Not all smartphone or gadget users may agree with Time’s assessment of the 50 Most Influential Gadgets Of All Time, but the magazine has picked Apple’s iPhone as the most influential gadget ever. There’s no doubt that the iPhone has revolutionized the smartphone business and has disrupted the market for personal computing as well. Time editors believe this single device was more influential than any other recent technological innovation.
“Apple was the first company to put a truly powerful computer in the pockets of millions when it launched the iPhone in 2007,” Time wrote. “Smartphones had technically existed for years, but none came together as accessibly and beautifully as the iPhone.”
“Apple’s device ushered in a new era of flat, touchscreen phones with buttons that appeared on screen as you needed them, replacing the chunkier phones with slide-out keyboards and static buttons,” Time says. The magazine also highlighted Apple’s incredibly important decision to create an App Store, which opened up a whole new market for software developers.
“The iPhone popularized the mobile app, forever changing how we communicate, play games, shop, work, and complete many everyday tasks,” Time says. “The iPhone is a family of very successful products. But, more than that, it fundamentally changed our relationship to computing and information—a change likely to have repercussions for decades to come.”
What did iPhone beat to become the most influential gadget of all time? The Sony Trinitron TV took second place while the Apple Macintosh was placed third. The Sony Walkman and IBM Model 5150 computer also made the top 5.