Happy Tenth Birthday

CEO Corner : Article

My 10th birthday was a good time. The Yankees had just won the 1978 World Series behind the bat of my hero at the time, Reggie Jackson. Presents no doubt centered on slot cars. And I’m sure I got a Carvel cake (because is it really a birthday without one?).

But the reality is, I hadn’t done much in my 10 years. Sure, I’d learned to walk and talk, but that was about it.

Today, we’re celebrating another 10th birthday. The iPhone was first released on June 29, 2007.

Much as I hate to say it, the iPhone’s first 10 years were more impactful than my own.

Consider that 10 years ago, the vast majority of people did not carry a smartphone.  Since then, smartphones have ushered in a new era of communications that we couldn’t have imagined back in the day. The ubiquity of social media and the widespread availability of information are just the beginning. Today, iPhones—well as Android devices, which are more than a year younger—are at the center of mobile payment, navigation, digital assistance, and so much more.

Much of this work is grounded in standards. From the NFC chip in the latest iPhones to bio metric security to data interoperability. Just as it takes a village to raise a child, we’ve all been part of a global village that’s helped speed the amazing evolution of the smartphone.

But the exciting part isn’t what’s happened, it’s what’s still to come. Only a decade ago, no one had touched or seen an iPhone. Today, of course, you’d have to go to the most remote parts of the world to find someone in that category.

Which makes me think: what new technology will we be saying that about 10 years from now?

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