In what ways did the iPhone actually innovate?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Soundburst, Jun 29, 2010.

  1. Soundburst macrumors 6502a

    Oct 4, 2006
    Ok guys,

    Was having an argument with someone who says the iPhone isn't innovative at all. Basically said that everything on it was just a progression of technology available at the time.

    Can anyone give me a list of things in the iPhone that apple created and then implemented into the iPhone?

    Multi touch?...tap to focus?...sensors?

    Were all these invented by Apple?

    Thanks in advance c
  2. countrydweller macrumors 6502


    Jul 16, 2009
    The user interface was the difference, it set the iPhone apart from others.
  3. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    A phone that does NOT require a 100 page manual to operate anything besides dialing
    A phone that's easy to back up
    A touch screen phone that's responsive
    And many more

    But some people are blind, so save your breath.
  4. s8film40 macrumors 6502


    Aug 14, 2007
    The list is way too long, but all you have to do is look at all the phones prior to iPhone and all the Phones post iPhone. The iPhone clearly changes the smart phone market.
  5. Silencio macrumors 68020


    Jul 18, 2002
    Apple is usually not the first company to implement new technologies, but they're usually the first company to implement new technologies in a way that's really beneficial to the user.

    IIRC, the iPhone was the first mass market mobile device to implement a capacitive touchscreen with multi-touch gesture support. Pretty much every smartphone out there has followed Apple's lead. Just tell your friend that if it weren't for the iPhone, every smartphone would still look like a BlackBerry or a Samsung BlackJack. :rolleyes:
  6. abijnk macrumors 68040


    Oct 15, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    I don't think you need to get some list for your friend, I think you need to get him/her a dictionary:

    emphasis mine.
  7. me2000 macrumors 6502

    Sep 17, 2008
    Just have to see the crappy phones that were out before the iPhone was released and look at what's available now.

    I'm sure if the iPhone never happened we wouldn't see the awesome devices we have today.

    iPhone innovated the multi-touch, super-responsive touch screen. iPhone created an easy to use and intuitive user interface that anyone could understand. iPhone actually made a phone FUN to use. Look at the app store... Everyone else is trying to catch up.
  8. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

    Nov 7, 2007
    New Sanfrakota
    Primarily mass adoption of smartphones by the general public.
  9. huskerchad macrumors regular

    Jul 17, 2002
  10. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    During the 2000's I owned:

    Kyocera Palm - my first "smart phone"
    Samsung i300 Palm - my first usable "smartphone"
    Samsung i500 Palm - The first "smartphone" I actually enjoyed
    Palm Treo 700p - A reluctant replacement for my aging i500 once Samsung made it clear they were dumping Palm.

    All of these phones were remarkable for their time time but they all were a pain to use. I can see how someone would say that the iPhone had nothing "new." These smartphone predicessors had plenty of features -- they just did not work all that well. Oh how many times did my Treo crash b/c the browser got hung up on a non-mobile website. My first iPhone was also the first "smartphone" I used that I wanted to use for things other than making phone calls. Credit multi-touch w/ this, credit OS X, credit Apple for caring about more than just how a spec sheet reads. There is a reason people line up to buy iPhones like no other phone with similar specs.
  11. YoungLew macrumors regular

    Jun 8, 2009
    i think the way it can make a relatively complicated task seem like a doddle to your average non-tech savvy person is fairly innovative feature in itself.

    Remember, it's not what it does, it's the way it does it.

    I try explaining that to so many people.
  12. Paulywauly macrumors 6502a


    Sep 26, 2009
    Durham, UK
    Well Apple really reinvigorated what was becoming a pretty stagnant industry, phones before were simply given better specs and the user experience was secondary, then the iPhone changed that.

    Back then i was using a Nokia N95 which at the time which was top of it game but in terms of software the original iPhone just blew it away. it wasnt the best specced phone and was missing features, didnt have an app store yet but it showed other manufacturers how phone software was done. It gave pretty much every other manufacturer a kick to improve there phones and if you look back theres a truly massive difference between phones released before and after that point.

    As has already been said its not worth arguing these points with people as there most likely the kind of ignorant folk who judge a phone based on how many megapixels its camera has, just take comfort in the fact you know better :)
  13. dmelgar macrumors 68000

    Apr 29, 2005
    Best new product definition. iPhone truly revolutionary when it came out.

