Happy 6th anniversary, iPhone!

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On this day six years ago, the original iPhone went on sale at Apple and AT&T stores in the United States – following six months of unbelievable hype and media frenzy that I suspect won’t repeat anytime soon. It’s somewhat hard to grasp that it’s been six years already and that the original Jesus phone, as the media nicknamed it, was so rapidly obsoleted by subsequent models that it’s now become a piece of history itself.

A lot has changed since June 29, 2007. The iPhone back then didn’t have the App Store and was pitched as three devices in one: a “widescreen iPod with touch controls,” a“revolutionary mobile phone” and a “breakthrough Internet communicator”.

Today, it’s anything you want it to be thanks to smart developers who pour their heart and soul into their apps, and there are now 900,000+ of them in the App Store. It’s fair to say there’s a world of difference between 2007 and 2013 in terms of mobile technology, here’s why…

The landscape was radically different  back then.

Nokia was the top dog in cell phones. Poor Samsung was an also-ran. Cocky Research In Motion ruled the boardroom. And nobody could touch greedy carriers. Back then, Steve Jobs hadn’t lost yet his tremendously courageous and bravely public fight against cancer that would take his life four years later, on October 5, 2011.

In introducing the iPhone during the January 2007 keynote, he put up a great show and arguably the best product presentation ever.

Back then, there were no stupid patent infringement lawsuits than span continents because established handset makers were in a state of shock when the iPhone sold its first millionth unit just 74 days after introduction so they weren’t even thinking about copying Apple’s technology.

This is also gold: Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer trash-talking the iPhone.

Talk about the lack of insight.

So today things are so different yet very familiar.

Gizmodo is blacklisted from Apple’s media events. And, believe it or not, we’ve come alive through Antennagate, Glassgate, Mapsgate and other fabricated scandals. Yes those were real issues, but blown way out of proportion.

The media is hating on Apple so much that it’s beyond belief.

Yet, this isn’t surprising as journalists, analysts and business executives have pronounced Apple death sentences over the years. In fact, according to Bryan Chaffin at the Mac Observer, Apple is pronounced dead or dying every few weeks.

Apple is being called out for its slipping market share, as if the company ever led the pack in terms of market share. Quite the opposite, since its inception the iPhone has captured the bulk of industry profits with a tiny share of the handset market.

Back then, the iPhone took crappy pictures and couldn’t shoot video.

Today, it captures full HD footage and takes eight-megapixel snaps, and will soon enter the twelve-megapixel territory with the introduction of the iPhone 5S later this year. Small wonder that the top three most popular cameras on Flickr are iPhones.

Back then, the summer was for the new iPhone.

In 2011, the trend reversed and now new iPhones get introduced in Fall, closer to the start of the all-important holiday shopping season. Back then, everyone wanted an iPhone because competition couldn’t offer a comparable experience as it was in dire straits.

Nowadays, competition is heightened.

Rivals are becoming increasingly aggressive in their marketing pitches and advertising against Apple, carriers are back on their feet and balking at Apple and click-hungry bloggers are throwing mud at the company over the iOS 7 icons that most happen to like after all.

If you just glance at tech headlines these days, Apple has lost its cool and is doomed.

Yet, the iPhone remains America’s top selling smartphone, the most profitable product and the top brand in terms of customer satisfaction – and those are metrics money can’t buy – so Apple must be doing something right after all.

Indeed, it doesn’t take a genius to see who’s the king of the sea and who’s the bottom feeder who pays students to lambast the iPhone in web comments, lives off other people’s ideas and derides Apple with every ad in the hope of painting itself comparable with Apple.

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Yes, competition has caught up with Apple – and in some cases overtaken it, mostly in terms of meaningless features that are outside of Apple’s primary focus. No, there is nothing wrong with top smartphones from Samsung, Nokia, BlackBerry, HTC et al.

But that after six years nobody came close to creating their own unique experiences that are as lively, delightful and seamless as the iPhone tells me little has changed in terms of innovation since 2007 as most vendors remained complacent.

So instead of throwing mud at Apple, naysayers should applaud Apple.

Because, if it weren’t for the iPhone, carriers would still control everything. There would be nothing like the App Store where a guy in a living room could make a fortune writing mobile apps. Vendors would be churning out cheap plasticky devices and paying little attention to industrial design and seamless integration.

And smartphones would have never become as pervasive and integral to our lives.

