The iPhone turns five: tracking its rise

The phone that changed the world.

Today marks the five-year anniversary of the first iPhone release, an important milestone not only for Apple but for the entire mobile industry.

The iPhone was not only the first all-touchscreen mobile, but ushered in a brave new world of mobile apps - breaking the phone company's tight control of what software, and services, go on your handset.

Market researcher ComScore says the iOS ranks now as the second largest smartphone platform in the US after Android, commanding 31.9 percent share of the market with its 35.1 million iPhone owners in May.

A more detailed look at the iPhone ecosystem by device generation found that nearly three in every four iPhone owners currently uses the iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S, with the iPhone 4 accounting for the largest overall share at nearly 40 percent of iOS smartphones in May 2012.

The original iPhone released on June 29, 2007 now accounts for just 2 percent of current iOS smartphone owners, with new generations of the device making the original virtually obsolete.

IDC New Zealand stats released last year said smartphones now account for 58% of the local market, and rising.

Apple accounted for about 15-16% of total NZ mobile phone sales, while Android held around a third of the market.

iPhone sales grew 20% quarter on quarter. But as in other markets, sales of smartphones based on Google's Android software (which range from souped up models like the Samsung Galaxy III and the Sony Xperia P and HTC One X to sub-$150 handsets) are rising faster - at a rate of around 40% quarter on quarter.

For ever winner, there is a loser - or in this case, losers.

Nokia - today worth around $9 billion - has lost more than $110 billion in market capitalisation since the iPhone was first released in 2007.

Like BlackBerry maker RIM - which has fallen even more sharply - its very survival is now being questioned.

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