Apple: Designing the 21st Century

Apple: Designing the 21st Century

December 08, 2016

Like them or loathe them, there’s no denying that Apple have been one of the most influential brands of the 21st century. Plenty of companies helped to push forward the tech revolution of the 90s and 00s, but it’s Apple who permanently revolutionized personal electronics for the average Joe; their intuitive interfaces brought advanced tech into the homes of everyone, not just the gadget geeks.

Though they began operations in 1976, it was in the late 90s that Apple started to enjoy mainstream success, hitting the headlines with their striking iMac (which famously sported translucent turquoise casing). This funky new computer looked at home on the desks of teens and tech geeks alike, and was supremely easy to use. Of course, the iMac was just the beginning…

2001: The iPod

A year into the new millennium, Apple unveiled the iPod. It could carry one thousand songs and, with its sleek white plastic case and easy-to-use navigation, felt like the EVE to a standard MP3 player’s Wall-E.

Apple’s cleverest move was to price the iPod at $399 and give it a pair of instantly recognizable headphones – suddenly everyone was showing off those white ear-buds on the school bus or subway ride to work. Of course, the iPod inspired countless rip-offs but, 15 years on, it's managed to retain its legacy as the most influential personal music player of all time.

2007: The iPhone

These days the iPhone is the subject of a lot of criticism, in no small part due to its ubiquity. Of course, ten years ago, no one even knew what one was.

At that time, smartphones were available but tended to be business-oriented (and most closely resembled calculators). When Apple released the iPhone in 2007 everything changed – this smartphone had a touchscreen in place of a keyboard, a good camera, and apps for gaming, organizing and socializing. It was bright, sleek and easy to use. Most importantly, it wasn’t just for business executives, it was for everyone.

The iPhone immediately captured the public imagination and in response, tech companies across the world started creating the touchscreen smartphones that are so widespread today.

2010: The iPad

If the iPhone revolutionized mobile phone technology, then the iPad did something even more surprising: it created a demand for something none of us knew we needed. Like a larger smartphone (that you couldn’t make calls on), the iPad shook things up by demonstrating just how popular the demand was for everyday, usable tech. With the iPad, the understanding dawned that electronic gadgets were no longer just about function; they were becoming the central focus around which our daily lives revolved.

As with the iPhone, the iPad inspired Samsung, Microsoft and other competitors to step up their game – and today, their creations pose a serious challenge to Apple products. But at SPRESSO, we’ll always have a soft spot for Apple – bendy phones and intimidating price tags aside, their flair for design and innovation has been an inspiration to us.

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