Apple's ability to rock our world through nifty gadgets should not be underestimated. Between the Apple II, the Macintosh, and the iPod, Apple is responsible for more trend-setting consumer technology than most companies. In the same vein, the iPhone goes far beyond being just a mobile telephone: It's a powerful pocket computer, a game machine, and a multimedia-playback device. Better yet, it gives you instant, high-speed access to the Web, e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, wherever you can find mobile phone coverage. In short, it's a revolutionary device, and other companies are already coming up with imitators.
Notable qualities: Everything--but particularly the excellent software, the large and sharp screen, the multitouch interface, visual voicemail, the App Store... (Need I say more?)
For more looks at gear and gadgets of the past, see:
* 16 Breakthrough Notebooks: A Look Back
* From Palm Pilot to Palm Pre: A Brief History of Palm's Handhelds
* Inside the World's Greatest Keyboard