Steve Jobs has passed away, but his legacy remains in his products, impersonating the vision and ideas of one of the greatest tech innovators of our time. Some will remember him for the incredibly thin MacBook Air introduced in 2008, some will relate to him when they look at their iPods, some will cherish the unique experience of a tablet with the iPad, but we at, PhoneArena, will most certainly never forget the iPhone.
It’s the device that changed the industry from the ground up putting a truly usable personal computer in your pocket for the first time. Unveiled back in 2007, it was ignored by the industry’s big at the time, including Nokia, RIM and Sony Ericsson among others. A mistake which cost them market share, job cuts and shook their very foundations.
There are many people behind those products: Jonathan Ive is probably the most important figure with his Dieter Rams inspired minimalistic designs, but so is Phil Schiller with his marketing pitch, and Scott Forstall pushing iOS software. There are many more faces that we don’t see behind an Apple product, but there has always been one to unite them - Steve Jobs.
After getting back to Apple in 1997, Jobs looked for a product. He was quick to bring his experience from NeXT Computers, the company he headed beforehand, but he also listened to ideas and ideas came from Jonathan Ive. The result was the iMac. A computer which stuns us with its unique, “unashamadly plastic,” translucent body and a mind boggling handle even today, in an era of everything getting thinner.
Even that handle on the iMac back in 1998 signaled something about Apple’s ambition towards mobile. The iMac could be carried around, but Steve Jobs realized that at the time most people wanted to have their music with them, not the whole computer. The iPod changed this from the ground up and you can see look back in the time to see how it stacked up against the rest of CD and Flash-based players.
Mac mini, 2005
As the iPod was getting better, the PC industry was marching forward increasing clock speeds and working on adding more cores. With plenty of manufacturers making Windows computers, diversity was flourishing in Windows land, but for Mac users, the choice was limited to expensive devices only. That’s when the Mac mini, another bet for portability was introduced by Steve Jobs. You could clearly see the trend by now - design was put in the front at Apple, right along with performance.
MacBook Pro, 2006
The MacBook Pro succeeded and replaced the PowerBook and was one of the key models in Apple’s switch to Intel x86 processors from PowerPC chips. The Pro had a similar design to the Powerbook, but introduced one of the smartest power plugs, the magnetic MagSafe which would safely disconnect when you trip over the cable.
The first iPhone was Apple’s biggest moment bringing together its software and hardware insights into a single product. After a disappointing partnership with Motorola over the Rokr iTunes phone, Steve Jobs put his bets on Apple alone for making the phone, even though the company had no experience in the phone industry. Jobs was the key dreamer behind the multitouch display on a phone, a device that - we’d dare say - changed the course of computing.
MacBook Air, 2008
Then came the MacBook Air, thinner than the thinnest notebook on the market. Apple’s captain himself had a hard time figuring out how the engineers and designers managed to put a Mac inside such a thin body.
Finally, the iPad arrived. Later, it was revealed that a multitouch tablet was probably an idea preceding the iPhone, but Jobs could only make it a reality in 2010. While the iPhone put another personal computer in our pockets, the iPad touched on the future of the personal computer altogether. It ushered us into Apple’s dream “post-PC world,” in which we’re already living now.
We can’t imagine a workaholic like Jobs not working on something until his very last days, and we expect it to show in the coming years. Be it the iPhone 5, the iPad 3 or whatever comes next. Sadly, that’s where iSteve left us. On the entrance of that “post-PC” world of possibilities, passing the baton of innovation to us and urging us to look forward, “to stay hungry, stay foolish.”