How did Apple rise through the ranks to become the worldâ€™s most profitable tech company? As it turns out, good timing and shrewd planning have played as much of a role as innovative thinking for the Silicon Valley juggernaut.
Apple also exercised a great deal of patience when it came to smartphone technology. The worldâ€™s first smartphone, the Symbian from Nokia, appeared in 2000 â€” seven years before the iPhone â€” and was equipped with features considered revolutionary at the time, such as a touchscreen and built-in camera. A few years later, Blackberry introduced the concept of email accessibility via oneâ€™s cell phone. By the time Apple released the first iPhone in 2007, the market was well-established and software developers had fine-tuned many of the technical kinks related to smartphone functionality.
In some cases, Apple has gained an edge over competitors by purchasing innovative software developed by smaller firms. That was the case with Delaware-based tech firm FingerWorks, whose brainchild, the TouchStream, was one of the first models of â€˜gesture recognitionâ€™ technology. Apple purchased FingerWorks in 2005, two years before the release of the first iPhone; TouchStreamâ€™s technology and functionality heavily influenced the touchscreen features later implemented for Appleâ€™s smartphone and tablet devices.
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