Tomorrow (29th June) marks ten years since Apple first put the iPhone on sale, a decade in which the device has made changes in every sector from retail to banking. With critics unsure on its launch, the device sold over 270,000 units in its first 30 hours on sale, and continues to sell at a rate of nearly 400 devices per minute.
The growing universality of the iOS operating system, as the iPhone now tops 1 billion devices worldwide, means that businesses ignore the next decade’s possibilities of iOS at their peril, according to Apple mobility partner WWT Asynchrony Labs. In retail especially, personalisation, made possible by linking individual devices to a brand’s offering, is an entirely new innovation. By offering the chance to get closer to customers and potential customers, mobile applications are part and parcel of a modern retail strategy.
Bob Elfanbaum, Co-head of WWT Asynchrony Labs said, “at the time of release, Apple’s slogan for the product was ‘This is only the beginning’. These words have turned out prophetic as whole industries now rely on the iOS platform to provide products, services and information – there are in fact more than 2 million apps, on which customers spent around £23 billion last year. It is hard to think of another platform that has had such an impact in terms of changing consumer behaviour and providing new possibilities for businesses to change the way they interact with customers.
“It’s amazing how the iPhone has come full circle in retail. Originally a top-selling product, Apple’s device is now a tool that retailers leverage to drive sales of a plethora of different goods from homeware to high-tech gadgets. The ubiquity of mobile apps has completely changed many business models. Take, Uber and Airbnb – two businesses which have shot to success through their clever positioning of app-based services. Older firms have also experience rejuvenation as their products now find completely new markets as a result of mobile services.”
The first iPhone was officially unveiled by Apple’s late Founder, Steve Jobs on 9th January 2007 and was then put on sale on 29th June 2007.