It’s hard to believe that iPhones and the smartphone revolution began a decade ago. Duke Professor Debu Purohit, who teaches marketing technology, talked then about the launch on June 29, 2007, and talks now about the changes iPhones continue to trigger.


“Apple has a great sense of design and functionality and beauty, and I think it’ll come out in the phone.”


“The iPhone catapulted us,” Purohit said. “It’s changed how we interact with the world….

“”Everybody is connected,” Purohit said. “In my family, everybody except the dog has a smart phone.”


“One of the things I’m looking forward to – and I hope materializes – is the ability to use the iPhone to be able to get accurate health data. This, I think, is going to be a game changer.”

Yes, hard to believe that in 2007, as Duke notes, cell phones were just phones. “Texts were just text. Using a phone to surf the net – as it was called then – took a lot of patience, and squinting.”

And how important are our smartphones already?

“You need your phone more than you need your wallet,” he said.

But the benefits and apps and uses do pose a risk of dumbing-down.

“Do we really need to know everything by heart, or do we need to know enough that we can Google it and understand what’s going on?” Purohit said. “I think that is having an effect on how we study and how we learn, and we need to keep that in mind.”

Then there is the ability to track us.

“Companies now have an incredible amount of information on their consumers and what they do,” he said. “This notion of privacy, it’s not that we haven’t thought about it before, it’s just now we have to start thinking about it much more carefully because we are being tracked pretty much all the time.”

Watch a video interview with the good professor at: