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Kyle P and Mark F

Page history last edited by kyleportal@... 8 years, 10 months ago



The Social and Cultural impact of the iPhone

Kyle Portal

Mark Francis



Introduction to the iPhone

When you think of an iPhone what are the first things that come to mind?  Is it the look? Is it the touch screen? Or is it the fact that nearly every person seems to own one?  We all know how revolutionary the smart phones are to society, but the iPhone is one of a kind.  The apple iPhone has had an impact on nearly everyone within our culture and is continuously shocking the world.  This wiki-page will help viewers understand the social and cultural impact the iPhone really possesses.  The following links, videos, images and scholarly information demonstrates the kind of power this revolutionary device provides to users.

When the first iPhone was released in 2007 by Steve Jobs, it was the most talked- consumer product to ever be placed on the market (New York Times, 2011). Three years later, the phone has advanced into the unreal.  The apple iPhone offers the first mobile device to have the capability to FaceTime. Really? A mobile phone that has FaceTime has been unheard until now.   Apple (2011) states, “with just a tap, you can wave hello to your kids, share a smile from across the globe, or watch your best friend laugh at your stories” (http://www.apple.com/iphone/features/). The iPhone is the sleekest, most user-friendly smart phone available, and nearly every student at every college needs one. “An iPhone can function as a video camera, a camera phone with text messaging and visual voicemail, a portable media player, and an Internet client with e-mail and web browsing capabilities, and both Wi-Fi and 3g connectivity” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPhone).  If an iPhone can do all of this, shouldn’t every college student get one?  Welcome to the iPhone experience. 


History of the iPhone


The iPhone is a relatively new device but has already created a history for itself. The iPhone was not a great success upon its original release. In the fall of 2005, Steve Jobs assigned about 200 of Apple's top engineers with creating the iPhone but even a year later the prototype was still a disaster (Vogelstein, 2011). The first version of the iPhone wasn't just touchy, it did not work at all. There was a list of issues the engineers had to fix in a short period of time due to contract negotiations with their service provider AT&T. When all the bugs were fixed, the iPhone finally went on sale June 29, 2007. Within six months, the Apple iPhone became the fastest selling smartphone of all time when it sold over 3 million units. Wikipedia History, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_iPhone estimates sales of between 250,000 to 700,000 units in the first weekend alone. There is no denying the success of the iPhone; this smartphone has been superior to all other phones since its release and it will continue to grow.


iPhone Revolutionized the "Smartphone" World

The iPhone is the most revolutionary mobile device available.  Other smart phones within the mobile device market try to keep up, and replicate the iPhone.  So what is it that makes the iPhone so much more revolutionary to the public?  The iPhone has the ability to adapt to cultural needs unlike any other phone.  IPhone, originally meaning “Internet Phone”, has adapted to our digital culture much more quicker than other companies.  The iPhone offers the application store that is significantly less complicating to work with than other phones.  You can simple touch, search, and download. Goggin (2009) states,

Enter the iPhone ‘Apps store’. Using the iTunes interface and user experience, the Apps store does make it much easier to be aware of, choose, pay for and download applications for iPhone. Apple’s pitch is: Applications unlike anything you’ve seen on a phone before (p. 237)

The next think you know you are reading the 10-day weather report or watching the news, or receiving notifications to the final score of the Giants World Series game. In a PEW study done by Mitchell, Purcell, Rainie, & Rosentiel (2011), “One-quarter (24%) of mobile local news consumers report having an app that helps them get information or news about their local community”(p.2). The applications are hugely responsible for such a revolutionary device, but the fact that the iPhone allows users to obtain such useful applications so easily is the difference.