    Best internet communication device bar none when it came out. The whole experience allowed you to reasonably view full web pages for the first time on a mobile phone.

    Focus on simplicity and usability.

    Phones up to that date were purposely neutered so the phone companies could charge more money to fix the problems they purposely put in. Like the inability to sync calendar and contacts. Outrageous monthly cost to use an app. Restricted access to the web.

    iPhone broke the model and opened up access to the world wide web on your phone.

    Other than that broad statement, I'd say everything having to do with the web experience put together was revolutionary and innovative. Each individual item may have been done before, but never put together to create something of such value.

    • Touch screen
    • Multi touch
    • Each individual gesture. Swipe to scroll, pitch, zoom.
    • Usability that makes you think you're moving a physical object. Bouncing at edge of pages, etc. Immediate and accurate tracking of your finger when scrolling or panning.
    • Form factor. Large screen touch display as practically the only UI. No keyboard.
    • Proximity sensor to shut off display when you hold it up to your head.
    • Accelerometer
    All put together making something truly new and innovative. I think the original iPhone is really amazing.
  14. Nykwil macrumors 65816


    Nov 5, 2002
    Boston, MA
    Think about it like this, before the iPhone came out, cellphone carriers dictated what software you can install on your device. Also, you couldn't just install and update your phones by yourself at all.

    Before the iPhone came out, google's android was supposed to be a windows mobile type devices with keyboards and a totally different non touch UI.

    the iPhone came onto the scene and boom google up and changes it all and goes for a touchscreen concept
  15. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    The most important thing is that it introduced (to the public) the concept of a touch interface that controls the data directly.

    Most touch screens prior to that were simply replacing the mouse with your finger. You were still expected to opperate the computer in the same way you always had.

    The iPhone removed a layer of abstraction and put you in direct contact with your things instead of touching a control-thing that moves your actual-thing.

    The next decade is going to be the biggest computer transition since our move from isolated personal computers to networked internet machines. The internet transition was roughly 1995-2005. This next change will mostly be 2010-2020 (although the iPhone kind of got us into the game a few years early).

    The iPhone didn't invent it (it was inevitable and many are working on it) but the iPhone was what kick started it all and brought it from the lab to the user. It was the first shot in a decade-long war of change.

    Like, you can say that the internet has been around since the 70's, but it was AOL in the late 90's that popularized it and brought it to the masses. The iPhone was the same thing. The things it did weren't new, but it brought it to people who'd never seen it before. That's an important step and someone has to do it before everyone else will follow. (And boy, did they!)
  16. eastercat macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    The iPhone is akin to the iPod. The iPod wasn't the first mp3 player, however it did become the standard against which mp3 players would be judged.
    It's the same way with the iPhone; it's not the first with a touch screen, mp3 player, browser or applications. However, Apple was the first to make it a fluid, easy experience. I remember a friend asked me to google a song and its performers. As usual I looked it up. While I was doing so, I remembered my friend had a blackberry. Surely that physical keyboard would be faster than my hunt and peck style. So I asked why he didn't look it up on his phone. He shrugged and said that his browser wasn't that great.
    So if you can call it an innovation, tell your friend that Apple followed through on the idea that smartphones were supposed to be easy to use.
  17. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Jul 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    Capacitive screen instead of resistive screen.
    Seriously good rich browser.

    You can point to any tech on the iPhone and say that someone used it first, but its the integration of all these technologies with great software that was innovative.
  18. gceo macrumors 6502a


    Jul 13, 2007
    San Diego, CA
    These are things that didn't exist before iPhone (that I'm aware of)

    1. Visual Voicemail
    2. Activating from home
    3. App Store (huge)
    4. Easily backed up with free software (iTunes, at the time Moto charged for theirs)
    5. Shared content across Desktop to Phone (purchase on phone, play on comp)
    6. Capacitance touch screen
    7. Multiple windows open at once browser
    8. Video editing
    9. Open source video chatting
    10. Oleophobic screen coatings

    And finally, the iPhone became the rabbit that everyone is chasing, which is the number one reason for everyone making better phones today.

    Remember before the iPhone, the best out there was something like a Motorola Q

Share This Page