Neither device was necessarily built for the sake of disrupting the art of image taking. The Brownie was built to sell film. The iPhone’s camera was built, improved, and advertised to sell the phone. But Apple quickly realized that photography, as something that connected with humans at an emotional level, was the killer app for the iPhone. That insight has paid off handsomely. Brownie certainly hastened the demise of the old-fashioned photography, but the smartphone cameras really made a meal of the demand for consumer standalone cameras. Erstwhile giants, such as Nikon and Canon, have been left to fight over scraps.
Towards the end of my first on-stage interview with Phil Schiller, I asked him something to the effect of, “With the iPhone, do you consider Apple a leading camera company?” And he replied instantly and emphatically, “The. The leading camera company.”