17 ways the iPhone transformed enterprise tech
“Every once in a while a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything,” said Apple CEO Steve Jobs introducing the iPhone 15 years ago on Jan. 9.
The device kept that promise, ushered in a whole new set of paradigms (and problems), and continues to transform every walk of life. Here are just 17 ways iPhone has changed the enterprise since its launch.
Cracking the Blackberry code
It’s a sign of the times that Blackberry began shutting down all its remaining services for legacy devices on Jan. 4, 2022.
When Apple introduced the iPhone, BlackBerry was absolutely the prime choice for business user devices, followed by similar solutions from Palm and some others. Equipped with dinky little QWERTY keyboards, these devices were so popular people referred to them as “CrackBerries.”
It took a while for iPhones to supplant these devices, and it’s arguable that BlackBerry management was too ideologically blind to see the threat coming even after the iPhone was introduced. BlackBerry’s high point came in 2013 when it had 85 million BlackBerry subscribers; that figure shrank rapidly as smartphones based on the iPhone took the market. Employees will now quit for platform choice.
Changing the enterprise
iPhones didn’t set out to replace BlackBerry. Nor, realistically, did they begin as devices to replace your digital camera.
Jobs at first described the device as a “widescreen iPod with touch controls, a revolutionary mobile phone and a breakthrough internet communications device.” A camera didn’t even get a mention.
What did get called out was full-scale web access, flexible email, and always-on connectivity — all in one small device controlled by touch.
It was limited. Apple originally intended for third-party development to emerge in the form of web apps, which limited the number of available apps from the get go. All the same, it soon became popular, with sales climbing from 1.39 million in 2007 to 125 million by 2012. During that time, the company endured the sad loss of Jobs, the iPhone 4S (affectionately known as the “iPhone 4 Steve”) and iPhone 5 (six models).
Consumers loved the iPhone, which is why other mobile operating systems copied it. They loved it so much that by 2012 Bring Your Own Device had become a thing and it became increasingly common to see business professionals equipped with iPhones and iPads. Now, the device dominates the mobile enterprise.
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