Steve Jobs’ death is the end of an era for Apple, but the effect he had on the world of mobile technology will forever impact the industry.
The Cupertino, Calif.-based company’s co-founder and former CEO will be known as one of the founding father of the personal computer, and the man who helped get Pixar Animation Studios off the ground. However, his greatest accomplishments may be projects like the iPhone and the iPad that came at what is now the twilight of his life.
When Jobs took the stage at the Macworld Conference in 2007 and unveiled the iPhone, he and his company effectively turned the smartphone world upside down. Top-selling smartphones at the time such as the Moto Q, BlackBerry, Palm Treo and Nokia E62 sported a steep learning curve and the same general design, a QWERTY keyboard with approximately a 2-inch screen.
The notion of advanced touch technology was something that seemed to still be years away, and few had thought of a stylus-free world. The iPhone demo played like a magic act, and Jobs was the magician. Not only was the device leaps and bounds ahead of its competitors, the user interface was so simple a child could figure out how to use it.
In a matter of moments, Jobs embedded into the mobile industry a new idea that smartphones should not only be impressive in design and function, but also accessible and fun to use. It’s the same mantra Jobs used when attacking the personal computing industry, and it was the same tactic he’d use in 2010 when debuting the iPad, the world’s first, and arguably still the only, massively successful tablet computer.
With Jobs at the helm over the past decade, competitors of Apple have been forced to play catch up to some of the loftiest tech products the world has ever seen. Even as competitors begin to level the playing field, and some argue surpass Apple’s iPhone, Jobs’ legacy is set in stone as the man who launched the evolution of mobile computing.