Sound familiar? Apple launches a revolution – and then gets overtaken

It happened when the Mac bought a mouse to every desktop. Now, with the iPhone, it’s happening again.When a black-jumpered Steve Jobs bounded on to a San Francisco stage just over two years ago to give the keynote speech at the annual gathering of the Apple faithful known as Macworld, he made his intentions very plain. “Every once in a while a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything,” he said, to whoops and cheers. “Today Apple is going to reinvent the phone.”Jobs is given to hyperbole, but when, later this month, the first wave of British users are freed from the contracts they had to sign to grab one of the early iPhones and start contemplating a replacement, they will be faced with a range of remarkably similar devices.That ever-expanding array of touchscreen handsets is just the physical evidence of the monumental change the iPhone has wrought. It has sent some of the largest technology companies in the world back to the drawing board and proved that, given the opportunity, people will do far more with a phone than make calls and send texts. For Apple, the iPhone may also be one of the most important products it has produced since its first personal computers in the late 1970s.Before the iPhone there were already touchscreen devices; there were mobile phones that could play music and videos; there were mobile phones that could access the internet and send emails; and it was already possible to download applications on to some devices in order to personalise them. But hardly anyone took advantage of these features. Finding them was hard enough; getting them to work was a nightmare and most consumers gave up.To read this report in full from The Observer, see:

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