The end of the year is not quite here yet but already the best of awards and lists have begun to appear.
Time has named the Apple iPhone its invention of the year. According to Lev Grossman, the reasons are quite simple: Not only is it pretty and comes with a touchscreen but it will push innovation among mobile phone manufacturers up a notch or two. It also promises to be more than just a phone given that it runs a modified version of OS X; it could become a platform for new applications (assuming Apple truly opens it up) and future iterations hold the promise of significant improvements.
I think that the kick in the pants that the iPhone gave the entire mobile phone industry is the strongest reason for it to win to this award. Hopefully we will see other manufacturers respond with similarly exciting products (witness the HTC Touch and the new Neo interface on the T-Mobile Shadow). Whether it truly becomes a platform for more than a phone/media player is still up in the air (and at Apple’s mercy).