Ten years ago, when Apple launched its first iPhone, it had the world in its thrall. Everyone wanted to possess what was arguably the first smartphone (as we know it today), but the hefty price tag meant only a few eventually did. The iPhone rode one wave of success to the other with the launch of each new variant, and it wasn’t long before that it formed the substantial core of Apple’s revenue. In 2013, iPhone revenues made Apple the US’s ninth largest company by revenue, and in Q1 2015, the phone accounted for 92% of the global smartphone profit. While just 1 million units sold in 2007—it may seem small now, but it was a significant share of the phone market then—shipments reached a peak of 231 million in 2015. However, this fell to 212 million in 2016—and people have been asking ever since how long will iPhone be able to fan wind into Apple’s sails?
The tenth anniversary edition—the eighth avatar—iPhone X is reportedly priced at $1,000. It has come a long way from the first model—the launch price was $499—that had poor battery strength and just 4GB of storage. It wasn’t even equipped for 3G connectivity, that was catching on in the world around the time. But it was everything that the others weren’t—it made every other device look behind the times. The earliest iPhone didn’t offer something as basic as the ability to copy and paste text within and between programmes. By the time iPhone OS3 hit the market in 2009, supporting the feature, the competition had already made it as selling point. Now, the iPhone X may yet push it to become the first ever trillion-dollar company. Its screen will unlock through facial recognition, perhaps replacing fingerprint as the biometric to unlock the phone. Its screen will let the display kiss the edges. All these may seem very incremental, and perhaps nothing that would justify a $1,000 price-tag. But, keep in mind, public enthusiasm surrounding all things iPhone has never really dimmed.