Another study that was done by Emmet (2008) states, “thirty-one percent of iPhone users also watch mobile TV and video on their phones compared with 4.6 percent of all mobile phone users” (p. 26).   This study goes to show how much more adaptable the iPhone is to the Internet, and current digital culture.  The iPhone has a bold, iconic touch screen with a streamlined interface that the technically challenged individuals can manage to use.  The iPhone is the top mobile device for accessing news information as well (Emmet, 2008).  With the ease and accessibility the iPhone offers, people in all ranges can operate the device hassle free. Goggin (2009) also claims, “both via the Internet and using the iPhone itself, the experience of finding applications is much enhanced. Not only is the iPhone a signal adaptation of the Internet and mobiles, it is highly adaptable by its users” (p.233).  The iPhone has now expanded to Verizon, and is continuing to take over the mobile device world.  One of the huge indications for Steve Jobs to expand his revolutionary phone out to Verizon was during the time the iPhone was being “unlocked”.  People would hack into the apple system to unlock these phones because they demanded them (Haubenreich, 2008).  People on all different types of carries everywhere wanted the iPhone, and would do what ever it took to get there hands on one. In the end, this benefited Apple and the iPhone because they have advanced to Verizon where the success continues.  So when will the iPhone stop being so revolutionary?  Is it the ease of the apps, or the adaptation to our digital culture it controls?  In the mean time, nothing is slowing down the Apple iPhone, and who knows what’s next on their revolutionizing agenda.


Communication Impact

Since the introduction of the iPhone the way users communicate has been completely altered. With a device such as the iPhone there are countless ways its users can communicate with others. From texting, calling, emailing, internet use, voice notes, chatting apps, and even Facetime the ways iPhone users communicate is endless. Tscherning and Mathiassen (2010) noted, Today's advanced devices combine communication and computing into a multipurpose gadget that provides users with various types of services" (p.24). It seems as if everybody is connected to their smartphone device 24 hours a day. Even if someone does not have an iPhone, there is a good chance they have some sort of device that allows them to communicate through a wireless connection. Valcains (2011) exclaims, "The global village has thrust to mankind into a new information age era in which human communication is growing so fast as to be in fact immeasurable" (p. 34). The communication rate has greatly increased with the development of the smartphone and the iPhone is making communication techniques possible in numerous ways. Lenhart and Fox (2006) stated, "82%of American adults own a cell phone...Texting by adults has increased over the past 9 months from 65% to 72% in 2010." It is clear to see how rapid the smart phone market is increasing, but does does this mean that the emotional aspect of communicating is lost? Texting, chatting, and emailing is emotionless, and for this reason cell phones not only have positive aspects there are negatives as well. 






Youth Population Impact

In the year 2011, the late teens and young adult population is basically the smartphone generation. This age group grew up with using smartphones and are the first true users of this technology. The internet and portable communication devices have inundated college campuses in recent years. Between classes students are often "plugged" in to their cell phones (Emanuel et al 2008). Personally as we examine people walk around San Jose State University, it is safe to say that the majority of them are using the mobile device in some way. We thought what better way to gain information about the iPhone then to visit the most popular social networking site in the world, https://www.facebook.com/iphone?sk=wall&filter=1. On the iPhone Facebook page, it allows users to post questions, comments, pictures, and even personal experiences about the iPhone. How powerful is the iPhone; it has its own Facebook page! The iPhone has truly revolutionized the way the younger population communicates.



iPhone Overseas

Now that the iPhone has clearly dominated the USA, what’s next?  With the success and dominance that the iPhone has and demonstrates in the U.S, Steve Jobs needs to expand this phone to every possible continent.  Just recently, Apple has expanded overseas and is changing the Chinese phone market. An online Times article states how the Apple Inc’s logo is manufactured in china, and it is estimated that two million iPhones have been sold on the gray market in the mainland (Ramzy, 2009).  One of China’s main mobile service providers, Unicom, has now adopted the new iPhone 4. This expansion to china has opened windows for the economy and the Apple market like never seen before. With the momentum that Apple has been employing to the public, it only makes sense to do such a thing. Ramzy (2009) states, “it could occupy as much as 5% to 6% of Apple's global sales” (Time magazine). Now that the iPhone has been released, sales continue to flourish.  The recent white iPhone 4 is flying off the shelves of Apple stores in China.  It seems that the beneficial components this device brings to individuals are just as significant to people over seas. I mean, why wouldn’t they be?  Like stated earlier, the iPhone is so user friendly that anyone anywhere can utilize it. When the iPhone was released in 2007 in the United States, Canadians had to sit on the sidelines and watch all of the glory.  The release of the iPhone was a cultural event, yet people in Canada had not ability to get their hands on it at the time. Pedersen (2008) states, “iPhone in Canada had no date set for its release. However, Canadians were exposed to the television advertising campaign as though they were to be included” (p. 492).  The anticipation and build-up that the iPhone release date had set the precedent for the features it would bring.  Apple sure did execute. The release date was so significant that people across countries could only watch.  Now that Apple is expanding worldwide, people are becoming a part of this revolutionary culture change this device has fabricated. It may seem shocking to say that the iPhone doesn't do well across all countries, but its true.  In Japan, the iPhone isn’t apparently the best mobile phone on the market.  Though it has dominated most of the world, in Japan the iPhone is selling poorly and is being offered for free in some situations (Chen, 2009).  This is strange to see, especially coming from an iPhone dominated country. 


