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Apple’s Innovative Products that Shaped the 21st Century

(Editor’s note: Bold is taking a deep dive into technology giant Apple Inc. In case you missed it, the previous installment touched on Apple’s secret to success.)

Nearly five decades after its founding, Apple has become one of the world’s most valuable companies. But beyond its $3 trillion market value, the technology supergiant has also shaped 21st-century society and culture. From the invention of the MacBook to the introduction of the iPhone, Apple paved the way for the world’s future generation of technological products. Of all product releases over the years, here are six of the most groundbreaking Apple product innovations.

1.   The Mac

apple's innovative products include computers
Of Apple’s innovative products, their personal computers and laptops have tended to be the most revolutionary. Remember when the Apple IIe came out?

Apple I and Apple II marked the first of many innovations and successes for Apple. It gave the company the area to become the pioneer of computer technology and cemented its lead within the industry. Although Apple II started the boom of computer sales in the 70s, it was the creation of the Macintosh or Mac that helped turn Apple into a giant.

The first Mac, which debuted during a Super Bowl ad in 1984, is one of Apple’s most innovative products for numerous reasons. The Mac computer was the first widely sold personal computer featuring a graphical user interface (GUI) and a mouse. Its design provides users with a natural, intuitive, and user-friendly interface. In addition, it added the mouse that uses icons for representing objects and actions, including the point-and-click and click-and-drag.

Due to these things, the Macintosh became the blueprint for many desktops, laptops, and wireless computers. In addition, all of the products under the Mac lineup are groundbreaking, like the MacBook Air, which changed the laptop industry in 2008 with its ultrathin and lightweight design.

 

2.   iPhone

When it comes to Apple products that shaped the 21st century, nothing changed and influenced society and modern culture the way the iPhone did. From its first launch in 2007, it took the world by storm and sparked the entire mobile economy. Apple’s iconic iPhone is an innovation that became an integral part of many people’s lives because of how it replaced most devices users use every day.

The iPhone introduced not only the idea of a pocketable, wireless phone for communication but also acted as a replacement for other things. The product condensed alarm clocks, in-car GPS devices, MP3 players, flashlights, and cameras into a small rectangular machine you can fit in your palm.

With each passing year, iPhones remain one of Apple’s best-selling products, enticing people to avail new versions in the market.

3.   iPod

Apple's innovative products list laid out on a table
Apple’s innovative products list includes watches, phones, earbuds and more.

Before the iPhone’s release in 2007, Apple’s biggest innovation for the 21st century was the iPod. For many people, the iPod was the product that got them hooked on the company’s other creations. Released in 2001, the first iPod changed the game for all MP3 players because it was unlike any other.

Apple’s iPod featured a sleek design, an easy-to-use scroll wheel, and the iconic white earbuds. Yes, it was aesthetically pleasing to the eyes, but what set the iPod apart was its function as the first all-in-one media consumption device. It allowed users to use it for other things besides music, like movies, games, and podcasts.

In addition, it also introduced iTunes, Apple’s version of a virtual music library that could hold over 1,000 songs and other media files.

4.   iPad

The iPad was Apple’s solution to the computer industry’s years-long research and design for a tablet computer. Launched in April 2010, it was the first tablet in the market with a format and function many people find appealing. It became the blueprint for all tablet computers that followed. But despite the growing number of brands introducing their version of the iPad, they lack Apple’s distinct user interface and design.

One of the most notable reasons behind the iPad’s popularity since its launch over two decades ago is its accessibility. Its design and features combine what everyone needs for entertainment and business, making the product adaptable to whichever use the user requires of them.

5.   Apple Watch

Apple follows a code of simplicity and believes in creating products that could revolutionize the tech industry. Following the rising trend and demand of people wanting a device related to health and fitness, Apple introduced the Apple Watch in 2014. In addition, its creation also materialized many people’s dreams about smartwatches.

Although most of the Apple Watch’s feature focuses on health and fitness, like recording your daily step count, checking your heart rate, and setting goals for your daily fitness activities in the gym, users can also control other Apple devices through it. They also laid the foundations of wearable technology. Despite that, not many people are fond of it as they hope it functions more independently rather than as an extension of their iPhones.

a bunch of Apple products on display
Odds are, someone on your Christmas list wants an Apple product.

6.   AirPods

2016 was the year of true wireless music with the launch of Apple’s AirPods. It changed how people listen to music by removing the wires that often limit the distance phone or MP3 players have with their earbuds. Although many companies resolved the problem by making the wires longer, it also increased the problems they encountered, including tangled wiring and discomfort.

AirPods offer wireless earbuds with high-quality sound and comfortable fit in the ears. Apple set the new standards for wireless music experience while ensuring the classic white design people know them for. In addition, the latest models have improved battery life and connectivity, which prolongs the enjoyment of many music lovers.

 

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