Is Apple’s iPhone The Greatest Product Ever Created?


With another much-anticipated Apple event next week, two recent interviews with Apple executives shed light on the amazing business created less than 10 years ago.

In fact, both executives essentially said the same thing: The iPhone might be the biggest device ever and there’s unlikely to be anything similar in the future. This is due to the fact that ultimately every person on the planet will have one. There is no other product conceivable that every person will ever own.

Here’s SVP Eddy Cue talking to Fast Company:

When everything gets compared to the phone — and it does, and that’s fine — if we do that, we’ll always lose. The phone is a device that everyone on the planet has, and you can’t say that about anything else. So, if we were to go solve the problem of flying a supersonic airplane, that might have significant benefits, but the number of people it impacts is tiny compared to the phone. That comparison is really hard. If I looked at it that way, I’d never do an Apple TV, because there aren’t enough TVs in the world. So, might as well not do that! You can’t look at it that way, and compare everything back to the phone. Then no other product should be created.

Here’s CEO Tiim Cook talking to The Washington Post:

Think about this: What other products do you know where the ratio of people to the product, for a consumer electronics product, will be one-to-one over the long haul? I don’t think there is another one.

The global sales of PCs each year are about 275 million right now. That number’s been declining. The global market for smartphones is 1.4 billion. Over time, I’m convinced every person in the world will have a smartphone. That may take a while, and they won’t all have iPhones. But it is the greatest market on earth from a consumer electronics point of view.

Think about it: Families have a TV. Some families are fortunate enough to have multiple TVs. But if you looked at all the TVs in the world, it’s not one-to-one, and it’s not going to be one-to-one.

While it’s probably too early to say the iPhone is the last, great personal gadget ever created — after all, who would have forseen the iPhone’s success even 10 years ago? — it’s clearly been one of the great businesses ever created.

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