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.

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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

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Top Rated Comments

JosephAW Avatar
107 months ago
The wheel came in 2nd place.
Score: 38 Votes (Like | Disagree)
justperry Avatar
107 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
107 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
107 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
107 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
107 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)