Apple celebrates iPhone 10th birthday


The industry changing device hit its 10th birthday yesterday

The Apple iPhone was unveiled at Macworld, San Francisco in 2007, by the late Steve Jobs. Yesterday (January 9) the Cupertino giant celebrated the smartphone’s 10th birthday.

It proved to be a revolutionary device changing the way smartphones were to be designed and operated. No physical keyboard, bigger screen and it pushed to be a true personal computer in pockets.

Highest selling iPhone 

To date the iPhone 4s is the highest selling smartphone in Apple’s history shipping 29.19 million units and raking in over ten billion pounds in its lifespan.

The sizeable iPhone 6 is currently in second shipping 23.09 million units. In an Apple press conference in 2010 Steve Jobs said bigger phones would not sell well.

“No one’s going to buy that, you can’t get your hand around it,” he said. The iPhone 6 is still available to buy with the potential to surpass the 4s. 

The lowest selling iPhone of all time is the first generation iPhone with 790,000 units shipped, generating almost two billion in revenue.



“No chance”

The iPhone had plenty of critics after its announcement in 2007. In an interview with USA Today, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said: “There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share.

“No chance. It’s a $500 subsidised item. They may make a lot of money. But if you actually take a look at the 1.3 billion phones that get sold, I’d prefer to have our software in 60 percent or 70 percent or 80 percent of them, than I would to have 2 percent or 3 percent, which is what Apple might get.”

Fast forward to 2016 Apple passes the one billion sales milestone and secured 12.5 per cent market share against its competition in Q3. All Android vendors totalled 86.8 per cent while Microsoft saw quarter-on-quarter decline of 32.5 per cent to 0.3 per cent.

Former Nokia chief strategist Anssi Vanjoki believed Apple would continue catering to a niche market.

“The development of mobile phones will be similar in PCs. Even with the Mac, Apple has attracted much attention at first, but they have still remained a niche manufacturer. That will be in mobile phones as well.”

Nokia quit manufacturing smartphones in 2014 selling its handset assets to Microsoft. The manufacturer is planning to re-enter the smartphone market this year.IDC: Smartphone OS Market Share Chart

In comparison Apple secured 6.5 per cent market share, shipping over two million iPhones in Q4 of 2007. Research in Motion (RIM) had 11.4 per cent and Nokia were market leaders with 52.9 per cent.


After nine years Apple saw its first iPhone sales decline in February 2016. In Q4 2015 Apple sold 71 million units (17.7 per cent market share) – a decline from the 74 million devices (20.4 per cent) it sold in Q4 the previous year. The manufacturer came behind Samsung in the rankings, who came first and sold over 83 million units (20.7 per cent) in Q4 2015 – an increase from the 73 million units (19.9 per cent) shipped in Q4 2014.

“Best is yet to come”

Apple CEO Tim Cook said: “iPhone is an essential part of our customers’ lives, and today more than ever it is redefining the way we communicate, entertain, work and live.

“iPhone set the standard for mobile computing in its first decade and we are just getting started. The best is yet to come.”