Five years ago today, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs stood on stage at the annual MacWorld event and unveiled a device that would transform the mobile phone market forever.
The device was, of course, the iPhone and it kicked the mobile phone industry into a whole new era, with the effects still being felt today as Google, Research in Motion, Microsoft and Nokia have all been forced to play catch-up in the battle for market share.
Jobs knew Apple was on to a winner when he launched the device, arguing it was far ahead of any other device on the market, which at the time meant unattractive, brick-like machines which lacked the sense of fun and style that were the iPhone's trademarks.
"[The] iPhone is a revolutionary and magical product that is five years ahead of any other mobile phone. We are all born with the ultimate pointing device - our fingers - and iPhone uses them to create the most revolutionary user interface since the mouse," he boasted.
Now, of course, Apple is under more pressure than ever from its rivals, particularly from Android-based handsets from manufacturers like Samsung and HTC, but the continued appetite shown for each new device the firm launches, most recently the iPhone 4S, shows it still has a cutting edge in the market.
The next 12 months are likely to be a key time for the market too after the sad passing of Jobs, with Apple expected to unveil the iPhone 5 at some point in the coming year.
A key figure in this development is likely to be the recently knighted Jony Ive, the head of industrial design at the firm and Jobs' "spiritual partner", whose job it is to produce the next wave of devices at Apple with a clear mission to maintain its status as the top-dog in the smartphone industry.
Certainly, if the firm can achieve the same level of success in the next five years with its iPhone devices as it did in the first five, Ive will have proved himself a worthy successor, with a little help from Tim Cook of course.
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