iPhone's Economy Impact

The iPhone release in 2007 has been nothing short of striking gold for Steve Jobs and Apple Inc. In an article written just last month Kane and Sheer (2011) displayed the numbers, "Apple posted a quarterly profit of $5.99 billion, up 95% from $3.07 billion in the year-earlier quarter. Revenue rose 83% to $24.67 billion." It is obvious that Apple is reaping the benefits of the smartphone market but they are not the only ones. Other major companies are creating competitors for the iPhone and some sell for less and perform many of the same features. As important as the iPhone has been to the fortunes of Apple and AT&T, its real impact is on the structure of the $11 billion-a-year US mobile phone industry (Vogelstein, 2011). Without the iPhone who knows where the cell phone market would be today. Apple is different when it comes to their revenue. Steve Jobs has said repeatedly that the company wants to reserve money for big acquisitions or other bold steps (Ovide, 2011). Steve Jobs is not worried about how much money he can make right now, he is more concerned with developing his products and having a long lasting success. The iPad for example, is his next major profit maker. IDC, a research firm, predicts that the market for tablets, which Apple dominates, will more than quadruple in the next two years (http://www.economist.com, 2011). Steve Jobs is a genius when it comes to making money, and as long as he stays healthy, Apple will continue to prosper. 






There really is an APP for everything.....




 Apple's new CEO, Tim Cook

"I have some very sad news to share with all of you. Steve passed away earlier today," said Tim Cook (2011), new Apple CEO.  October 5, 2011, legendary Steve Jobs passed away.  Several months prior the tragedy, Tim Cook was handed the riens as the new CEO of the Apple organization.  Steve Jobs was notorious for his innovative thought process that changes the lives of many through the technology of Apple.  His illness hindered his ability to even visit the release of the new iPhone 4s.  Though the scenario is drastic, the new iPhone only represents how grand Steve really was. Tim has some shoes to fill.  Rest in peace Steve Jobs. 






Chen, B. (2009, February 26). Why the Japanese hate the iPhone. Wired Magazine. Retrieved from www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2009/02/why-the-iphone.


Decvries, J. (2011, April 20). What your Iphone knows about you. Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from www.online.wsj.com


Emanuel, R., Adams, J., Baker, K., Daufin, E. K., Ellington, C., Fitts, E., & ... Okeowo, D. (2008). How college students spend their time communicating. International Journal of Listening22(1), 13-28. 


Emmett, A. (2008). Handheld Headlines. American Journalism Review30(4), 24-29


Goggin, G. (2009). Adapting the mobile phone: The iPhone and its consumption. Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural  Studies23(2), 231-244.


Haubenreich, J. (2008).The iPhone and the DMCA: Locking the hands of consumers.Vanderbilt Law Review, 1507-1553.


Jiang, H. (2011). Young people’s adoption and consumption of a cultural commodity- Iphone. Media and Communications.


Kane, Y., Sherr, I. (2011, April 20). Iphones power Apple’s growth. Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from www.online.wsj.com


Ovide, S. (2011, April 20). Apple earnings: What will it say about its cash. Wall Street Journal. [Retrieved] April 20, 2011, [From]www.online.wsj.com


Pedersen, I. (2008). "No Apple iPhone? You must be canadian": Mobile technologies, participatory culture, and rhetorical transformation. Canadian Journal of Communication33(3), 491-510.


Ramzy, A. (2009, September 01). Why the iPhone will change the Chinese phone market. Time Magazine. Retrieved from http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1919797,00.html


The boss is unwell. (2011, Jan. 20). The Economist. Retrieved from http://www.economist.com/node/17963337?story_id=17963337


Times Topics: iPhone. New York Times. Retrieved from wwww.topics.newyorktimes.com.