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And with iOS 7, Apple has taken a step in the right direction, in many ways breathing new life into its mobile operating system. Not only does it look prettier and easier on the eyes, iOS 7 will spur developers to re-think and de-clutter their apps, ushering in a new era of clean yet sophisticated software design.

And when your favorite apps get updated with iOS 7 look and feel, you’ll realize why speeds and feeds don’t really matter much and why the iPhone is such an iconic smartphone.

Disagree with me, vilify me or call me stupid – but the iPhone isn’t going anywhere.

Apple ranks #1 again in Fortune’s ‘Most Admired Companies’ list !

For the sixth year in a row, Apple was named the most-admired company in the world. In spite of a stock free fall and the Apple Maps gaffe, the iPhone maker topped rivals Google and Amazon, Fortune announced Thursday.

Described as a “financial juggernaut” which became the most profitable company on the globe, Apple was named the over-all most admired firm while also topping the list as the most admired technology firm of 2013…

“Apple has had a rough time lately with its stock price in a free fall and the widely publicized failure of its Maps feature,” according to Fortune.

However, it remains a financial juggernaut, posting $13 billion in net income last quarter, making it the most profitable company in the world during that period. The company has its fanatical customer base, and it still refuses to compete on price, making the iconic iPhone and iPad products that are still widely seen as prestige devices. Competition may be stiff, but so far it remains behind: In Q4 2012, the iPhone 5 was the world’s best selling smartphone, followed in second place by the iPhone 4S.

Android-maker Google, Kindle manufacturer Amazon.com, soft-drink producer Coca-Cola and premiere coffee vendor Starbucks rounded out the top five most admired companies.

Along with continuing to be the most-wanted workplace, No. 2 Google’s most admired qualities this year focused on its battle with Apple.

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Number 3 Amazon.com “stands to become the largest beneficiary of the e-commerce industry boom,” according to today’s rankings. The Internet retailer was also cited for challenging Apple and Google in tablet sales, as well as its video streaming service going up against Netflix.

“This year the Android OS is expected to overtake Apple’s iOS as the number one mobile operating system in the US and Canada; and Google Play is expected to overtake the Apple App Store in total number of apps for mobile and tablet,” Fortune writes.

Microsoft, maker of the Surface Pro tablet and Windows 8 Phone, lands in 17th place. The company “is facing an uphill battle, as consumers are slow to adopt Windows 8,” writes Fortune. Microsoft “still has a few tricks up its sleeve with ownership of the Xbox, Skype” and cloud-based services, according to the publication.

Samsung, maker of the Android-based Galaxy S smartphone family and tablets – both strong challengers to Apple’s iPhone and iPad – was ranked 35 out of 50. Meanwhile, social networking giant Facebook landed in the cellar, ranking 48. Twitter, which increasingly challenges Facebook, did not make this year’s Fortune list.

Eight of the top ten devices activated for enterprise use in Q4 were Apple devices!

Who says that iOS isn’t represented in the workplace? According to Good Technology’s quarterly Device Activations Report, iOS devices accounted for a whopping 77% of activations in the sector, an improvement of 71% from the prior year. Android’s share was 22.7%, down from 29% in 2011’s fourth quarter. The study was made by Good Technology which provides security for mobile devices and analyzed activations made by its clients which includes half the Fortune 100.

The top three devices activated for enterprise use in the fourth quarter of 2012 were all Apple iPhone models. The Apple iPhone 5 The Apple iPhone 5 led in Q4 activation for enterprise use - Eight of the top ten devices activated for enterprise use in Q4 were Apple devicesaccounted for about 33% of activations, and that was followed by the better than 20% of all enterprise based activations that belonged to the Apple iPhone 4S. The first non-iOS model in the top ten was the Samsung Galaxy S III which finished 6th with slightly more than 5% of enterprise based activations. The only other non-iOS model in the top ten was the Motorola DROID RAZR which finished tenth. If we extend it out to the top eleven, then we would include the Samsung Galaxy S II which finished eleventh.

Tablet-wise, iOS crushed Android in the enterprise with nearly 90% of all tablet activations in the fourth quarter. While about 55% of all activations in the fourth quarter for enterprise purposes were iPhone models, slightly over 20% were Apple iPad variants. Slightly less than 20% of all activations were related an an Android smartphone. Windows devices accounted for less than .5% of activations in the period.