Now, we are all over the iPhone and iPad as the two revolutionary devices that are creating new markets in the mobile phone and handheld tablets world. I look back here at 10 other gadgets that revolutionized the way we live!
10. 1976: JVC HR-3300
Weighing in at a chunky 30 pounds, JVC’s hulk of a videocassette recorder was one of the first to work with VHS tapes, and helped sink the rival Betamax format. Movie producers at first fought the spread of taped movies, fearing home viewing would cut into box office receipts. Their fears proved unfounded and opened a whole new market of home entertainment profits for Hollywood, paving the way for DVDs and movie and TV downloads.
9.1977: ATARI 2600
The first game system with plug-in cartridges had gaming aficionados salivating over the immediate proliferation of video games. More than 40 manufacturers created over 200 games for the system, including the future classics Pac-Man and Asteroids. Amid its success, however, Atari neglected game developers and many defected to rival game companies. Eventually, Nintendo picked up where Atari left off.
8.1979: SONY WALKMAN
Originally called the “Soundabout” in the U.S., “Freestyle” in Australia and “Stowaway” in England, the Walkman’s true breakthrough was lightweight headphones that made it easy to carry around. Sony has sold 186 million of the tape players, such a hit that the Oxford English Dictionary included it as an entry in 1986. Not all Walkman sequels worked out as well. The MiniDisc Walkman never gained mass appeal.
7.1982: COMMODORE 64
It stored less than a thumb-drive does today and had just 64KB of RAM, but the first C64 made personal computing possible through an accessible price and friendly, easy-to-use features. The Guinness Book of World Records says the C64 is the best selling single computer model of all time with sales of about 30 million units between 1982 and 1993. Commodore blew it, though, and bigger companies like IBM got into the act. Dell, Apple and other PC manufacturers have since dominated the market. Commodore tanked in the early 1990s.
6.1984: APPLE MACINTOSH
Steve Jobs was so confident the Macintosh would revolutionize the way we worked he launched a 100-day, $15 million ad blitz touting the Mac as “for the rest of us.” Later, the tagline became “Think Different.” In many ways, the Mac lived up to the hype — and influenced the competition. Its intuitive software, graphics and icons are now commonplaces in personal computing. It was also one of the first mainstream computers to include a mouse, helping popularize it as a pointing device.
5.1989: NINTENDO GAME BOY
Designers have created hundreds of games for this mini video game player, which gave kids across America a digital way to twiddle their thumbs. The primitive screen — basically black and green — wasn’t anywhere close to today’s standards, but for simple titles like Tetris, the first game packaged with the Game Boy, color wasn’t a big deal. Game Boy has morphed into today’s DS model and faces tough competition from Sony’s PlayStation Portable (PSP)
4.1993: APPLE NEWTON MESSAGEPAD
Before Personal Digital Assistants were commonplace, Apple took a shot at an electronic organizer that could recognize natural handwriting. It was too bulky and pricey to generate broad interest, though (It was famously lampooned by Doonesbury). Apple paved the way for Palm, however, which profited handsomely when PDAs hit the mainstream. With the iPhone, Apple hopes to have the last laugh.
Research in Motion’s Blackberry proved so popular that heavy users complained of finger injuries from endless hours of thumb typing. Blackberries made it easier for mobile professionals to communicate on-the-go with quick e-mails, and they’ve become ubiquitous in government, technology and financial circles. And so addictive that they have been nicknamed “crackberries.”
2.2001: APPLE iPOD
There were MP3 players before the iPod. They just weren’t very good. Most MP3 devices stored about eight songs and had a calculator aesthetic rather than high-tone finesse. Then Steve Jobs and Co. came along offering 1,000 songs in a clean, white box the size of a deck of cards. The iPod wildfire didn’t catch full flame, though, until the third-generation model boosted the storage capacity and refined the interface. At that point, Hipsters bought in, and Apple hasn’t looked back: by 2005, more than eight out of 10 digital music players sold at retail were iPods.
1.2002: SANYO SCP-5300
By 2011, the total number of images captured on camera phones will reach 228 billion, according to InfoTrends, exceeding the number of photos taken on digital still cameras and film cameras combined. But back in 2002, the idea of sticking a little lens into a phone was novel. It has caught on so quickly that nearly every new phone has a built-in camera, and the number of digital images captured worldwide has grown from under 40 billion in 2002 to nearly 200 billion in 2005, according to Lyra Research.
and then there’s the biggest of them all! All in One Iphone! 🙂