Look at Google Now which is a fantastic tool for location-aware services. But simply copying a design to make your consumer buy a wanna-be product, well, that had to be stopped sooner or later. Apple has every right to defend something it created.