Once defined in terms of predominately communicative dimensions, mobile communication has largely become synonymous with online media. By 2007, many countries started to experience the movement toward smartphones. For many Western countries, this migration was symbolized by the iPhone—a device that evoked and delivered both media convergence and personalization. This entry discusses how the iPhone differed from other devices when it was introduced and looks at some of its sociocultural, economic, and perceptual effects.

On the initial release of the iPhone in 2007, Joel Mace and Michael West identified three major differences that distinguished it from competing mobile phone products: (1) the large capacitive touchscreen and keyboard, (2) integration into the already existing iTunes store (as a “high-end” model of the iPod with phone capability), ...

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