June 27, 2011, 11:17 AM — When the first iOS gadget shipped in 2007, The New York Times' David Pogue published a list of questions about the new iPhone. The last question on the list was: " Who on earth would buy this thing ?"
It's a question nobody would ask today. The phone, and Apple 's other mobile devices that run the iOS are succeeding beyond anyone's predictions. Apple says the iOS is currently installed on more than 200 million devices .
Another small thing happened in 2007 that has become a big thing: Apple filed a patent request for the capacitive touch screen used by the iPhone , iPad and, in fact, by nearly all of Apple's competitors in the market. That patent was granted this week.
One possible outcome of the inevitable court cases to come is that competitors may have to pay Apple a licensing fee for every non-Apple smartphone or tablet shipped.
Since its 2007 launch, there has always been a lot of hype around the iPhone far beyond actual market share. The many brands that run the Android OS collectively own more market share both globally and in the U.S. than the iPhone. And internationally, handsets from giants like Nokia have maintained more sales than those from Apple.
But all this appears to be changing. In the first quarter of this year, Android phone market share declined nearly 3%, while iOS's share rose by more than 12% . Android still has nearly half the smartphone market, and Apple significantly less than that (about 30%.)
These changing fortunes could represent a temporary blip caused by Apple's availability on Verizon. Or it could be a trend.
Another possible trend is the decline and fall of Nokia. That company's smartphone handset market share dropped from 24% to 16% in one year. Apple remained at 17% share while the overall pie grew significantly.
When the iPhone shipped in 2007, nobody -- and I mean nobody -- predicted that Apple would sell more handsets worldwide than Nokia within four years.