TIME Names iPhone Most Influential Gadget of All Time

TIME Magazine today published a list ranking the 50 most influential gadgets of all time, from cameras and TVs to music players, smartphones, and drones.

Unsurprisingly, Apple's iPhone was ranked as the number one most influential device on TIME's list, because it "fundamentally changed our relationship to computing and information," popularized mobile apps, and influenced the future of smartphone design.

iphone-6s-colors

Apple was the first company to put a truly powerful computer in the pockets of millions when it launched the iPhone in 2007. 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.

Apple's Macintosh also ranked high on the list, coming in as the number three most influential gadget for setting the standard for "the way human beings interact with computers." The iPod, the precursor to the iPhone and the device that inspired Apple's line of mobile products, was listed as the ninth most influential gadget.

ibookThe only other Apple products to make the list are the iPad and the iBook. On the list for being "radically different" than the tablets that came before it, the iPad is ranked at number 25, while the iBook, the first laptop to offer wireless networking, is ranked at number 38.

The product's reveal was a classic example of Steve Jobs' showmanship at its best. While loading a webpage and showing off the computer's display at 1999's MacWorld conference, the Apple co-founder lifted the computer off its table and walked across the stage. The crowd roared in approval. In a gesture, he showed that Wi-Fi was here to stay.

Other smartphones that made the list include the Motorola Droid, credited with popularizing Android, the BlackBerry 6210, and the candy bar-shaped Nokia 3210, the first phone with an internal antenna and built-in games.

The full list, which includes products like Google Glass, Fitbit, Amazon Kindle, Oculus Rift, the Sony Walkman, and more, is available from the TIME website.

Tag: TIME

Top Rated Comments

JosephAW Avatar
88 months ago
The wheel came in 2nd place.
Score: 38 Votes (Like | Disagree)
justperry Avatar
88 months ago
Sorry Time but Tv had a much greater impact than an iPhone and still is, remove the TV from our lives, see what your life will be like!
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MentalFloss Avatar
88 months ago
A shame it's losing its influence nowadays :(

What happened to the innovative Apple we all remember that basically punched every competitor in the face when the first iPhone hit in 2007?
People said similar things in 2006. Apple milked the iPod's success for a very very long time, while developing new things in the background.

The problem is most people's short attention span when it comes to innovation. They think a company is only innovative if they release something life-changing once a year. Or even better, twice a year.

For innovation to happen, many things have to fall in place. The first iPhone required wireless technology, good batteries, high-performing low-power processors, capacitive multitouch and a great operating system to bring everything together. Some technologies had to mature, while others had just come into mainstream existence. Which new or newly matured technologies are there now to drive the next round of innovation?
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Paradoxally Avatar
88 months ago
Sorry Time but Tv had a much greater impact than an iPhone and still is, remove the TV from our lives, see what your life will be like!
Not in 2016. The Internet has a much broader use, and people are spending a lot more time on the Internet than watching TV. Maybe at the turn of the century TV was king, but now you can watch anything online.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
exodiusprime Avatar
88 months ago
A shame it's losing its influence nowadays :(

What happened to the innovative Apple we all remember that basically punched every competitor in the face when the first iPhone hit in 2007? Surely we haven't ran out of ideas to make something "magical" again, have we? Besides a new camera and 3D Touch, what reason do people have to really upgrade from an iPhone 6? Things get faster each year, but it seems no company can create something that blows people away quite like that unveiling of the original iPhone. </rant>
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Oldfash33 Avatar
88 months ago
No surprise. I to remember taking my first iPhone home (3G) and messing with it literally all night, mesmerized by all the things I could do on it!!
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

dewey airtag

Report Highlights Danger of Using AirTags for Tracking Dogs

Monday January 30, 2023 1:45 pm PST by
AirTags may be a convenient way for tracking dogs that might get off leash or otherwise lost, but there are dangers associated with the practice, as outlined by a report from The Wall Street Journal. At 1.26 inches in diameter, AirTags are able to fit easily on a dog's collar, but that size also makes the tracking devices small enough to swallow, at least for a medium to large-sized dog, and ...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

Five New iOS Features Coming to Your iPhone Later This Year

Tuesday January 31, 2023 11:58 am PST by
Apple has previously announced several upcoming iOS features that are expected to be added to the iPhone this year. Some of the features could be introduced with iOS 16.4, which should enter beta testing soon, while others will arrive later in the year. Below, we have recapped five new iOS features that are expected to launch in 2023, such as an Apple Pay Later financing option for purchases ...
Apple Silicon Teal Feature

The Next Big Apple Silicon Device May Not Be a Mac or iPad

Wednesday February 1, 2023 3:57 am PST by
Apple's next device with an Apple silicon chip may not be a Mac or an iPad, but rather an advanced external display, according to recent reports. The display, which is rumored to arrive this year, is expected to sit somewhere between the $1,599 Studio Display and the $4,999 Pro Display XDR – but more exact information about the device's positioning and price point is as yet unknown. While ...
Multi Display CarPlay 1

Apple Launching All-New CarPlay Experience Later This Year With These 5 Features

Sunday January 29, 2023 10:15 am PST by
In June 2022, Apple previewed the next generation of CarPlay, promising deeper integration with vehicle functions like A/C and FM radio, support for multiple displays across the dashboard, personalization options, and more. Apple says the first vehicles with support for the next-generation CarPlay experience will be announced in late 2023, with committed automakers including Acura, Audi,...
MKBHD HomePod 2 White Ring Stain

New HomePod Can Still Stain Some Wooden Surfaces

Tuesday January 31, 2023 8:29 am PST by
When the original HomePod launched in 2018, it was discovered that the speaker can leave white rings on some wooden surfaces. Now, well-known YouTuber Marques Brownlee has confirmed that the issue persists to a lesser extent with the new HomePod. In a side-by-side test, he showed that the white second-generation HomePod left a white ring on the wooden surface that he placed the speaker on,...
HomePod 2 White and Midnight Feature Purple Blue

Apple Explains Why HomePod Was Released Again, Wi-Fi 4 Limitation, and More

Thursday February 2, 2023 7:57 am PST by
Apple's VP of hardware engineering Matthew Costello and product marketing employee Alice Chan recently spoke with Men's Journal and TechCrunch about the new second-generation HomePod in wide-ranging interviews about the smart speaker. Apple discontinued the original full-size HomePod in March 2021 after multiple reports indicated that sales of the speaker were lackluster, but Chan told Men's ...