Imagine a world without the iPhone

Today is a big day.  It marks the 10th anniversary of the announcement of the Apple iPhone.  

I’m writing this on Monday morning and my news feed was just full of stories about the announcement years ago.

It was a device like no other.  I remember thinking, at the time, that this had the potential to be a big change to everything that I do.  I also remember thinking that it might just be a big announcement of a product that nobody would use.

There’s no doubt that my first thinking was the correct thinking.  It spawned a whole new industry and it continues to involve today.  To say that the concept was innovative would be an under representation; it has changed so much.

Over the years, I’ve had a number of mobile phones.  My first one was actually not an iPhone; it was a Blackberry.  Our Information Technology department had convinced the decision makers that there really was only one secure player in the field and this was it.  When that technology grew old, we did move to the iPhone platform.  Later, when I made home purchases, I went the Android route with HTC and then Samsung products.  

They’re all variations on a theme but what would the world be like if that theme hadn’t happened?

  • we would still have pay phones on street corners;
  • there would still be one or two players in the telephone provider market;
  • we wouldn’t be immediately accessible by anyone who had our phone number;
  • the concept of texting would still be foreign;
  • app?  What’s an app?
  • we might still rely on going to a gas station and getting a big paper map to help guide us on our trips;
  • television crime shows wouldn’t be able to locate the criminals by triangulating their location via cell phone towers;
  • cell phone towers?  What’s that?
  • butt dialing?  What’s that?
  • a ring tone would just be the traditional bell or digital warble;
  • for those of us who lived on the road, the Franklin planner would still be my day organizer;
  • Garmin would absolutely own the GPS market;
  • fewer emails would be sent because we’d have to actually remember to write it when we got back to our computer;
  • voice activation and recognition might be still relegated to reruns of Star Trek;
  • only police services would have thumbprint recognition;
  • calculators would be, well, calculators;
  • real telephones would last a long time without the rush to upgrade with every new model or a perk for renewal of a service plan;
  • kids would still have to rely on the street lights coming on as a signal to come home for the day;
  • the whole industry of screen covers and phone cases wouldn’t exist;
  • we wouldn’t be debating the merits of real buttons versue touch buttons;
  • imagine your land line ringing for two-factor validation of your account?
  • how many crimes have happened over the years because of the mobile phone?
  • how would we record reality via video or pictures and upload it to Facebook or YouTube moments after it happened?
  • what would my Smart Watch pair itself with?
  • we might not make purchasing decisions based upon battery life;
  • we would still painfully watch the clock tick so slowly while waiting for appointments;
  • exam monitors would have one less thing to check for cheating.

Your turn.  What did I miss?  Please add in the comments.  It will be fun to read.

I’m sure that, had Apple not made this big announcement, it would have come from some other manufacturer.  But, Apple was right in there with so many of the concepts that we now take for granted.

It’s tough to imagine a world without that friend in your pocket.  

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4 thoughts on “Imagine a world without the iPhone

  1. People would not have to worry about their cell phone addiction problems. I once screamed because I realized that I left my phone at home when I was on my way to class while I was a university student and I remember being nervous about not having my phone with me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post! Here are some more ideas, as requested… you had covered so many so I tried to think of app-based conveniences:)
    I would have to go to the bank or use the mail to pay bills.
    I would not be able to track or share my fitness info.
    I would have to buy a separate gps device to go geocaching.
    I would have to carry and also remember to pack my bird field guide.
    I would have to have the tv on at our family New Year’s Eve music night to do the exact countdown to the new year.

    Liked by 1 person

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