Little-known Facts About the Mobile Phone Industry


Text Rachel Kwek

Beyond the latest models and increasingly impressive phone specifications, what more is there to the gadget that has captured the imagination of people around the world? AG reveals interesting nuggets about the mobile industry.

Weirdest app ever created

For sure this is not the only strange app in the market but it sure is one of the strangest. Debuting in the App Store on August 5, 2008, the I Am Rich app’s only function is to remind a user how rich he is. Priced at USD999.99, the app displays a red jewel on a user’s screen, which shows “I am rich. I deserv [sic] it. I am good, healthy & successful.” when tapped on.

Eight people reportedly downloaded it, but Apple removed it from its store the day after its release and two of these users asked for it to be restored. Despite the flak it drew, German developer Armin Heinrich defended it as art and released I Am Rich LE. The newer version, with a friendlier price of USD9.99, comes with a calculator and, of course, the infamous reminder – without the spelling mistake.

Apple wins in legal battle with Samsung

The two technology giants were embroiled in a seven-year-long legal battle over the infringement of a number of design and utility patents by Samsung. The court initially ordered Samsung to pay USD1 billion to Apple but after a series of appeals and retrials, the sum was reduced to USD539 million. The companies eventually reached a settlement but the amount of damages was undisclosed.

iPad should have been the elder brother of iPhone

Steve Jobs said Apple had begun developing the iPad, announced on January 27, 2010, before the iPhone, released on June 29, 2007. Jobs reportedly shared with his team an idea of having a glass multi-touch display one could type on. Six months later, they produced an amazing display that enabled scrolling and some other functions. Jobs realised the greater potential in building a phone based around a touchscreen, and the team shelved development of the tablet to work on what would become the iPhone, Apple’s most lucrative product.

In China, you can have a mobile phone custom made

You can customise a mobile phone according to your needs at the phone manufacturers in Shenzhen that tap into the region’s smartphone supply chain. Some of these phones are available online for less than USD100. One mini cellphone that resembles a Porsche key apparently goes for roughly USD10 if you buy thousands of them!

For the rest of this article (Asian Geographic No.135 Issue 2/2019 ) and other stories, check out our past issues here or download a digital copy here

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