It’s hard to believe that Apple’s iPhone is scarcely four years old. As is frequently the case with game-changing innovation, it seems as though the fruit company’s smartphone effort has been around forever.
It has also improved a great deal in that relatively short space of time, with the latest iteration, the iPhone 4S, boasting a dual-core A5 chip – a far cry from the 412Mhz processor of the original. With over half a million apps and games available at the App Store, productivity has never been so, well.. productive.
When it did arrive Stateside back in 2007, it was exclusive to Cingular, in what Steve Jobs, along with the carrier’s CEO Stan Sigman described as a ‘special relationship’.
Thankfully for those that like to exercise a little choice, that exclusivity is now in the process of being filtered out, with Verizon, and more recently Sprint teaming up with the Cupertino to add the iPhone to their respective rosters.
If Jobs would’ve had his way though, there may not have been any carrier partnerships whatsoever. That’s right, Apple’s founding father explored the idea of making the company a carrier as well as a manufacturer. This would have kept all aspects of the device in-house, and again, that domineering stature is something frowned upon amongst electronics consumers.
John Stanton, chairman of Trilogy Partners – a venture capital company, spent a great deal of time in Jobs’ presence in the two years leading up to the release of Apple’s smartphone entry, and said "He and I spent a lot of time talking about whether synthetically you could create a carrier using Wi-Fi spectrum. That was part of his vision."
"He wanted to replace carriers."
Then again, as has been the case with iOS in general, hackers would have probably found a way to circumvent it, releasing it from the grip of Apple’s iron fist.
Such ideas just show, yet again, how much of a visionary Jobs was, and how important he was to Apple and its rapid rise to prominence over the last decade. He had a knack for spotting gaps, making things better, and more often than not, pulling them off.
As Apple fans as well as tech fanatics, we can only hope that Apple continues in the footsteps of the guy that made it all possible.