The iPhone, App Store Make PopSci’s Top 25 Innovations of the Last 25 Years


popular science

Popular Science has come out with a list of the Top 25 Innovations of the Last 25 years. A couple Apple creations made the list, in particular the original 2007 iPhone that started the smartphone revolution as we know it today, along with the 2008 App Store debut that helped keep us addicted to our iOS devices.  

It was hard to not be impressed by the iPhone when Apple first debuted it five years ago. A sleek, touchscreen phone that puts the internet in your pocket? Everyone was sold. Many devices had inched towards this moment (the Nokia 900 Communicator, for example, was well ahead of its time in 1997), but never had the user experience been quite so smooth. Something was missing, though; we still had to rely on ingenuitive hackers to code games and apps. Not for long: the very next year, Apple launched the App Store and changed everything all over again. The pairing set up the framework that all other mobile computing systems—Android Windows Phone—now follow. But the Cupertino company didn’t stop there; iPods, iPads, and Mac desktops and laptops now all run on a hardware-plus-app-store model. People in the mobile ecosystem alone download an estimated 46 million apps every day.

The original iPhone still blows my mind. Thinking back, it was an incredible sight to see fully rendered web pages on a smartphone with an eerily accurate touch screen. As for the App Store, it’s pretty self explanatory. Apple’s iOS SDK has created app millionaires around the world and spawned an entirely new industry for software developers.

What do you think–are both of these deserving to make it onto their list of the top 25 innovations in the past 25 years?


  • JFMartel

    I’d say more in general, smart phone changed the way of how we use telephone now. The iPhone is just a product. Same for digital protography, the technology changed the way we take picture now, the 5D Mark II is just a product like the iPhone.

  • mocter

    Whooooa ubuntu had the appstore before apple and they ripped the name “iphone” from some poor company.

  • Farids

    Apple was not the first company to make the smart phone or the AppStore. But the unique approach they had to the design of the phone, the OS user interface and the AppStore and the presentation of apps, started the smartphone revolution. Before iPhones, we had the Blackberry, Nokia(communicator), Motorola(Ming) and Palm(Treo). Blackberry was mostly used by the governments and enterprise customers. Treo and Ming had very small screens. Too small to use with fingers. And since the screens were passive, the stylus was used with difficulty. Windows Mobile was a very small, non practical look of the pc version, with interface designed really for mouse than stylus and fingers. Apple, solved all these problems with its unique user interface and the hardware design. This design became the inspiration for other companies like Google, to create their world class OS, and Microsoft to change their mobile OS to a more user friendly design. The hardware inspired all the mobile companies to change their models from hardly selling models, to smartphones that sold by hundreds of thousands. This is indeed very similar to digital cameras. They existed as digital backs (by Kodak) for existing pro SLRs. That was till one company (Fuji,I think. I may be wrong) made one digital camera as a whole and proper unit (Borrowed Nikon body, but made as a camera with a native sensor, if memory serves). Within months, digital cameras exploded and a couple of years, surpassed the film cameras. Innovation is not only inventing something. Sometimes, taking an existing thing, and making it something usable to a point of changing history, is equal to inventing it.