Ten years ago, Steve Jobs and Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) introduced the first iPhone, a revolutionary device.

Not only did it combine email and Web browsing with an iPod and a phone all in one, but its greatest innovation was its keyboard — and the fact there was no physical keyboard.

At the time, BlackBerry ruled the smartphone market with its physical keyboard that customers loved. Even when Apple launched the iPhone, many analysts said it would fail because it didn’t have a physical keyboard.

But built into Apple’s virtual keyboard was actually one of the first artificially intelligent applications at the time.

And it helped bolster the company to go on to sell its 1 billionth smartphone last year. Here’s a look at that progress.

Not only did Apple's iPhone combine email and Web browsing with an iPod and a phone all in one, but its greatest innovation revolutionized the smartphone market.

That’s an astonishing growth trajectory for a market that was basically nonexistent until the iPhone came along.

But that keyboard was key, and it was one of the biggest projects for the company — how to create a virtual keyboard that was accurate and that customers loved.

And they solved it with artificial intelligence (AI).

The keyboard was able to predict what word you were typing. For example, if a user typed the letter “t,” the keyboard would make the hot spot, the area around a certain key, for the “h” key larger than normal. But it was all done internally — meaning nothing changed in our eyes, but the keyboard was extremely accurate.

This seems basic to us today, but at the time it was very advanced tech — and Apple led the way.

Now Apple is working on what the current CEO, Tim Cook, calls “the mother of all AI projects” — autonomous driving.

Apple recently made a splash in the sector by announcing that it’s leasing six cars from Hertz to test its software, showing that it’s serious about developing self-driving cars.

Your guess is as good as mine on who will win the autonomous driving race, but someone inevitably will. And Apple has as good of a chance, if not better, to accomplish this as its competitors.

Who knows, a self-driving car could be its next revolutionary product.


Chad Shoop, CMT
Editor, Automatic Profits Alert