Skip to main content

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Why trust us?

What’s the most influential gadget ever? According to Time, it starts with an “i”

Steve Jobs iPhone
Image used with permission by copyright holder
If you’re an iPhone owner, you happen to own the most influential gadget ever, according to Time’s new list.

Apple Offer: Trade up to a new iPhone for as low as $10 a month

The “50 Most Influential Gadgets of All Time” list was published on Tuesday. It notes that while smartphones existed before the 2007 iPhone, “none came together as accessibly and beautifully as the iPhone.”

It goes on to say that Apple truly changed the game, putting a powerful computer “into the pockets of millions.” The phone market was just another industry that Apple revolutionized, having previously changed the music business with the iPod and iTunes.

The iPhone wasn’t the only Apple product on the list. Actually, it wasn’t even the only Apple product in the top 10, with the Macintosh sitting in third place and the original iPod snagging the ninth spot. Both products were arguably the most important in their category. While the Macintosh wasn’t the top-selling computer by any means, it was one of the first to ship with a mouse, helping change the way we interact with computers.

Of course, there are plenty of other great and influential gadgets on the list. In second place is the Sony Trinitron television, which was released in 1968, just as color TVs were taking off. This TV, however, was notable for merging what until then was three separate electron guns, an innovation that helped Sony sell more than 100,000 units.

The list is a good read, if not just for nostalgia’s sake — the Sony Walkman comes in at fourth, the Victrola record player is No. 6, and the Atari 2600 sits in 13th place. A few more recent devices also made the list; the Apple iPad features at number 25 as the device that pushed tablets into the limelight, and the Oculus Rift came in at 39th, despite the fact that it hasn’t even gone through its full release yet. Even Google Glass made the list, albeit just by a whisker, coming in at number 50.

Editors' Recommendations

Christian de Looper
Christian’s interest in technology began as a child in Australia, when he stumbled upon a computer at a garage sale that he…
What does the ‘i’ in iPhone stand for? Here’s what it really means
Apple iPhone 15 Plus and Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max seen from the back.

Apple iPhone 15 Plus (left) and Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

When Steve Jobs announced the first iPhone on January 9, 2007, it was a moment that changed the cell phone market forever. In one of the most famous product reveals in history, Jobs said it was three products in one: a widescreen iPod with touch controls, a revolutionary mobile phone, and a breakthrough internet communications device.

Read more
What iPhone do I have? How to find out your iPhone model number
Close-up of the iPhone SE 2022 and iPhone 14 Plus camera modules.

Since its landmark introduction in 2007, Apple has released 42 iPhone models, and with at least four new ones introduced every fall, the company is showing no signs of slowing down.

In all that time, Apple has made relatively few significant design changes. The company tends to stick with established designs for three or four years before changing things up, which can sometimes make it difficult to tell which iPhone model you have —  especially if you're getting a secondhand iPhone (with no box to offer a hint) rather than a new one.

Read more
I’m a lifelong iPhone user. Here’s what I think about the Samsung Galaxy S24
The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra and S Pen stylus on its screen.

Samsung and Apple typically release new smartphones at different times of the year. Samsung usually does it early in the year, while Apple waits until the fall ahead of the holiday shopping season. As always, Apple tends to release new iPhones that outdo the ones Samsung released earlier, and then when the calendar changes, Samsung comes back with something to better compete with Apple, and so forth.

Samsung has recently announced its Galaxy S24 series, which has sparked the curiosity of iPhone owners like myself. Many of us are currently exploring the features of these phones and seeing which ones aren't available on our iPhones, myself included. Some are entirely new, while others have been introduced on previous Samsung Galaxy S models. Although many seem promising, some may not be as appealing to iPhone users. Here are a few of the Galaxy S24 features I like — and a few I don't.
Circle to Search looks impressive
Circle to Search Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Read more