Tscherning, H., & Mathiassen, L. (2010).Early adoption of mobile devices-A social network perspective. Association for Information System. 24. 


Valcanis, T. (2011). An iPhone in every hand: Media Ecology, Communication structures, and the global village. Etc: A Review of General Semantics68(1), 33-45.


Vogelstein, F. (2011, April 20). The untold story: how the iPhone blew up the wireless industry. Wired Magazine, 16.02. Retrieved from http://www.wired.com/gadgets/wireless/magazine/16-02/ff_iphone



Pew Studies

Lenhart, A. and Fox, A. (2006, July 19). Bloggers. Retrieved from http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2006/Bloggers.aspx


Mitchell, A., Purcell, K., Rainie, L., Rosentiel, T. (2011, March 14). How mobile devices are changing community information environments. Retrieved from http://www.pewinternet.org/Search.aspx?q=smartphones&i=20



Cnet (2011). TV. Retrieved from http://cnettv.cnet.com/iphone-4-vs-htc-evo-4g/9742-1_53-50090267.html


Facebook (2011). iPhone 4. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/pages/iPhone-4/100855459959850


iPhone (2011). Features.  Retrieved from http://www.apple.com/iphone/


MacRumors (2011). iPhone 4. Retreived from http://www.macrumors.com/iphone/


Wikipedia (2011). iPhone. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPhone                    


Wikipedia (2011). History of the iPhone. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_iPhone


The Washington Post (2011). Statement from Apple CEO Tim Cook Regarding co-founder Steve Jobs Death. Retrieved from http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/statement-from-apple-ceo-tim-cook-regarding-co-founder-steve-jobs-death/2011/10/05/gIQAluViOL_story.html


Comments (21)

Jay Barton said

at 9:38 am on Apr 18, 2011

Way to go bros! The early bird gets the worm...and hopefully the 'A'! Love the page name, Dr. Coop should love it. The centered pic at the top is nice touch, too.
I wanted to ask you, Mark, what happened? Kyle cracked ya, huh? Lol. Hard not to notice the 'last edited by' screaming out at the top!
I saw a cool Pew study about this when I was searching through stuff for my topic. If I come back across it I will shoot you a message with the details involved in it. Congrats on being one of the first (I've seen only one other page with anything on it) to get started kick'n some butt. See you gentlemen soon and good luck.

kyleportal@... said

at 4:43 pm on Apr 18, 2011

hahaha, thanks Jay. Yeah send that PEW article this way.

Justine Cranford said

at 11:14 pm on Apr 20, 2011

Hey Guys,
You both have done a great job on your wiki. Jenna and I are taking a look now and again to make sure were on track. I really like your wiki and all your images. All your journals look very interesting and I can't wait until you present because these seems like a very relevant topic. iPhones are kind of awesome. Too bad I have a DRIOD....lol

jt_thizzle@... said

at 9:06 am on Apr 21, 2011

Way to go guy's. this is probably the neatest and most detailed orientated wiki that I have seen so far, Good job guys, very interesting and informative topic, I can't wait too see your final

uismiguel@... said

at 2:53 pm on Apr 21, 2011

It is amazing how this little freaking phone, well not that little, but that phone has revolutionized our world, and it is nice to see that there is a lot still to know about those phones. i love those pictures really.. good job.

Jay Barton said

at 10:27 am on Apr 27, 2011

I saw that Bud Light commercial after the Sharks finished off LA the other night and thought of you gentlemen! Where can I get that app...I'll pay big bux for that one?! Great job so far guys, really startin to come together nicely.

gre_89@hotmail.it said

at 12:00 pm on Apr 27, 2011

Kyle and Mark, it is so true that college students spend so much time communicating through their phones. The iPhone has definitely made a cultural impact. I find it particularly interesting that it may be perceived differently across all cultures.

Nicole Givens said

at 2:51 pm on Apr 27, 2011

Great job on your Wiki page. There is so much good information and great pictures and videos to go along with it. I knew the iPhone was capable of doing a ton of things, but you guys seemed to cover all the details of the phone. Great organization and I can't wait to hear the presentation in class.

