Five years is not a very long time in which to change the world.

BenQ Siemens Black Box concept phone circa late 2006

Today’s news has not been unexpected. Jobs announces his resignation as CEO of Apple. The subsequent discussion on the ramifications and impact of this news on Apple, its future and its products – given Mr Jobs reputation as a single minded visionary who understood the interplay of business strategy, industrial design and quality engineering – inspired me to reflect upon his influence on the global mobile landscape.

Five years ago, my imagination was captured by images of a concept phone released by a now defunct OEM, BenQ Siemens’ Black Box.  A blank slate. A black box. Intuitive control at the touch of your finger. No barriers of language or knowledge of technology. The black box which seemed to embody the power of information at your fingertips and connectivity to the rest of humanity. The post industrial platform for innovation, I called it.

And then, a few months later, the iPhone was launched.  But how expensive it was and so remote from those who needed this the most, I would say. Can’t you see its potential it remotest Africa?

Just this week, newsbits have been flying around about a low cost iPhone for the rest of the world. With that step taken, the changes that Jobs has wrought impacting interaction and industrial design, the concept of the handheld device and its many possibilities are now set in motion for the final play.

What will the world look like in 2015?

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