Apple introduced the iPhone in 2007, a breakthrough in every sense. It was a music player, smartphone, and internet communicator rolled into one device. The American technology giant challenged the smartphone leaders of its time, such as Nokia and Sony Ericsson. It revolutionised the space with an all-screen device supported by multi-touch input. Since then, Apple has been disrupting the smartphone market with its innovative features and technologies.
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On several occasions, other smartphone brands have followed Apple’s steps even when it means compromising on essentials. Here are five things that Apple introduced and other smartphone brands adopted:
The user interface elements and design language of Apple’s proprietary operating system for iPhones are among the first things that other smartphone brands copied. Chinese smartphone brand Xiaomi, for instance, took clues from iOS to develop its custom user interface based on Google’s Android platform. Called MIUI, the interface had no app drawer, and some of its built-in design elements looked similar to iOS. Vivo and Huawei are other Chinese smartphone brands that copied the interface elements from iOS to design their custom skins based on Android. The iOS influence is such that its resemblance is still prominent in many custom Android versions.
Biometric system for screen unlock introduced
Apple introduced the capacitive fingerprint sensor for the screen unlock mechanism with the launch of the iPhone 5s in 2013. Called TouchID, the fingerprint sensor was embedded under the home button, which was one of the differentiating features of the iPhones. Apple was not the first to use fingerprint sensors in a smartphone, but the company made it mainstream in the smartphone space. From Samsung to Huawei, Xiaomi, and OnePlus, every smartphone brand followed Apple on the fingerprint scanner tech for screen unlock mechanism.
Another form of biometric security was face recognition (FaceID), which Apple introduced with its tenth anniversary special iPhone X in 2017. It replaced the TouchID and made way for an all-screen design that continues even in the new iPhones. Other smartphone brands followed suit and introduced a face recognition biometric system similar to Apple’s FaceID for the screen unlock mechanism.
Just a notch above the rest
Not just the FaceID, the iPhone X brought significant design changes across the board, including a bezel-less front design dominated by a screen with a notch on top. The notch was an essential part of the design change. Besides, it accommodated the sensors and camera system for FaceID. Though it hampered the all-screen design profile of the iPhone X, other smartphone makers did not mind copying it to keep up with the trend set by Apple.
Headphone jack vanishes
Apple took away the 3.5mm headphone jack with the launch of the iPhone 7 series in 2016. Since then, the port has not featured on any of its successors. The technology industry has a divided opinion on it, yet most smartphone makers jumped on board and removed the headphone jack in some of their phones. This is despite the fact that existing wireless headphone technology does not let users listen to high-resolution audio.
Charging adaptor vanishes too
Yet another essential missing from the iPhone box now is the charging adaptor. The trend to supply smartphones with just the charging cable and without charging adapter is gradually catching up with brands like Samsung and Xiaomi following suit in the Indian smartphone market.