According to Apple’s official sales numbers, the company sold at least 1.4 billion iPhones during the decade, and the number is likely to be closer to 1.6 billion once this year’s forecasts are factored in. The last ten years have been known as the iPhone decade, in which smartphones became ubiquitous, spawned billion-dollar businesses, reshaped industries, and altered the globe. “Unquestionably, it’s the most impactful consumer tech product over the previous decade,” said Gene Munster, founder of Loup Ventures and a longtime Apple analyst.
The iPhone was first released in 2007, although it was still a very niche device at the start of the decade, limited to one wireless carrier and aimed at early technology adopters. Now it’s a much bigger deal: Apple sold 8.7 million iPhones in the first quarter of 2010. Apple sold 47 million iPhones in the first quarter of 2018. According to Apple’s official sales numbers, the company sold at least 1.4 billion iPhones during the decade, and the number is likely to be closer to 1.6 billion once this year’s forecasts are factored in. Apple claims that over 900 million iPhones are in use right now.
What the iPhone did to the camera is maybe the clearest evidence of its transformative ability. According to the Camera & Imaging Products Association, 109 million pocket cameras were sold in 2010. However, only 9 million cameras with built-in lenses were sold in 2018, the most recent year for which complete data is available. In a September 2018 article titled “The iPhone Kicked Off a Communications Revolution and Destroyed the Camera Industry and Others,” Patently Apple discussed this topic. The iPhone 3G, the second iteration of the smartphone, has a sluggish Samsung CPU with one core running at 412 MHz at the start of the decade, making it the most powerful iPhone. The iPhone 11 Pro, the most recent significant iPhone version, features an Apple-designed CPU with a maximum speed of 2.65GHz and six cores. According to several tests, the performance of today’s iPhones is comparable to that of computers.