‘Apple didn’t invent, the smartphone/tablet/smartwatch’ so goes the saying as well worn as Steve Job’s turtleneck. ‘What it did do’ the mantra continues, ‘is make it a success.’ The same can be said of its more recent changes such as the ditching of the headphone jack (the Moto Z did it first) and its UK upgrade programme (Samsung’s launched six months earlier). Despite not being the innovator, it is definitely the influencer, and when others catch on (Jabra predicts that up to 75% of handsets sold in 2017 will have no headphone jack), it will be Apple they are compared to.
Apple has a fearsome reputation for negotiating incredible terms with its partners– such as demanding that retailers buy a large number of 5C devices when they ordered its 5S handsets, or that official resellers only sell certain brands. The reason Apple can do this is the same reason that no other manufacturer plans a device launch anywhere near mid-September – unrivalled consumer loyalty, interest and engagement. Until this wavers, the iPhone will continue to be the device that manufacturers measure their own products by, the launch stock retailers lobby for, and the one related industries keep a watchful eye on.
While the above details a continuation of influence, in some ways, the iPhone is actually more influential than it was 10 years ago when it launched, sitting on a stronger bargaining position and with its rigid autarkistic software and OTT eco-system perhaps better favoured to the emerging opportunities in the automotive and connected home space.
Read the other side - why the iPhone is not as influential as it was 10 years ago