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What would mobile phones be like today if the iPhone did not exist?

Whether we like it or not, the iPhone has revolutionized how we understand mobile telephony. Until its introduction in 2007, the phones we were used to only improved on camera, but its software and design philosophy had changed little in concept since the first mobiles in the late 1990s. Apple decided to follow a new path and reinvent everything we know so far. The others followed it like sheep, and today we have mobiles that have nothing to do with what existed five years ago.

The most skeptical refuse to accept that the iPhone revolutionized the mobile phone market. It is true that Apple did not invent anything new . It simply fitted components that already existed like no one else had ever done before: a phone that had almost no buttons, in which the main protagonist was the screen . Yes, touch screens already existed, but there are still few phones that match the smoothness of that iPhone.

What would mobile phones be like today if the iPhone did not exist?
What would mobile phones be like today if the iPhone did not exist?

Just look at the image below. Look at how mobile phones were before Apple introduced the iPhone : They were colorful, bizarre and with impossible designs; especially some Nokia models, where the keyboard had very different shapes.

What was known years ago as the smartphone were phones with a tiny screen, with an interface from the days of Windows 3.11, and which at best had a stylus that let us press tiny buttons that no finger could ever hit . The main character was his physical keyboard, which was always there, whether we needed it or not.

The iPhone reinvents the concept

Everything that previously kept us happy like what a smartphone should be was forgotten by the iPhone. Apple took a totally different path, and the competition followed them like sheep .

The keyboard wasn’t always there, only when needed. The buttons were large and easily accessible by finger. The interface looked modern and loaded with animations. Everything was different, many people found it to be a toy for the rich that didn’t look much better than their crude phones .

When the iPhone came on the market, the only phone it was comparable to was the Nokia N95 , the flagship of the Finns. They were nothing alike, but the anti-Apple people criticized it because the original iPhone had no 5-megapixel camera and did not record video. And how many things did the iPhone do that the Nokia did not even know about? Ah, since they didn’t even exist they weren’t worth comparing. In Applesfera you can read many pearls in the comments of users who put the Nokia N95 on an altar.

The iPhone was the first in many things

Cupertino’s phone was a pioneer in many concepts and ideas which we take for granted today, but which were a revolution back in 2007 .

Something as simple as the web browser; the iPhone was the first phone that allowed us to surf the Internet almost as if we were in a computer . The phones of that time were unable to browse complex websites, as the rendering engines of their Java-based browsers were very poor. The best smartphones were able to move around the familiar baby Internet , which were nothing more than very simplified versions of web pages built in very basic HTML.

Today it is normal for any self-respecting phone to have an accelerometer that changes the orientation of the interface depending on the position of the phone . It’s so simple and intuitive that we take it for granted that it must be there. The interfaces of the time had a scattered option to activate landscape mode in those applications that supported it. On the iPhone you just had to turn the phone around.

When you view a photo, to zoom in your fingers go straight to the screen to zoom in. If you do a little memory, you will remember that to zoom in on a photo on your mobile you had to enter the menu and from there activate the zoom mode. More advanced handsets even allowed you to zoom in with the volume buttons. On the iPhone you didn’t have to enter any menu, you just had to pinch the screen . It’s so simple that it’s hard to believe that no one would have thought of it before.

We are all used to entering almost daily the app store of our phone . But in the past this did not exist. We had to surf the Internet and forums to get applications; it was all scattered around. So much so that even Apple itself did not bet on it at first, and the first iPhone did not carry any more applications than those that Apple put in the standard system. However, the jailbreak made Apple wake up and present a solution to the applications: an app store. The App Store opened on July 10, 2008 and no, the original idea was not Android’s; Google introduced the Android Market more than a month later: on August 28, 2008.

Our minds were so closed to what could be an iPhone that we couldn’t see beyond an iPod with a phone or a Phone with iTunes or clickwheel . We just need to go to Google Images and see the mockups that were there at the time. Shell phones with iTunes, iPod with stylus , iPod with sliding keyboard, etc.

The iPhone does not have Flash, what a delay

It was one of the biggest reviews of the Apple phone: no flash! How dare Cupertino say it’s as complete a browser as a computer if you can’t see Flash content on the iPhone?

The criticism was rekindled when Adobe released the mobile version of Flash for Android. hahaha, Apple’s a sucker. Adobe preferred to release Flash for Android and forgot about the iPhone Not really, Adobe had been trying to get Flash into the iPhone since its inception . But Apple didn’t want to. Steve Jobs was very stubborn and time proved him right. So much so that Adobe officially announced the cessation of Flash development for mobile devices.

HTML 5 is very powerful and more optimized than Flash, with this Flash was not necessary. After years of insistence by Adobe, they gave up on their attempt. Flash is disappearing from the web in favor of HTML 5 and Adobe itself is leaving the platform that gave it so much joy. Now their web development tools are focused on HTML 5.

Steve Jobs was clear: Flash was a vulnerability sieve, it wasn’t meant to be used in a touch interface and it was a resource eater. Besides, the late CEO was not at all happy with Adobe; the endless story of the Carbon libraries in the Creative Suite is one of the reasons for his displeasure.

No one is going to spend 600 euros on a phone, the iPhone will be an absolute failure

It was one of the great pearls of American managers that have come to light throughout history. Does anyone remember the one about the Hewlett Packard manager who said why we would want to have a computer at home? Well, Ballmer’s was not far behind in terms of magnitude.

Microsoft’s CEO said that no one was going to spend 600 euros on a phone and get very cheap operator-subsidized phones. Windows Mobile was very powerful and had more applications than the iPhone . The iPhone was a stillborn phone.

The years have spoken for themselves: iOS is the market leader and Apple sells over 17,000 iOS devices a day . Failure is not something that can be considered a failure. The most remarkable thing is that these sales figures increase exponentially every quarter.

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