If you actually stopped and took time to consider the power that you hold within your hand when using your smartphone you’d probably be shocked at how far devices and manufacturers have come in such a short space of time. The announcement and release of the Apple iPhone back in 2007 lit a fire under the smartphone market which for the first time saw mainstream users start to part with as much cash as business users and executives alike. Now, thanks to a brilliantly put together video by CNET, we can take a look at the evolution of smartphone design over the last eight years.
The video does a fairly fantastic job of pointing out that 2007 wasn’t exactly a year of competition for Apple and its iPhone. The launch of the original iPhone by Steve Jobs brought with it a set of powerful features built into cutting-edge hardware that simply couldn’t be matched at the time and left a lot of manufacturers licking their wounds wondering how to compete. Remember the Motorola Q, or the Samsung BlackJack? The Nokia N95 and N96 as well as BlackBerry’s Curve 8300 and the Sony Ericsson Xperia X1 all sit in memory, but none could really compete with Apple at that time.
As the years passed and we hit 2009 we welcomed the introduction of the Apple iPhone 3GS as well as some serious real competition for the device. Samsung got up and running with its Galaxy series and HTC had the extremely undervalued HTC Hero. BlackBerry was still holding onto its business market share with the BlackBerry Bold 9000, and bizarrely, Motorola was still pushing the Q to a market that had already decided it wasn’t onboard with what they were trying to do. Step forward a year to 2010 and that’s when things get really interesting with the iPhone 4 fighting for supremacy alongside Samsung’s maiden Galaxy S smartphone and the HTC Desire.
It’s actually visually amazing to witness the progression of design over the last eight years. Back in 2007 Apple may have had supremacy with hardware but it’s immediately apparent from the video that manufacturers were keen to be as unique as possible with the designs of their smartphones. We had all shapes and sizes. Fast forward to present day and we appear to have a collection of competing smartphones that at first glance are all pretty much visually identical. Sure, when you actually take the time to study form factor you can easily pick up on visual differences, but let’s be honest here, it’s like every company is reading from the same initial design blueprint.
Check it out for yourself and see how many smartphones you can spot that you’ve owned over the years.