Jenna Saenz said

at 4:29 pm on Apr 27, 2011

Boys, I have to say this is a great topic! The iPhone has come and it is definitely here to stay! Loved the wiki page, and all the details about everything! Excited to see your final presentation!

uismiguel@... said

at 11:49 am on Apr 28, 2011

This is one the greatest topics from the whole wiki project, and i think there is a lot of info about it. I am looking forward to seeing the whole developed page.

Daniel Preston said

at 1:03 pm on Apr 28, 2011

As an iPhone user I am really excited to see your presentation.

Aubrey Lee said

at 8:10 pm on Apr 28, 2011

Nicely done guys. I am one of the doesnt have an iPhone but after looking at your wiki I may just have to join the iPhone club. ha But really I'm diggin all of the different aspects that you guys touched on! Woo!

Bobby Menbari said

at 11:13 pm on Apr 28, 2011

Still won't buy one...sorry. But great job!

Adrian Aujero said

at 12:03 am on Apr 29, 2011

The thing I like about iphone is its simplicity.

dbooth said

at 12:30 am on Apr 29, 2011

This page is the bomb- no weak sauce. I am an iPhone user myself, and I have very few problems with it. Minus the fact its constantly freezing, and crashing. That could have been on account of me spilling soda on it though.

reilingss2b7@... said

at 6:46 pm on May 2, 2011

recently just got an iphone like last week, it is crazy how much it has already changed my life. i never was a guy to be on the phone all the time, now im am always doing something with it!

dbooth said

at 12:35 pm on May 3, 2011

I hope I don't get in trouble for reusing some of my comments. But here it goes anyways. This page is the bomb- no weak sauce. I am an iPhone user myself, and I have very few problems with it. Minus the fact its constantly freezing, and crashing. That could have been on account of me spilling soda on it though. I was just telling someone today how my iphone was acting all kinds of crappy today and was making me go the way of the Android phone. It's wild the mass popularity iPhones have gotten over the years. Apple really knows how to make and market their products. I have a friend who had the original iPhone 4, and is getting rid of it because he wanted to get the white iPhone 4, but that might be because he is racist(kidding he is black).

Lena Zubaid said

at 12:06 pm on May 9, 2011

Kyle and Mark, I have an iPhone myself and I love it. I think that it is very useful and yes it has changed my life. I do not know if it changed it to be good or bad. My topic also talks about the iPhone, how Skype has changed on it in a short amount of time. Things keep updating on the iPhone and I kind of hate how they keep coming out with more and more versions of the iPhone. It is kind of hard to keep up with all these updates; people are going to get lost one day. I like all the pictures and videos you posted and you guys had good sources of information.

ericadeguzman@yahoo.com said

at 9:10 pm on May 10, 2011

I recently bought the iphone 4G in white and I have to say it was such a great purchase! I would have waited for iphone 5 but September seemed like such a long wait (especially when you take into account the wait for the second batch of 5’s.. because we all the first batch always has a few glitches). I’m not mad about it though.. I figure it’ll always be hard to keep up with Apple and all their new updates and technologies. Their always coming out with something new, making us want more! And like you said in your presentation, Steve Jobs is a genius when it comes to strategizing how he’s going to debut his latest stuff. I liked your choice in media as well.. I actually sat and watched the whole 6 minutes of your first video because I thought it was so interesting. And I also thought it was really interesting that the iphone was a complete fail when it first came out. Great job guys!

Juleane said

at 12:50 am on May 12, 2011

You guys did so well on your presentation this is really well done!
I'm not "anti" iphone, but am an android user. I've always thought that the iphone was a pretty amazing product, but goodness! When it comes to products from apple I usually wait until the later generations because like the video said each year they continue to improve and improve and improve some more. I've developed the patience to not run to the store for the first product, but sit back and let progress have it's due time. It's crazy how mobile technology is transforming so many aspects of society we have come so far from good old "cellular" devices. Phones are literally mini-computers now!

Serena Sharma said

at 3:08 pm on May 14, 2011

The iphone is a great phone but I think it has changed lots of things because there is so much one can do on it so it is not just directed at a certain age group. I always see younger kids like maybe 8 years old running around with an iphone because their parents got them one and even 3 year old crying for the phone because they want to play games on it. I feel apple makes it clear that this is the “it” phone and it is hard to argue because they just keep coming out with better products that other phones are not keeping up with. Good job on the wiki as well as the presentation!

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