Newsletter Issue #657: Five Years After Apple Changed the Smartphone Industry

July 2nd, 2012

When Google acquired a certain startup known as Android in 2005, it was clearly meant to compete with Microsoft in reaching the mobile space. Certainly both companies saw the potential, but you had to expect that any smartphone running Android would probably have been designed with a physical keyboard to compete with the BlackBerry.

Yes, as RIM teeters towards ruin, it’s hard to believe that, not too many years ago, the BlackBerry was the fashionable tech toy for business power users. That was true even for a first-term Illinois Senator named Barack Obama. To this day, it appears the President still uses a BlackBerry — and an iPad for that matter. In any case, few expected a certain company in Cupertino, CA to upend the industry.

When Steve Jobs first unveiled the iPhone in early 2007, I suppose it was hard for more skeptical media pundits to take him seriously. After all, the “real” smartphone was a BlackBerry. Real smartphones had physical keyboards, not virtual keyboards on a touch screen. How could Apple possibly get away with that?

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