How successful was the first iPhone

10 years iPhone : The first smartphone was a Nokia

On August 15, 1996, the Finnish cell phone manufacturer Nokia launched the first smartphone, the "Nokia 9000 Communicator". The company advertises it as a "pocket-sized office". The device weighs almost half a kilogram, four times as much as the iPhone. The new cell phone is not a bargain either, it cost 2,700 D-Marks, or just under 1,400 euros. In addition to making calls, it can also send and receive faxes and emails, and even access websites via an HTML browser - but only very, very slowly.

The initial reactions are accordingly cautious. There is also disagreement as to whether the IBM device, the "Simon Personal Communicator", was not the first smartphone. But you can't surf the web with "Simon", a key feature of a smartphone. IBM soon withdrew from the market, and in 1998 the company added WAP-enabled devices. This should make mobile websites accessible more quickly. The term "smartphone" was only coined two years later by the Swedish company Ericsson, which advertised its R380 model as such. In 2002, Blackberry launched its first smartphone.

The first iPhone

The great hype surrounding the new technology didn't begin until five years later, when Apple CEO Steve Jobs presented the first iPhone on January 9, 2007. The group's co-founder demonstrates a single device that includes three devices in one: an iPod, a cell phone and a mobile communication device. Above all, it should be easy and intuitive to use compared to the previous models of the competition. Instead, the new iPhone no longer has a keyboard, but a large touch-sensitive screen. 270,000 devices changed hands on the first day of sale in July.

But Jobs misses the self-imposed goal of addressing the non-technology-loving target group with the iPhone. At 599 US dollars including a cell phone contract, the first iPhone is too expensive for the general public. The Apple boss takes this criticism to heart. The next model, the iPhone 3G, which Jobs introduced in June 2008, costs just $ 199 plus an additional cell phone contract.

The competition follows suit

The original pioneers of mobile phone technology such as Nokia, Motorola and Blackberry have been taken by surprise by the concept and have no answer ready. Only Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who is a board member at Apple, has got wind of the plans. That's why he took over the start-up Android in 2005. After the iPhone premiere, Android will develop an alternative mobile operating system. In October 2008, the HTC Dream, the first Android smartphone, will hit the market.

In July 2009, Samsung, today's market leader, released the first device with the Android operating system, the Galaxy GT-i7500. The third generation of the iPhone appears in the same year. Just one year later, Steve Jobs presented the iPhone 4 in a completely new design. The device breaks all sales records, although users report problems with antenna and reception. Jobs dies on October 5, 2011 - just one day after Tim Cook, Jobs successor, presented the iPhone 4S.

Ten years after the first iPhone, Samsung is the market leader. In 2016, the company expected 350 million units to be sold. Apple sold 211.9 million iPhones. And the number 3 among smartphone manufacturers, the Chinese manufacturer Huawei, announced that it would attack number 2 at the world's largest technology show in Las Vegas. With its new top model “Mate9” with installed voice assistant “Alexa” it wants to compete with the iPhone 7.

Now new: We give you 4 weeks of Tagesspiegel Plus! To home page