The original iPhone is known as the ‘first modern smartphone’ in the world. Of course, there were smartphones even before as well but those were PDAs and smart devices in all shapes and phones.
For instance, Simon from Bellphone had a monochrome touch screen with a stylus to operate, the ability to schedule meetings, limited third-party apps support, and more. However, it was only in 2007 when Apple launched a rather minimalistic technological marvel that changed the way we use smartphones today.
iPhones Changed The World But What If iPhones Never Existed?
In 2023, the iPhone has a major share of the pie in the smartphone segment. Unlike Android which has dozens of big-ticket brands and startups such as Samsung and Nothing, iPhones use iOS with a total market share of 27.6% by OS.
However, things would have been a lot different if the iPhone hadn’t been invented. Ever wondered why? There are hundreds of theories and hypotheses around this particular question so let’s have a look at the top four that we found amusing.
Blackberry Would Have Survived
Before Android and iOS started dominating the market, Blackberry was the ultimate king and had various models under its belt that could do whatever smartphones at the time were capable of. However, as Samsung and Apple drew into power, Blackberry took a side stand failing to keep up with these brands.
If iPhones never existed in an alternate universe, Blackberry would still have a few years to innovate and stay at the top even today. In reality, Apple spiked the rate of innovation, calling it due to its passion for technology or the competition but things would’ve worked in favor of Blackberry if it had kept the pace while removing iPhones from this reality.
Google Wouldn’t Have Licensed Android To OEM
As of now, Android OS rules the smartphone market with 71.8% coverage. With Apple not in the frame, Google might have not licensed its OS to OEMs such as Samsung, Xiaomi, and OnePlus among others forcing them to build upon their OS independently or seek out help from OSes available in the market at the time.
Developing an entire operating system is technically a colossal job that requires heavy technology bandwidth, a dump of capital, and manpower. It would’ve been impossible for a startup such as Nothing to be able to get an OS of its own. In other words, the world would’ve less number of competitors in the market fighting to achieve dominance.
Technological Innovation Would’ve Proceeded At Snail’s Speed
Apple is currently on top of technological innovations such as the latest satellite connectivity, blazing-fast chipsets, impeccable photography, and the mobile internet to name a few. Apple is constantly working to improve user performance, its lineup of devices, the hardware, software, and services alike in order to stay ahead of its competitors such as Samsung and Xiaomi.
However, assuming Apple doesn’t exist in this alternate reality, innovations are likely happening at a snail’s speed. Blackberry would’ve existed without faltering by failing to innovate, Nokia would still be in power, and other Android phones might have average cameras unlike iPhones to name a few. Chipsets would see marginal improvements over generations given Apple doesn’t exist to spend billions in R&D pushing other chipmakers to innovate into techs.
iOS is considered one of the best OS today as Apple keeps it updated for years, unlike Android. With no iPhone in the picture, Android or even other OS would’ve dominated the market, probably slapping their phones with a year or two of support. Again, this is merely a hypothesis so take it with a pinch of salt.
Social Media Apps In a Different League
Things might’ve looked wildly different if iPhones never existed. Today, social media apps are prominent on our phones be it Snapchat, Instagram, or Facebook. Apple was among the first to bring internet experience to smartphones and eventually, it picked up the wind with apps developed for both iOS and Android alike.
With no iPhones, you would still need a so-called device to use social media apps but they might still lag in terms of functionalities. You would have to run to your office or home to check for updates on the PC rather than scrolling on your iPhones (well, they don’t exist, right?).
With no iPhones in the picture, people might not even bother buying bulky phones easing the social media addiction problem which seems like a positive impact, however, it’s not just the social media apps for fun but people use them for a million other reasons.
You could be using WhatsApp on your iPhone to track orders for your business. Without the iPhone and the assortment of technologies and innovations it brought for more than 15 years now, these usual activities might even look far stretched if you think about it.
Digital Music Might Not Have Been A Thing
Feeling like listening to a song? Go to Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube, or countless other avenues and you get to listen to all your songs and podcasts. That’s all without having to physically carry a CD player or a pack of CDs of different albums and singers.
Well, I would say Apple gets the due credit for organized digital music streaming and playback thanks to its iPod, integration with iTunes, and Digital Rights Management (DRM). Yep, Apple made it possible to play countless music on your phone without having to buy individual CDs. You can own a piece of music for playback with iTunes rather than listening to a copyrighted piece carved out from pirated sites.
This gave rise to many music streaming sites including but not limited to Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon Music, and beyond. Of course, this doesn’t mean Apple is responsible for bringing music due to the digital revolution, it just helped make it accessible to all and quickly.