The winning combination: The industrial design, touchscreen, the effect on the market overall, the introduction of Mac OS X on a mobile platform and the future, according to writer Lev Grossman:
"Look at the iPod of six years ago...It looks like something a caveman whittled from a piece of flint using another piece of flint. Now imagine something that's going to make the iPhone look that primitive. You'll have one in a few years..."
All of these factors point to Apple's single greatest asset: Patience. Users clamored for an Apple-branded phone long before a hint of such a thing even existed. All the while, Apple quietly refined the design, the interface and OS X; the deal with AT&T and the iPhone's roadmap.
The iPhone wasn't the first mobile phone to the market, of course. Nor was the iPod the first digital music player. The technology market is populated with companies determined to be first. Apple is content to show up late to the party, but with a killer gift.