When the iPhone was introduced in 2006 it was presented as three revolutionary devices in one: an iPod, a Phone, and an Internet Communicator. These functions have since grown, and blurred, to mean media device, communication device, and information access device.
This was indeed revolutionary, a remarkably effective and intuitive convergence of key functions. And while the included camera was arguably a fourth important function, at the time it was not revolutionary, with mobile phone cameras already ubiquitous.
But with the continual improvement of small sensor camera technology and accompanying software and interface development, the smartphone camera has become revolutionary, obviating the need for a traditional camera for the vast majority of consumers. This initially secondary function has become a key element in defining the iPhone as a truly convergent device.
As declining camera sales clearly reflect, the smartphone camera is indeed killing the point and shoot market, and even impacting the DSLR market. As the saying goes, the best camera is the one that you have with you, and that is always the one on the phone in your pocket.
This trend will continue as phone camera quality improves with each generation, there being an inverse relationship between phone camera quality and discrete camera sales. At a certain point for each user, the iPhone camera became, or will likely soon become, good enough. For me, that point was with the iPhone 5, the unparalleled convenience and connectivity simply outweighed any image quality advantage of a dedicated camera in nearly every case.
And of course, this utility is renewable, with each bi-yearly device upgrade guaranteeing cutting edge capability. This capability, convenience, and utility, in the hands millions of iPhone users, is truly a remarkable feat of convergence