TIME Names iPhone Most Influential Gadget of All Time

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TIME Magazine today published a list ranking the 50 most influential gadgets of all time, from cameras and TVs to music players, smartphones, and drones.

Unsurprisingly, Apple's iPhone was ranked as the number one most influential device on TIME's list, because it "fundamentally changed our relationship to computing and information," popularized mobile apps, and influenced the future of smartphone design.

Apple was the first company to put a truly powerful computer in the pockets of millions when it launched the iPhone in 2007. Smartphones had technically existed for years, but none came together as accessibly and beautifully as the iPhone.

Apple's device ushered in a new era of flat, touchscreen phones with buttons that appeared on screen as you needed them, replacing the chunkier phones with slide-out keyboards and static buttons.
Apple's Macintosh also ranked high on the list, coming in as the number three most influential gadget for setting the standard for "the way human beings interact with computers." The iPod, the precursor to the iPhone and the device that inspired Apple's line of mobile products, was listed as the ninth most influential gadget.

The only other Apple products to make the list are the iPad and the iBook. On the list for being "radically different" than the tablets that came before it, the iPad is ranked at number 25, while the iBook, the first laptop to offer wireless networking, is ranked at number 38.
The product's reveal was a classic example of Steve Jobs' showmanship at its best. While loading a webpage and showing off the computer's display at 1999's MacWorld conference, the Apple co-founder lifted the computer off its table and walked across the stage. The crowd roared in approval. In a gesture, he showed that Wi-Fi was here to stay.
Other smartphones that made the list include the Motorola Droid, credited with popularizing Android, the BlackBerry 6210, and the candy bar-shaped Nokia 3210, the first phone with an internal antenna and built-in games.

The full list, which includes products like Google Glass, Fitbit, Amazon Kindle, Oculus Rift, the Sony Walkman, and more, is available from the TIME website.

Article Link: TIME Names iPhone Most Influential Gadget of All Time
 
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exodiusprime

macrumors regular
Jun 24, 2010
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A shame it's losing its influence nowadays :(

What happened to the innovative Apple we all remember that basically punched every competitor in the face when the first iPhone hit in 2007? Surely we haven't ran out of ideas to make something "magical" again, have we? Besides a new camera and 3D Touch, what reason do people have to really upgrade from an iPhone 6? Things get faster each year, but it seems no company can create something that blows people away quite like that unveiling of the original iPhone. </rant>
 

orioncrystalice

macrumors 6502
Jan 21, 2014
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I think this may be the first time a Time article has acknowledged the term "power metal", and even a halfway accurate reference at that. I'm impressed.
 

MentalFloss

macrumors 65816
Mar 14, 2012
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A shame it's losing its influence nowadays :(

What happened to the innovative Apple we all remember that basically punched every competitor in the face when the first iPhone hit in 2007?
People said similar things in 2006. Apple milked the iPod's success for a very very long time, while developing new things in the background.

The problem is most people's short attention span when it comes to innovation. They think a company is only innovative if they release something life-changing once a year. Or even better, twice a year.

For innovation to happen, many things have to fall in place. The first iPhone required wireless technology, good batteries, high-performing low-power processors, capacitive multitouch and a great operating system to bring everything together. Some technologies had to mature, while others had just come into mainstream existence. Which new or newly matured technologies are there now to drive the next round of innovation?
 

apolloa

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Oct 21, 2008
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Time, because it rules EVERYTHING!
Not surprising, Times seem to love Apple no matter what. I would not claim it's the most influential gadget of all time. It's almost implying Apple invented the mobile phone! Yeah don't worry about Motorola....

EDIT::
Hmm seems a strange story and list, I guess they have separated 'Inventions' from "gadgets' seeing as one of the first Motorola mobile phones is way down the list.
Their write up of the iPhone is incorrect too, we did have flat touchscreen phones before the iPhone, I think.
 
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Paradoxally

macrumors 68000
Feb 4, 2011
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Sorry Time but Tv had a much greater impact than an iPhone and still is, remove the TV from our lives, see what your life will be like!
Not in 2016. The Internet has a much broader use, and people are spending a lot more time on the Internet than watching TV. Maybe at the turn of the century TV was king, but now you can watch anything online.
 

Paradoxally

macrumors 68000
Feb 4, 2011
1,643
2,071
A shame it's losing its influence nowadays :(

What happened to the innovative Apple we all remember that basically punched every competitor in the face when the first iPhone hit in 2007? Surely we haven't ran out of ideas to make something "magical" again, have we? Besides a new camera and 3D Touch, what reason do people have to really upgrade from an iPhone 6? Things get faster each year, but it seems no company can create something that blows people away quite like that unveiling of the original iPhone. </rant>
We cannot possibly expect a revolution so profound as the smartphone every 10 or so years. I'd say the next big thing comes in 15-20 years.
 

Iconoclysm

macrumors 68020
May 13, 2010
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Washington, DC
All of these coming under Jobs' leadership.

That says it all.
It's not just that they were under Jobs, they came from a company who was reinventing itself and had room to breath. The current Apple, no matter who it is under, is an immense behemoth like Microsoft in the early 2000's. It's difficult to turn on a dime, probably even more difficult to meet the expectations of your flagship product with something new.
 

kevinkyoo

macrumors 6502a
Feb 5, 2016
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Within the cellphone ecosystem, absolutely. I still remember seeing the first model and just being amazed of how it incorporated a phone and an MP3 player. It just got better and better (I'll even admit that I've grown to love the 6S/plus models). However, saying that it is THE most influential gadget of all time seems a bit of a stretch.
 
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