It seems like only yesterday when Apple entered the smartphone market with the release of the beautiful and unique iPhone. At that time, it was thought to be a bit of a gutsy move considering they had no experience in that sector and were attempting to compete in an industry that already seemed saturated with big names such as Nokia and Samsung.

With the announcement and release of the sixth-generation iPhone fast approaching, I think it is safe to say that Apple has managed to build themselves a winning product with their smartphone, with users from every corner of the globe recognizing it as an industry leader. New and existing smartphone users are always keen to get their hands on any new release, with the iPhone also managing to spawn a massive and lucrative development community that builds targeted software purely for iOS users.

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In case you weren’t convinced and needed a little extra assurance that Apple have created a device that is already deemed to be iconic, a new report from Strategy Analytics looks at the global smartphone sector and highlights some interesting statistics about the Apple iPhone. In regards to the bigger picture, the report looks at its own global handset shipment forecasts for quarter 2 of this year, but trails off topic a little to look at the total number of iPhones sold since 2007, as well as the amount of revenue those sales have generated for the Cupertino company.

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The original iPhone landed in the marketplace at the back of June 2007 to a mixed reaction from consumers. Some were eager to get their hands on what was billed as the future of telecommunications, while others were understandably skeptical about shelling out a lot of money for an unknown device that would ultimately throw them into a fixed term contract to boot. That skepticism has passed it seems, with Apple shipping over quarter of a billion iPhones since 2007, a sales figure that accounts for a staggering $150 billion of revenue for the company.

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The report rightly points out that the iPhone has been a huge cash cow for Apple, but the authors don’t believe the future is plain sailing for the technology giants due to the fact there are "emerging signs that the iPhone’s next five years could get tougher". If history has shown us anything, it is that competition breeds excellence, something that Apple usually thrive on. Here’s to the next five years.

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